We recently got back from a night away. We have never had a night away from it all in the entire three years of being parents! I’ve stayed away about three or four nights in this time but my husband was always at home to look after our boy. To take care of bath time, bedtime and wake up. We’ve never left him with anyone else and I honestly think we were due. We ALL were.
It had got to the point where I think he was ready for a sleepover at his aunties. He has his cousins there and he loves them, so he’d have a great time and he’d (hopefully) go to bed like a dream. If I am being honest, I almost didn’t care (sorry auntie Mel!). I knew she’d have the tricks of the trade to sooth him to sleep and he listens to her much more than us so I knew she got this. And let’s be honest, we simply needed a NIGHT. OFF!
What better excuse was there than Danny’s 40th! My husband turned forty in June and why not start the celebrations on the 1st? So I booked him into a spa hotel in the New Forest. It looked absolutely beautiful (and cost me a remortgage) but it was worth it… So I told him a few days before that he was having a night away and a two hour treatment followed by the spa, some dinner, then the following day some breakfast and a mooch around the forests. Basically his heaven. He was ready. I was ready. We couldn’t wait.
The Friday morning arrived and so came the moment of actually saying bye to Kai and leaving him with his auntie. And yup… I actually felt a little lump in my throat. My baby. My little boy. He ‘d be having someone else put him to bed. What if he asked for me and I wasn’t there? Or what if he woke in the middle of the night as he often does? Only we know what works to help him back to sleep. But I had to wave him off. Cut that cord. And I could see in his silly, little face that he wasn’t quite sure what was going on but it was mixed with excitement at getting driven off in his aunties new car and having his best mate play with him in the back. They drove off and we waved goodbye. And then there were two. Just us. On our own.
I am not going to lie… I swiftly got into my head that he was going to be fine. He would be in his element at the farm with nanny and grandad and his cousins. Yes, I needed to know come bed time that he went down okay and was asleep, but until then, I was ready for this time alone. To head to the New Forest together and remember what it was like to be just us.
We headed off about half ten in the morning, got there for lunch and just pottered about a small village within the forest. At lunch there was no fussing over a four year old, no pulling of the table cloth, no crumbs being dropped everywhere. We just sat and we talked. Can you believe it? There was a family sat near us with two kids just being kids. I think they were stressing out that they were disrupting us… but it did not bother me in the slightest. I just secretly liked that it wasn’t my kid making the scene for a change…
We headed to the hotel leisurely, checked in, had some champagne and then headed to the spa. We well and truly switched off and I think this comes from knowing he was safe with his auntie. He was going to be fine and I was 100% relishing in the fact we had no responsibilities. After a few hours we had sweated and swam enough and headed back to the room to relax a little more and enjoy the silence. Actual silence. It got to dinner and we checked in with auntie Mel… but there was no reply. Oh god. Had he not gone to sleep? Was he kicking off? Was she okay looking after him? After a while, we were told he fell asleep with no problems. In a different room. A different bed. And a different routine. Perfect.
We stayed up so late with some friends that joined us in the hotel too. We really should’ve gone to bed at like, nine or something to fully benefit. But we were just having too much fun. We laughed our tits off and truly just forgot about the parents in us and were taken back to who we were before.
I don’t think it’s a bad thing to ever change. When I became a dad, I know I changed a little, and I loved it. But every now and then it’s good for the soul to have some time out, for you and to remember who you are when you aren’t being dad. Or being a professional. Or being a good friend. JUST BE YOU. And I honestly cannot recommend this enough. I know so many couples who do get away fairly often and good for them. We waited so long. Too long. But I guess we did it when it felt right.
We both woke the next day at around 8ish. That’s a huge lie in trust me. There was no one jumping on us, demanding a drink at 5am or kicking us in the nuts. I’m not ashamed to say, I absolutely loved it. It felt like the world’s biggest luxury. I can’t tell you enough how much we needed it. We had the biggest breakfast known to man and then headed out to the forest for a sunshine filled walk. I think we were both getting to a point where we missed him even if we didn’t want to admit it. He would be loved the freedom of the forest and seeing the animals in the roads. Come 1ish, it was time to head home.
It truly left us feeling alive. We had reconnected and remembered who we were not just as a couple but as individuals. It felt like a mini holiday and it was only one bloody night! Maybe we had such a great experience because we left it so long I don’t know… but in my head I am already wondering when we can do it again. Would two nights be pushing it…?
We got home and there he was… ready to run away from us, not cuddle us and not wanting to leave his aunties. Just what we wanted weirdly. The sign of a good day and night for him too!