When I was pregnant, I thought it was kind of dumb. A babymoon. What the hell is that, anyway? And the name is stupid: Babymoon. Thanks, but no thanks. It sounds like just another newly-invented, self-indulgent marketing ploy. Kind of like push-present. People have been giving birth since the beginning of time, and it wasn't until recently -- until parents became the biggest consumers out there -- that we started feeling pressure to partake in these things.
"No, we're not going on a babymoon," I'd tell people who would ask.
"Really? You should. It'll be your last chance to be together for a while."
"We're good," I'd say.
The months leading up to the birth of my sweet daughter were business as usual for my husband and me. We worked. We made dinner. We watched movies at home.
And now, 16 months into parenthood, I really regret not taking one. I regret not going on a babymoon.
Travel is one of those things that seems to be quintessentially for the childless. Sure, there are the parents who take their incredibly easygoing kids anywhere -- and even I've taken my daughter on a few trips. But it's not the same. It's not a vacation where you leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. It's not a vacation where you leave feeling like you reconnected with your partner. Sure, you may get to do a few things for yourself. But they have to be done in shifts. You get a pedicure while your husband watches the kids. He goes golfing after you take over. Yes, it's great family fun, and come on, it's vacation, so what's not to like. But it's not vacation as we knew it.
I haven't left my daughter overnight yet. My husband and I were planning on going somewhere this summer for a night or two. Just the two of us. But after looking at the cost of last-minute travel, coupled with the cost of bills and childcare and food, etc., it's really not the smartest move right now. It's the adult thing to do, but it, immaturely, makes me a little sad. I had finally summoned up the courage to leave my gorgeous baby, and, well, now it isn't happening. I was looking forward to arriving at a hotel with my husband. To having a glass of wine on a super child-unfriendly balcony. To whiling away a few hours on a beach without thinking about sunburns and wet diapers and naptime. I was really looking forward to a night where it was solely about us.
If it sounds like I'm complaining, I'm not. Okay, maybe I am a little. But I admit: I miss vacations. And I'm sorry we didn't get in one last hurrah before our family became three. It would have been a nice memory for my husband and me to have.
While I was pregnant, I had many delusions of grandeur about the kind of mother I would be. "My kid isn't going to rule my life," I'd say. "We're still going to go out and be us. We'll just have a baby." Yeah. Okay. The first year of parenthood is an adjustment period. A disorienting adjustment period. And now that I feel like my husband and I have this parenting thing down -- and we're pretty okay at it -- we're ready to get back to us. Not exactly as we were, necessarily. But as we are now. As parents. And, well, I can't think of a better place to do that than on a white sandy beach.
Pregnant women, if you're debating whether or not to take a trip -- a babymoon -- do it. Book the trip. It doesn't have to be a two-week-long Mediterranean getaway; a weekend a few hours away will suffice. And when you're there, take lots of photos. Your sweet children will love to see what you looked like before they came around. And you will, too.
Did you take a babymoon?
Image via pixydust8605/Flickr