When I was just eleven years old, my sister had twins. As the baby of my family and a good younger sister, I made a mental note to not be outdone and twenty six years later had own set of twins. I even inadvertently (maybe) gave them the very same initials as my sister’s set! Anyway, my twin nieces are all grown up now with their own families and I am so excited because this is the day that one of those nieces, Catherine, joins Sesame Ellis. I mentioned in a post upon my return from America that I would adding a few more contributors to the Sesame Ellis family and I am starting with Catherine because she has so much to offer. Great photography, funny stories and a spirit made of gold… She is the mother of five children with three in heaven and two on earth. She finds beauty in spots so dark that others would struggle to find enough light to see anything. She loves coffee and tattoos and is my American Target shopping proxy. She will be bringing all things baby, USA and shopping plus much more. She is a great photographer and I am just really excited for you guys to get to know her. So to get started with just that, here is her first post detailing her recent No Kids vacation with her husband.
People would say, “I bet you’re going to miss the kids!” “Oh yes, soooooo mucccchhhhhh!” was my reply as I calculated the ratio of days to the number of sunscreen we needed to pack. “How are you going to be away from you kids for that long?” “I have no idea. It’s going to be soooooo haaaaaaaaard!” was my response as I contemplated black bikini or purple one-piece? Bump-it! Pack them both!!!
Sure. My husband and I would miss the kids. I’m a mom and he’s a dad. I miss my daughter when she’s at school. I miss my son when he’s taking a nap. However, we knew they were in good hands and it was 8 days, they would be home, happy, and safe when we got back-how happy and safe would our marriage be if we didn’t carve this time out? We were going on vacation, not moving zip codes and not telling our kids where we were moving. I really didn’t feel that guilty about it; and, here is why.
We have been married 2 years. In 2 years we have gotten married, found out we were pregnant, been pregnant, been put on pelvic rest (which is the doctors nice way of saying stay 16 feet from your wife at all times husband), given birth prematurely, buried a beautiful baby girl, gotten pregnant again, been on bed rest again, gone to countless doctors appointments, fought off labor for 32 weeks until our healthy (yet preemie) son was born, spent weeks going back and forth to the hospital to visit him while making sure the 7 year old was happy (an impossible task all on its own), brought home a preemie newborn son (who is healthy thank God), had a failed surgical procedure, had a hysterectomy (me not him), had complications from that hysterectomy that almost cost me my life, spent 3 weeks in the hospital, had numerous doctors appointments (did I forget to mention we were still on pelvic rest this entire time and had pretty much been on pelvic rest our ENTIRE marriage-like-literally).
You know that paper you sign before a surgery that says, “oh, there’s a 1% chance this may happen-never does-just sign it anyway and we will get you the great drugs in a minute” wavier. Whelp-it did and it cost me a good 6 months of my life healing. No fault of anyone it just happens when cutting and surgery are involved but let me tell you-it was a real bitch. I’ve never been that sick or that scared in my life, and I hope to never again. During this time though as you can imagine I had pretty much been a patient for most of our marriage. What was our marriage during those months? With all of that stress plus raising a newborn-oh and did I mention the crippling post partum depression that I went/am going through it was realllllllllly fun around these parts. We had no real alone time, no intimacy, a lot of fear, a lot of confusion, and a lot of loss. We needed something big and not just dinner and a movie.
We had just taken the kids to Disney World so its not like we skipped out on a family vacation, but to be honest, if we had, I would not of felt guilty about it. Mom and Dad needed this for the kid’s security as well. There was tension and the kids could feel it. We needed to learn how to be Husband and Wife again and if that means forgoing a family trip for a couples trip once in a blue moon I say do it-its important. Trust me-YOU WONT REGRET IT!
We decided to do an all-inclusive resort because it was easy peasy!! We chose the Hard Rock Rivera Maya in Mexico and I cannot say enough great things about this hotel. It was incredible! The Hard Rock Rivera Maya in particular had an amazing staff, so many restaurants to choose from, and people NO paying $15 for the bottle of water in your room. You just drink it FOR FREE!!! Ok free being a relative term because you already paid, but it sure as hell feels free when you are guzzling liquor from your fully stocked refreshments cabinet and not thinking twice about it! I personally had never done an all-inclusive resort before so this fact blew. my. mind.
Yes, I will have another drink….and another….and….well you get the picture…
The resort also had an adults only side and a family side. One side was Heaven the other side was Hacienda. Ill let you guess which side is adults only… (it was Heaven…). I have to admit I did not realize how relaxed I had actually gotten until one night we decided to go to Hacienda to eat dinner at one of their restaurants. We literally crossed a bridge from Heaven to Hacienda and as we crossed the bridge there they were: pool noodles and tweens with selfie sticks. I almost had a panic attack! The vibe was so completely different from one resort side to the other I almost got into the fetal position and told Kevin to please take me back to Heaven before I hear the word Minecraft. I am thankful to say I survived and the food was great but that was the one and only time made our way over to Hacienda-we decided Heaven was where we belonged for our vacation.
Our adult vacation included a few outings to Playa del Carmen, swimming with wild sea turtles, sleeping in “late” (7am IS late when you have a baby that’s up at 5:30am), going to the beach with one bag and no inflatable anything, eating at places that didn’t serve chicken tenders, enjoying a massage given by something other than size two feet, and not a dirty diaper in site! Did we miss the kids? Hell yes! I would guess that about every 20-30 minutes we brought them up in some way. When we got in the states we rushed home to get them; and, I am now working on getting their passports so we can stay at, gulp, Hacienda next time we go because we can’t imagine not taking them and their damn pool noodles next time.
However, on our COUPLES ONLY vacation did we leave with memories of why we married one another and made those vows after the toughest two years of our lives? You betcha! Did it improve our marriage and remind us of the honeymoon we never really had? I think so! Was it is worth missing our kids for a few short days? I would absolutely say YES! Plus, the swag we brought back helped relieve the guilt a little, too. 😉
Alec and I have only done one big trip away from the kids, but we do travel by ourselves at times while the other stays home. I feel like it is an important thing to do as a human, get some time to yourself and the kids, well, they learn to to miss us while safely being loved by other members of the family.
Check back next week to find out from Cat’s next post, what they brought back from Mexico that has not been the most wonderful souvenir… To see more of Cat’s wonderful photos, find her on Instagram!