It’s here – finally here. Grandmas booked, food in the fridge, emergency phone numbers next to phone and bags are packed. It’s your first trip away together as a couple without the kids since you can remember. You can put up with it all – the yelling, the screaming, the tears and tantrums as long as there is a kid free holiday on the horizon. An informal survey of my friends with kids reveals that the majority wish they could have time away from their children, to reconnect with each other, to go 2 days in a row without baby vomit on clothes, to sleep alone with their partner and have no midnight visitor tiptoeing into the bed. It’s not a bad thing to admit it – sometimes you do miss them when they’re not around but wouldn’t it be nice to miss them when YOU’RE not around. So the excitement builds, the day is drawing near, sexy underwear is dug out of the back of the cupboard. The plans are romantic destination in a luxurious hotel, champagne pre ordered and chilling in the ice bucket waiting for you – so what could go wrong?
Well you had to ask – quite a few things actually. Here are five possible pitfalls that a couple may face and solutions to help you avoid them, hopefully.
- Too much of a good thing:
You planned this holiday to spend romantic time together, alone, just the two of you. What you didn’t expect was how much all that togetherness would end up annoying you. Space people – we all need some personal space. Plan for a little alone time on your break. Lie by the pool by yourself, go to the spa, have a massage, do some activity. You need enough space to miss your other half. It’s a chance for some time to do and see the things alone that s/he has no interest in but you enjoy. Then come back refreshed and relaxed to your partner.
- Sexual expectations:
There’s a lot of pressure to make the most of that expensive hotel room with no invasions from the little people in your life however these pressures may do more harm than good for your libido. Let’s face it, the first night alone you’ll probably either want to sleep uninterrupted or you’ll wake up every 5 minutes because it’s “too quiet.” Other downfalls are not getting things…um… er… up. It’s been a while alone so don’t rush things – try cuddles, massage or just being together. It’s not a “second honeymoon” or the Bonking Olympics; it’s just time with your loved one.
- Opposing ideas of ‘holiday’ activities:
You want to sleep or play golf on the resort; she wants to shop and lazy around the pool. You want an action packed holiday; she’s hanging out for massages and a good book. Compromise. Don’t try and play social director by monopolising the trip with your personal activities. There are two of you on holidays so compromise and keep point 1 in mind. Plan for joint activities together but I recommended trying a few things from your partner’s wish list – after all you might enjoy an avocado facial and she may really get into wind surfing.
- The unexpected:
Travelling will always bring its share of logistical nightmares, lost passports, forgetting the sunscreen, missing the last ferry. Expect the unexpected but take comfort in knowing the worst disasters make the best dinner time stories. Keep your sense of humour and adventure. If you hadn’t missed that connecting flight you wouldn’t have been bumped up to first class. If you hadn’t been caught in that sudden rain you wouldn’t have seen that double rainbow. If you hadn’t walked back to the hotel after missing that last bus you wouldn’t have had a long conversation with your partner, learning new things about them, making you fall in love all over again.
- What will we talk about?
Do you dream of holding an uninterrupted conversation with your partner with no bleeding finger to attend to, no fight over the TV remote or having to remove play doh from someone’s little nose? Do you fantasise about the nights you two would stay up all night talking like in the early days of your courtship? Did you try the “no talking about the children while we are on holidays” rule? Bwa ha ha! Amateurs! You got to understand, you’re parents now. Talking about your offspring is expected. Staying up all night is exhausting and you might find yourself missing those interruptions that might have diverted the attentions of your partner on some perceived fault or misbehaviour of yours!
It might take a day or even longer to have an “adult” conversation – a real conversation. You’ll need to connect with your partner but the more you push it the more uncomfortable it might be, so relax. Talking is just one of the ways you can communicate with each other. Gazing into each other’s eyes over a candle light dinner is lovely, dancing to slow music in your room is using “body language” and just holding hands in a public place can communicate so much.
NZ Dads decided that we would take one of these such holidays. We were lucky enough to have family staying with us for a family wedding so we took advantage of the opportunity. We stayed at the most amazing place called Ogrady Lodge, which is about 30 minutes north of Auckland. The lodge was incredible, the hosts catered to every need and were very hospitable. If you live in the Auckland area, of are heading up for a break away from the kids, we would highly recommend Ogrady’s Lodge, and make sure you try the muesli for breakfast! It is the best. Click here for details.
Have a lovely holiday, recharge the romance batteries and enjoy yourselves.