Before we had our first baby, Jake and I decided to take a babymoon. If you aren’t familiar with this term, it’s a vacation that parents-to-be take before the baby is born. At the time, it just sounded like a fun idea, since obviously we had NO clue what we were in for. That trip ended up being amazing in so many ways. It seemed that we had been so busy preparing for the baby that even then we had started to take the focus off of our marriage and onto our sweet baby boy. Having a week to lay in the sun, forget about work, nursery decorating, and all other normal responsibilities gave us time to connect, talk, and just be us. We returned refreshed and ready to embark on the journey of parenthood we’d start a couple months later.
Before the twins were born, we took another babymoon, this time piggybacking it onto a work trip for Jake that I happened to be invited to. It was the first time we’d been away from Baylen for more than a night, and it was so hard. It was great to be with Jake, but difficult leaving a piece of our heart back home. I ended up talking about Bay a little too much. Toward the end of the trip we made a pact to limit the amount we talked about him so that we’d actually focus more time on each other. It was completely necessary and I’m so thankful we had that time before our world would change forever jumping from one baby to three.
When we found out I was pregnant this time, we immediately started conversations about when we’d take our babymoon. Perhaps the most important lesson we’ve learned over the past year and a half is how important it is to prioritize our marriage during parenthood. It sounds so cliche, but when we’re happy, our kids are happy. When we’re connected and on the same page, our kids feel secure. And the truth is, that doesn’t just happen. Their immediate needs often take precedence over “our time” and if we don’t intentionally schedule date nights and little getaways, before we know it we barely know each other anymore.
Last week we took our third babymoon. Yes, we missed our kids like CRAZY. But my goodness was it a treat to spend consolidated time with the man I love. There was time to look him in the eyes for longer than 30 seconds and remember why we fell in love in the first place. There was lots of flirting and hand holding, and sleeping. Lots and lots of sleeping and napping whenever we wanted. And of course some little squabbles along the way as we adjusted to what it was like to interact with just the two of us. I found that I’m so used to leading our kids throughout the day and being in charge, that submitting and trusting Jake’s lead took a little extra work. In a way it sort of felt like a honeymoon again, rediscovering each other in a whole new way. We had great conversations that went beyond our children, and spent time just enjoying the blessing it is to do life together.
We had time to pause and get out of the trenches of everyday life long enough to reflect and remember how blessed we are to have made it through the baby stage with three healthy kids. Life with little kids feels like a constant whirlwind most of the time, so it was so good for us to be still.
If you’re going to be parents for the first, second, third, or tenth time, I can’t recommend a babymoon enough. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive. We’re lucky enough to have lots of hotel points from the travel Jake does for work, so we capitalize on those. Maybe you have family friends who own a lake home, or maybe there’s somewhere local you could go for a staycation. Be creative, but I promise it will be worth every bit of sacrifice. Having the chance to get out of your normal routine and “just be” with the one you love is a beautiful gift you can give to your baby, who will soon take up so much of your attention.
Here are a few highlights from our babymoon! We flew into Boston, drove out to Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend, then spent a couple days in Boston, and a few days in New York City.
The only way to get to Martha’s Vineyard is via ferry or boat. Here we are exiting the ferry onto the island! We stayed at the Dockside Inn in Oaks Bluff. It was an adorable place across the street from the pier with lots of great restaurants within walking distance. We’d definitely stay there again. The food on the island was fabulous. Lots of fresh seafood and ice cream on every corner. The first night we were there we were, a local tipped us off about a place called Backdoor Donuts. It’s a bakery in Oaks Bluff that opens late night and while they’re making donuts for the next morning, they sell the fresh ones hot off the press. This was THE BEST apple fritter I’ve ever tasted. It was the size of my face! Martha’s Vineyard was gorgeous. Everywhere we looked we were taking in some of the most picturesque views imaginable. We explored the entire island while we were there. It consists of three main towns: Oaks Bluff, Edgartown, and Vineyard Haven. It’s only about 85 square miles, and everything is accessible by public bus rides.One of the many things we loved about the island is that there wasn’t a chain restaurant to be found. The towns were dotted with quaint cafes with unique items on the menu. My favorite place we went for breakfast was a little place called The Art Cliff Diner in Vineyard Haven. My favorite town to walk through was Edgartown. It was exactly what you’d think of when you think cape cod. Gorgeous homes and an adorable downtown area with high end boutiques. I could get used to this view every morning. We also made the trek out to the far southwest corner of the island that’s filled with acres of trees which hide the homes of billionaires. At the very tip there are these breathtaking cliffs. It was tough leaving Martha’s, but thankfully we still had much of our journey to look forward to. We headed back to Boston where we spent the next two nights. We really just had one full day in Boston, so we seized the day. We started by taking a tour of Samuel Adams Brewery which was a lot of fun. More fun for Jake, who actually got to sample the beers. Then we headed downtown, did a little shopping for Red Sox gear, and went on a Duck Tour of Boston. This one one of my favorite things we did. We were able to see the important highlights of the whole city in about 80 minutes from both land and water. That night, even though they were playing the Twins, we became Red Sox fans for a night and embraced our first experience at Fenway Park. It was a memorable atmosphere and evening, enjoying baseball in the most picture perfect weather we could have wished for. Early the next morning we hopped on the Amtrak bound for New York City. We landed in Times Square just in time for lunch and an afternoon of exploring. We hung around Times Square for most of our trip, enjoying amazing food and shopping. We came out fairly empty handed on the shopping front. Being 7 months pregnant with my last baby deterred me from buying many maternity clothes. I’m holding out for a day soon when I’ll be able to fit in regular sizes again! Nonetheless, window shopping on 5th Ave is always fun. One morning we woke up early and were in the live Good Morning America audience. I was so excited about this. I have it on almost every morning while I feed the kids breakfast. It makes me feel like I still have a clue what’s going on in the world when most of my world revolves around my little people. We got there around 5:45 and surprisingly were the first people there! I guess it paid off because we were on camera! Fun stuff for small town folk!
We ventured to lower Manhattan one afternoon to visit the 9/11 memorial that opened a few months ago. It was humbling and neat to see.The last night we ate at a Tuscan restaurant. It was quiet and romantic and we talked the night away. The food was to die for. I even enjoyed a half glass of wine. The waiter told me it was good medicine. I didn’t take much convincing. More than anything, my favorite thing about our trip was spending time with this handsome guy. I’m so thankful God paired me with this wonderful man and am excited for all that adventures that are in store for us as a family of six.
Have you taken a babymoon? What would you say to parents to be who are thinking about taking one?
P.S. A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you goes out to my parents who took care of our kids while we were gone! We are so blessed by their generosity!