The thought of sleeping in, sunning on the beach and drinking as many cocktails as I can in the span of seven days used to be the definition of the perfect vacation.
However, since having children, that definition has changed and the time I once treasured for myself, I now dedicate to my kids and ensuring no matter what we are doing, they are having fun.
Regardless, parents need vacations too and in the very near future my husband and I will be taking a much-needed vacation of our own.
I would be lying if I said I was not excited about trading in my parka for a bathing suit, but I would also be lying if I said I had no anxiety about leaving my babies for a week.
Although I know I could not be leaving them in better hands, as any parent knows, there are a million other thoughts and scenarios that run through your head when you are not the one caring for your children.
I have left my children before, however for one reason or another, this time seems to be a little more difficult.
In fact, as my children get older, whether I am leaving them for the night, dropping them off at daycare or sending them off for a play date, it seems to get more difficult each and every time.
One, because my daughter is getting to an age where she knows what she wants and is willing to put up a bit of a fight to get it and two, because I think I have underlying guilt about not being with them as much as I can.
In a time when double income families are the norm, I think the guilt of not spending enough time with ones children tends to weigh heavy on many parent's shoulders.
Toss a vacation onto that pile and you have many parents talking themselves out of a couple's retreat and instead going for the family vacay - and trust me, we were torn on what to do ourselves. However, we decided that although taking the time for ourselves, our relationship and our sanity may seem selfish to some, in the end not only would it benefit our family as a whole, but strengthen us as a couple.
Like many couples I know, we too get so caught up in our day-to-day lives and forget to take time to just be together.
Sure we go out, but with other couples. When the kids go to bed, we take advantage of that time to get done whatever is leftover from our day and by the time we go to bed, it's a "good-night and I love you," and off to sleep we go.
Life is busy, kids keep you on your toes and time seems to pass in the blink of an eye. Although I recognize the importance of and do everything I can to make sure our children receive the majority of the time we have to give, I now realize it is equally important to balance our time and save some for each other.
As our departure date draws nearer and I think about saying good-bye, if only for a week, I am sadden by the reaction I am expecting to get.
But that's the kicker - what I expect may not be what I get. Because I am leaving my dynamic duo in the capable, loving hands of their grandparents, the sadness I am expecting, may be overshadowed by their excitement to be with "Gams and Papa."
Nevertheless, I know when I was a kid and my parents went away, there wasn't an ill thought I can recall - after all, when they returned, I was showered with gifts, had two refreshed parents to contend with and a clean slate to once again muck up. As excited as I am to go, I know I will be even more excited to get home and that is a wonderful feeling.
Lyndsay McCready can be reached at 306-691-1263 or follow her on Twitter @Newsielou