A week ago, four urban women, two in their 30s and two in their early 40s, sat casually around a table sipping drinks, trading stories and laughs, and offering empathic nods and sighs every so often. Instead of sexy cocktails, our cups held lemon-infused iced teas or low-fat lattes. And rather than a hip downtown bar, our hot spot was a cute kids play café in Lincoln Park. While our little ones donned firefighter outfits and pretended to save lives, we talked about the heat, or lack thereof, in our relationships.
The conversation began when one mama happened to mention that she and her hubby planned to celebrate their 10-year anniversary with a trip abroad - and bring their young child along. When I expressed surprise that Jr. would be joining the fun, the other two moms echoed the sentiment that they too preferred a family vacation to a romantic rendezvous with their spouses.
Wow. Given the chance to spend a few R-rated days with their honeys, my gal pals would rather be frolicking around a foreign land with the kids? Once the surprise subsided, I have to admit that I felt a little bit guilty. Am I selfish for wanting some time alone with my spouse?
Listen, I get it. We've all been at the point in our relationships when a workout, leg wax, Facebook session, or nice long nap (ahhhh) trumps our desire for a bedroom romp. And I agree with my friends that now is the time to soak up every second with our little ones and rejoice in seeing the world through their eyes. With limited time for adventures, these years should be about creating fun, life-long memories together, as a family.
But how about some QT with our spouses, a few days without kids, deadlines, in-laws, bills, and all of the other distractions that make us forget why we fell in love in the first place? Sure, it's great to take those G-rated vacations with the tots. But even just a night or two alone with our honeys, whether there's Earth-shattering sex on the menu or not, is a great way to remember that life is more than spilled cheerios, the kiddie pool, and superheroes.
So, go on I dare you. Take a short vacation with your significant other. Just a weekend with no pressure to do anything other than enjoy each other's company. If you don't come back feeling a little more serene and a little more excited about your relationship, the next decaf, non-fat Intelligentsia latte (total yum) at Little Beans is on me.
Wendy Widom is CEO of Familes in the Loop (FITL), Chicago's hippest hub for parents and kids.
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