What I learned from a weekend away without kids



I’ve just returned from the most luxurious, wonderful weekend away. It was a proper weekend away...

As in, a weekend away with my husband but without the kids. And boy, did I learn a lot in such a short time.

Words: Evelyn Lewin | Image: Grace Alyssa Kyo


1. You can get so much ‘nothing’ done by 9am

When I’m at home, 9am might as well be 9pm. By 9am I’ve usually achieved a myriad of tasks. Get kids up, dressed, fed, teeth brushed, dishes dealt with, bags packed… Oh my, I’m getting a headache just thinking about it. But while we were away we managed to sleep in (till 8am – which is definitely a sleep in nowadays); lie in bed, stretch, chat, drink coffee and still do nothing… all by 9am. Incredible, I know.


2. Nothing takes long when you’re child-free – and you don’t need to plan much either.

From a lazy, slow start, my husband and I would then have brekky and hit the town within about twenty minutes flat. I felt incredibly light as I zipped out the door with just my own bag, filled with just the things I might need, as opposed to lugging a bag laden with all the ‘just in case’ items my kids might need. So I might get hungry later? I could wait to eat; I didn’t need to pack myself a snack. Say I get thirsty? Ditto. As for having a bag full of spare clothes? Not necessary, considering my strike rate of getting food from my plate to my mouth is pretty darn high. It’s also so freeing to just waltz out the door when you’re ready to, rather than having to bicker with small children about the need to wear shoes/socks/underwear.


3. Your heart will ping every time you see another kid – or something that makes you think about your children (which is pretty much all the time)

Whenever I saw stuff my kids would like, my heart lurched. ‘Oh, my little one would love to pat that dog,’ I thought. Or, ‘I wish my son was here to see how cool those rocks are!’ And whenever I saw another child my heart pined for my own kids. Crazy, maybe. But true.


4. A day can go forever

I’m so used to looking at the hours in the day according to what needs to happen. Kids need to be out the door by 8.30am on a school day. My daughter needs to be at gymnastics by 2.30pm on the weekend. Dinner better be well underway by 5pm, or I’m going to have some mighty hungry little ones in a minute. But when you’re not on parent-mode, time becomes arbitrary. You can meander from one activity to the next, just doing what you feel like. And the day doesn’t need to draw to a close just because the sun is setting. In fact, some of the loveliest hours we spent simply watching the sun set as we meandered around.


5. I actually really like my husband

Okay, this one may seem obvious, but in the day to day-ness that is marriage with children, it’s sometimes hard to remember that the other parent is the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with. While I know I love my husband, spending a weekend away, just us, reminded me how much I like him as well.


6. A ‘dream break’ is not reality

While there was so much to enjoy and yes, I savoured every minute, I couldn’t believe how excited I was to head home again. Waking up in a hotel room is luxurious, but being woken by a bouncy three year-old who can’t stop giggling and saying ‘Love you mama’ is heaven. I must admit it took me a few days to adjust to ‘mum mode’ again; having to cook and clean, wake early and yawn my way through the day. (And yes, I have been daydreaming about clicking my fingers and somehow teleporting myself back to the hotel for just five more minutes.) It was a dream getaway but the truth is, I wouldn’t swap my reality for any kind of break. Even one that involves drinking hot coffee in bed at 9am.


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