Why Everyone Should Take a Babymoon

Love not having to suck it in! First, let me say I hate the term "babymoon" almost as much as the words "push present" and "playdate." But they're a part of the new parenting lexicon, and as much as the name babymoon creeps me out, the concept is pretty damn great. For anyone in the dark: it's a pre-birth getaway for a mother-and-father-to-be, to reconnect and relax before becoming parents. Well, my husband and I have been parents for over six years—I'm due with our third in a month—but we still took a little babymoon over the weekend and it was fabulous.

Before having Alex, our first, we flew to the One and Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas for four nights. That was legit. But it was also before we had a mortgage and two car payments and, oh yeah, two other kids. Something on that scale was not in the cards (or the budget) this time. Before having Nora, we did not go away. It was right after the holidays and we had all those things listed above to worry about. And honestly, it wasn't even on our radar. But this time—with our third and final impending birth—we opted to get out of dodge for a couple days because, frankly, we needed it.

At an LLS fundraiser a few months ago, I won a two-night stay to a nice hotel in Westhampton, a beach town only about an hour from where we live on Long Island. As soon as I got the certificate, I knew we'd use it for a pre-baby, mini vacay. We chose to wait until after the craziness of summer subsided, so we could really enjoy it. And we happened to pick a glorious weekend where the temperatures soared to almost 80 degrees. Our kids stayed with my parents, so they got a special getaway too (lots of playtime with their cousins, lots of ice cream, etc.) and we didn't have to stress about their well being at all. We were gone from noon on Friday until noon on Sunday—48 hours of kid-free, chore-free bliss. We didn't actually do much out there, but that's the beauty of being on the beach: just sitting in a lounge chair is activity enough.
We stayed on the beach till sunset both days...
We talked about names— still don't have one we love—we perused real estate magazines and fantasized about owning 20 million-dollar homes on the water, we took long walks on the beach and we talked about life. We did make a list of the things we have to do in the next four weeks to get ready for this baby (a lot) but we did it while lying on beach chairs listening to the Atlantic crash against the sand. So it wasn't even remotely anxiety-inducing. Nick swam in the ocean (about 62 degrees) and I swam laps in the pool (about 82 degrees). We ate phenomenal food at this restaurant (Starr Boggs, it was so good Friday night, we went back Saturday night!). And we walked around the cute little town of Westhampton. The only thing I bought: some chocolates from a little candy shop. Oh, and pastries from Beach Bakery Cafe, including the most insanely delicious chocolate-drizzled, Boston-crème crossaint. YUM. We also watched Tennessee, our alma mater, lose to Georgia in overtime (boo) but, well, as a Vol fan you come to expect these things so we got over it pretty quickly.
To. Die. For.
Most importantly, we sat still. We relaxed. We rested. Things we rarely do. Our days and particularly our weekends are spent in motion. We have soccer games and kids stuff, sure, but more than that, we're just antsy people who constantly feel the need to be working and cleaning and organizing and updating and doing and improving. (It drives my sisters nuts.) But when you're staying at a hotel on the beach and you're away from all your obligations, you can sit and read an entire magazine because there isn't anything else calling you.
Lounging by the pool I read Edible Long Island cover to cover. You can fall asleep curled up on a chaise listening to the waves crash around you (did that too-amazing!). And you can stay in bed 'till 9 a.m. (check!). In other words, we were kind of lazy and we loved it. That time to just rest our minds and bodies was so important, especially as we're gearing up for the chaos that will likely reign in our lives come November 9.
The site of my nap...
As I've written before, maintaining a healthy relationship with my husband is tops on my list of priorities. If he and I don't work, none of it works. And having a good marriage ultimately makes me a better mother, so I never feel guilty going on date nights (another term I hate, but a concept I love) or little getaways like this. It's essential if you ask me. When you've got two little kids and one very big belly, it's easy to back burner the very relationship that's central to it all. We are occasionally guilty of that and this weekend was a chance to reconnect and remind ourselves why we're here in the first place and how much good we have in our lives. Also, to rally each other (and get really excited for) what lies ahead.
We look excited, right?
Bottom line: I'm so grateful we were able to get away. Both of our jobs have been very stressful lately, so we really needed the break. And I'm so lucky to have my family nearby (it's why we moved out of the city years ago) to help out. So, did you take a babymoon? Would you? What about with your second or third? Even if you can only get away for a night, it's so worth it!