Our parents live locally. We get along very well with our parents. Our parents get along with each other. Our parents help us however they can, especially when it comes to Dominic.
My mother babysits (for free!) two days a week so we can save money on childcare. My mother-in-law will come over after work to babysit whenever I ask, even if it means she won't get home until after 11 on a work night. My dad is always willing to take a vacation day to babysit, or move conference calls during nap time so he can babysit while Dom plays in the living room while working from home. My father-in-law uses vacation time to take long weekends in May where he babysits on his vacation day.
Dominic absolutely loves spending time with Mimi/Pa or Nana/Pa.
They are all awesome. And I think they see Dennis and I both working full time while trying to rock the parenting thing. Being a music teacher, I have concerts, music festivals, etc. that require me to be working evenings or weekends. The hours can get a little whacked.
This month, each set of grandparents have taken a little "vacation time" and requested to have Dominic for a few nights. My folks took him Columbus Day weekend - they went to the fair and had an awesome time in the white mountains. My in-laws just took him the end of this week - they jumped in leaf piles and visited the pumpkin patch.
Both of these visits have been a little different for Dennis and I. Dom wasn't away because we were working late or away from home for some reason. Usually when he does an overnight it's because we're going to a wedding, or I have a concert and Dennis is working late. We're usually occupied elsewhere, so the babysitting is necessary (and appreciated). These last two visits were different, though. We got time at home, just the two of us.
Here are some of the things we did with our child-free time:
- Slept past 8am
- Saw The Martian at a theatre where the seats recline, you can order a burger, and drink a pitcher of beer (we did all three)
- Spent the day at Screamfest at Canobie Lake Park riding roller coasters and eating fried dough (even medicated, we can't handle those rides like we did as teenagers) (also, this was our 10 year anniversary gift to ourselves... we went to Canobie for our 6-month anniversary back in high school!)
- Had full-volume conversations while getting ready for bed
- Got take-out and fell asleep on the couch by 7pm
- Went to Target in the middle of the day (usually this is a solo activity because someone needs to be home during naptime)
Both times, we've been pretty excited for Dominic to come home. He's a great kid and we love being parents. But these mental breaks have been glorious.
It's the little things.
I came to realize there are two luxury things that happen when Dominic is away.
- I come home from work to an empty house. I'm almost always home before Dennis. I really like the quiet house. I unpack my things, put on my PJs, and just curl up with a book. The sun is streaming through the front door.
- After sleeping until 8am, I can read with my feet up while drinking my coffee. It's been cool in the mornings, so I have the pellet stove going. Sometimes I'm under a blanket. I'm getting this back a little now that Dominic is getting older. He will play while I read. But I definitely can't catch up on blogs and stuff on my computer. The keyboard is way too tempting for 3-year-old fingers.
In summary. Our parents rock. I'm well rested. I'm excited for Dominic to come home in a couple hours. I like a quiet house.
Parents - what do you see as luxury activities when your little ones are away?