Dosvidaniya Moskva! We’re just back from a pretty amazing holiday in Russia.
One of the best October school breaks you could imagine.
Made especially great because we left the kids behind in Scotland.
Lynn and I made a pact a while back that we would always make time to get away for a short break without the kids every year.
We reasoned that it’s important to have time together where we’re not just mum and dad.
It’s also very important to be able to go out for a night without remembering to bring the wet wipes and trainer toilet seat!
Balancing the demands of a young family with the other pressures of modern life is never easy.
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Add on top of that the unique challenges of raising monster girl, it’s crucial to find time as a couple without the kids.
Being there for each other and supporting through the hard times becomes even more important than under more ‘normal’ circumstances.
It basically comes down to prioritising the right things.
I’ve made a number of career decisions in the last five years that have been influenced by my desire to always be close to home so I can help out with the kids as much as possible.
Likewise, Lynn took the bold decision to change jobs to ensure she had the flexibility and balance to be able to provide Eilidh with the additional time and support that she needs.
You could very easily go through life focussing on the kids, basing all your decisions around them, forgetting what it was like before they came along.
Hence our pact to always get away without them. Love them as we do, holidays with the kids are just a different proposition.
Take for example getting through the airport as adults. Newspaper, glass of wine, grown-up conversation, another wine, maybe some food, but maybe not, depends how we feel.
Not once did I need to wipe Lynn’s nose, check if she needed to go to the toilet or carry her on my shoulders to run to the gate on time.
In Russia we slipped back into pre-kids life with ease. We strolled care-free through the streets of St Petersburg, rummaged around Soviet-era antique shops, ate amazing Jewish food and drank straight vodka just because we could.
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We laughed our heads off as we fumbled our way through security to board our overnight train making it with only minutes to spare.
In Moscow we were blown away by the sights, sounds and history and spent hours talking about anything and everything.
We pretty much squeezed six months of dates into five days without kids.
We came back shattered but recharged and refreshed, ready to take on the challenges that felt a bit overwhelming before we went away.
Needless to say Rory and Eilidh had a blast too. Being spoiled rotten for a week is no hardship.
They got to do all the things they aren’t normally allowed under mum and dad’s rules, so we all had a great time.
And the best thing about going away without the kids?
The size of the hugs they have waiting for you when you get home.