Thursday, July 9, 2009

Romantic Totaway

Reality #1 of having your first baby: your priorities change completely. For the most part, it is refreshing. Minor irritations at work dissipate when you come home to a snuggly baby or bouncing toddler waving to you as you approach the front door screaming "BOOO" (Miles language for "someone important I love has entered my sight."). Dinner time discussions (if you can steal some moments to compose full sentences amid breastfeeding while feeding yourself with your non-dominant hand, or retrieving tossed food or sippy cups) center on your child--what does he do that makes you smile, can you believe how cute his chewing is? Didn't he have a really great day? And you call your husband during the day to see if he has pooped, or when his naps are, or if they got in a walk. Life is measured in diaper laundry, gross motor skill milestones, baby food making, pumping (thank goodness not for me right now!), and dictated by nap schedules and the tolerance and attention span of a 14 month old.

And here's the thing--I love it. With all of our special challenges with Miles (and I know there will be more to come), his life has added a depth and richness to our lives that I am so grateful for.
In the same breath I need to mention that even as Miles focused as our lives have become, Eric and I have really attempted to continue and nurture our relationship--outside of being parents to Miles. In the beginning there were moments that we ended up having obligatory date nights due to activities scheduled during a time we assumed I would still be pregnant (e.g. being part of freinds' wedding), or just other responsibilities that forced us to get out of the house without Miles (Eric's school's fundraising night). I won't lie--I always had intense guilt leaving Miles and the first time we had a non-friend babysitter, I wrote out 6 pages of notes on how to care for our infant. (I still have them for historical purposes.) Luckily, now I am not quite as nervous (and we also have, hands down, the best roster of responsible babysitters). And although we still bring him with us to 90% of our activities, we do get "Eric and Ali time" at least once a month.
I don't want to look at Eric in 10 years, hell, in ONE year and think, "who are you?" Or more importantly, "who are WE as a couple? What happened to us?" In my heart, I believe that the first year of a child's life can really set the stage for how you are going to operate for years to come--if you don't make effort to re-establish and re-connect to your partner outside of the definition of being a parent, I think it just becomes harder and harder to maintain a strong partnership. You become so routinized in viewing life 100% of the time through the lens of being a parent...but with a little effort, you can redistribute at least 5% to the grooming and honoring of the two-way partnership that got you to parenthood! I know this may rub others the wrong way--how can you think about anything BUT your new child? Trust me, we spend almost ALL of our time thinking about, engaging with, etc. Miles. But my connection with Eric is precious to me, and I will do whatever it takes to respect that relationship--beyond the time we spend together when Miles is asleep. I want Miles to grow up in an environment where he sees that his parents sacrifice for him, but not at the expense of their partnership, and that we find ways to balance being present parents, and just as important, being present partners.
With Nana Nanny Deysher here for 5 weeks, we have been blessed with the opportunity to spend a lot more time with each other. We get to go to the gym together at night, and finally got to take a late night yoga class together this week. We even got to go grocery shopping together alone--it's the little things, people!

Despite the multitude of times Eric and I have gone out alone, two truths still remain:

1. We always end up talking about Miles a good portion of the time.

2. We haven't had a REAL vacation since 3 months before I got pregnant. We have traveled a good bit with Miles, but it has always been related to family visits, and we certainly have not vacationed without Miles.

So, due to a host of factors, we decided it was the best time to have our first Totaway. Okay, so it will only be 1 weekend away right outside of Atlanta, but just the tempting carrot dangling in my face of a full night's sleep without being woken up at 4:50am (like this morning) is utterly delicious. We'll be going to Historic Banning Mills for an Eco-tour--a tree-flight zip line canopy adventure! We will also Bed and Breakfast it up and make sure to cap one of the nights off with a nice dinner. Eric also has his real first bike race outside of Atlanta, which I'll go to, solo, and cheer him on. I won't lie--I am already thinking about whether or not Miles will sleep well for my mother, or how tempted I will be to call and see how well he fell asleep, or if he made it to 6am without waking up. But I am also excited to have a whole weekend with just Eric and me (and extraordinarily high zip lines).
Of course, the weekend will be bookended with a pool parties with Miles on both Friday and Sunday, so we'll feel good about leaving him on a good note, and then coming back on a good note.
So, here's to romantic dinners, zip lines and sleeping in...


  1. Ali,
    Thank you for this post.
    With such a largeafamily, I must admit that it's really hard to make time for just us.
    You have inspired me.

  2. Fantastic! I hope you have a blast!!! I went ziplining in costa rica and LOVED it!!

    yay for vacations, yay for nana deysher and yay for being such a great couple :)

  3. Happy couple=happy child. You shouldn't feel a bit of guilt. Have a great totaway!

  4. Yippy for a fun totaway!

  5. Wahoo!
    I'm really happy your are getting a nice weekend away. Looks like a wonderful place to retreat. Remeber, the ocean waves of Miami are always here for you too! I know a nice hotel :-)