How Guilt Ruined Our Romantic Vacation

cute baby in suitcase

Like many parents, guilt and obligation threw a wrench into our romantic vacation plans.

The kids are back at school, the leaves are starting to turn and fall, the blow-up pool's been packed away for another year. Summer is unofficially over.

As far as summers go, I really can't complain: There were plenty of water fights, backyard BBQs, mornings spent digging up slimy, hidden treasures at the beach. The kids had a blast, and so did we—even though it wasn't exactly the kind of fun my husband and I had in mind.

We started the year with one goal in mind: A grown-up vacation, without our two daughters. No deadlines, no early morning wake-ups, no dirty diapers or time-out chairs. We planned to go to New York, the same place we'd honeymooned almost a decade ago. I live and breathe my little girls, but I have to admit that hotel bath robes and late night bottles of wine sounded like a little slice of heaven. 8 Reasons Travel Is Good For Your Relationship (That Prove You Need A Vacation ASAP!)

It's nice to know that my husband and I aren't the only parents in search of some time away from our sticky little cherubs: According to a recent survey, 64% of moms and dads reported taking a vacation without the kids. Of course, that time away comes at a hefty price: G U I L T. Of the parents that took a holiday without their children, a full 46% felt bad about it (though it's interesting to note that over half of moms felt guilty while just over a third of dads did).

In my case, the traces of guilt set in long before the plane ever took off—without us on it. By June our plans had changed from 5 days in NYC to 3 days in San Francisco because we didn't want to disrupt the summer camp that our oldest daughter was so looking forward to. Can you imagine the guilt?

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