How Guilt Ruined Our Romantic Vacation

cute baby in suitcase

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

Fast forward to July and we'd revised our itinerary once again: Two days at a lake a half-day's drive away. Our 2-year-old had suddenly stopped sleeping through the night, and I didn't feel right about asking her grandma—our one and only sitter—to be up and down and up and down (and up and down) all night long with her. By the time August hit our romantic summer getaway consisted of a single afternoon together downtown. Don't get me wrong, it was a great afternoon—but so much for those bathrobes and bottles of wine.

Maybe I should follow blogger Rebecca Eckler's lead. The mom-of-two didn't let guilt—or the fact that she has a 10-week-old baby—stand in the way of a grown-up getaway to Mexico with her fiancé recently. She took plenty of heat from her readers for it, though. "Selfish," "lazy," "apathetic." These are just a few of the choice words that were thrown her way.

Personally, I don't think Ms. Eckler committed any great offense. I doubt that six days spent with grandma is going to do her baby any great harm. And as parenting experts so often point out, a little bit of alone time with your spouse can actually benefit the entire family. 5 Can't-Argue-With Reasons To Put Life On Hold For A Vacay With Bae

While I agree with that in theory, my own failed plans prove that it can be a whole lot harder to actually put into practice. It wasn't just the nagging guilt that kept us home this summer—it was also our busy schedules, our kids' busy schedules, our concerns about finances. As much as I would love to leave the chaos behind for a few days and enjoy a long and lazy weekend spent sightseeing and sleeping in with my husband, it seems there's no shortage of things just waiting to get in the way.

I'm not ready to throw the towel in just yet, though: I'm already daydreaming about a trip-for-two to Chicago next year... who knows, maybe this time we'll even manage to make it happen!

Have you and your partner vacationed without the kids? Do you feel guilty about it?