She Stays, He Goes: Everyone is Happier

Every year, Ben’s extended family take a five-hour car ride to Houghton Lake, Mich., for a week. They’ve been doing it for years — many more years than I’ve been part of the clan.

They stay in very basic, un-air conditioned cabins. And although I love board games, a boat ride, a good campfire and a s’more, I’m not a big fan of this trip. It’s hot. Really hot. It’s a lot of work just to get there (and let’s not even talk about the unpacking when we get home). You have to take your own toilet paper, and towels, and sheets. The mattresses are original (in a bad way). I have a baby and a toddler, both still in diapers.

So, knowing I would have a seven-month-old and a two-and-a-half-year-old this summer, I opted out of the trip very early. Ben wasn’t thrilled at first, but I was done, and I know myself enough to recognize it. Best. Decision. Ever.

Who knew that separate vacations were actually quite enjoyable? Sure, I miss Ben and Elias (who both love every minute of this trip), but everyone is much happier with me not there.

kid on swing

The one thing that I miss about going camping: seeing my little guy enjoy himself! This was him last year.

I’m happier, obviously, because I am taking care of my baby girl in the air conditioned comfort of my own (well, my in-law’s) home.

Ben is happier because he’s not spending the entire week trying to make me not be miserable, as I melt in the heat. (I am a fragile little flower, what can I say?) And bless his heart, he really did try. We even left early last year; my pregnant body just could not take another night.

You know that saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? It’s true.

Have you ever taken a vacation apart from your spouse? What was your experience like?


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