Sponsored By

Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine, Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

Prior to having a baby, my husband and I traveled frequently. Both for work and for pleasure, together and apart. In the time that we have known each other, we have been to France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Bali, China, and Japan. We pack light and travel around as opposed to staying in one place. We like to walk the streets of new cities, soak up foreign cultures, and sample the local cuisines. We have our airport routine down to a science and we don't blink an eye at an 18 hour flight.

Last week, my husband told me he wanted to plan a trip. Exploring the temples of Cambodia? Finding the perfect fishing village along the coast of Portugal? Nope. He wants to go somewhere easy to get to and stay in a hotel we don't have to leave. OK. Anything else? It has to be someplace warm and his only agenda is that we relax. What about the baby? I don't think we should take the baby. Oh. I let that sink in.

Mazzy was born at the beginning of December 2009. Since then I have gone on one ten day business trip to Vancouver but I took the baby with me. (I took my mother too). My husband has been away a few times for business and one time for a four day golf trip with friends (which, mark my words, will not happen again until Mazzy can fend for herself). But I, for the better part of a year, have not spent even one night away from our baby girl. And the longer I go without leaving her side, the harder it is to imagine.

We had always thought that we would be the kind of parents that wouldn't think twice about taking the baby with us on one of our adventures. We'd have her travel bag ready to go, a system in place for hassle-free baby transport, and a child that would learn to love the experience of life away from the comfort of home. But after taking Mazzy on several short weekend trips this past summer, one thing has become clear. The baby does not share our traveling gene. If we all have to share a room, she will scream and cry because she's smart enough to know we are lying right there next to her available for play. If we stay at a friend's house, she knows that we won't let her cry it out because we fear never being invited back. In both cases, I am left with no choice but to pick her up and hold her until morning, as she stares at me with confused saucer sized eyes and exasperated tears streaming down her tiny lttle face. If she could talk, she would be asking, "WHY ARE WE HERE???" If she finally does do me the favor of falling back asleep, she'll do it in our bed, sprawled out in such a way that I have no choice but to sit on the edge, wide awake, making sure she doesn't fall off. And if I happen to summon up the nerve to try and move her back to the Pack 'n Play, she will wake up instantaneously and FREAK THE HELL OUT. Then we spend the whole next day bleary-eyed and exhausted, unable to enjoy ourselves, dreading bedtime because the same thing will happen all over again. We finally came to the conclusion that going away isn't worth it and opted to stay home.

But now my husband wants a trip. In January. Without the baby. On a beach. In one resort that we never have to leave. Doing absolutely nothing. And the last thing he wants to do is waste any baby-free vacation time on an overnight flight. And you know what? Once I confirmed with my mother that she's available for babysitting and I gave it a little bit of thought, I realized something. I am ridiculously in need of a vacation. And my husband's plan? It sounds fantastic.

Now anybody have any ideas where we should go? Somewhere that looks kinda like this…


Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.