Why my hubby and I will NOT be romantic for our ten-year anniversary

So you might notice something this summer. You might notice that we’re taking TWO big vacations. It’s NOT because we’ve made a lot of money this year. And it’s NOT because I’m a blogger and they’re giving us shit for free. And it’s NOT because we’ve come into some inheritance or something. Nope. I wish.

This is why.

Ten years ago my hubby and I got married. And our friends kept saying stuff to us like…

FRIEND: You should go on a vacation together. 

ANOTHER FRIEND: Oooh, you should go somewhere romantic.

ANOTHER: You should go back to where you had your honeymoon.

And we felt pressured to do something. But every time we threw out a suggestion about where we should go, we weren’t 100% excited. Because something was missing.


Don’t get me wrong, my hubby and I are still romantic and we try to go on date nights and stuff, but we love our kids. And we love hanging out with them. And they still want to hang out with us. I mean I hope they’ll always want to, but I know there’ll be a time when they’d rather go on spring break with their friends, or go to sleepover camp, or backpack across Europe. And then we’ll have plenty of time to spend just the two of us.

I could have asked for expensive jewelry. He could have asked for a new TV. We could have booked a romantic getaway together for our ten-year anniversary. And there’s nothing wrong with these things. They’re perfect for some couples. But we both wanted something else. I wanted a trip to Disney World. He wanted a trip to Maine. So for our ten-year anniversary we gifted each other family vacations. 

Cramming a family of four into a small hotel room, sharing beds, and whispering after the kids go to sleep so we don’t wake them up might not sound very romantic to some people, but it’s exactly where we want to be right now.

And maybe if we’re super quiet, we’ll even be able to fit in a little romance when the kids aren’t looking. If we’re not too tired from having so much fun during the day. 

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There are 26 comments for this article
  1. Amie Poole at 9:29 am

    I feel the same way. The worry that we feel when we’re away from our kids cancels out the romance of being alone. My kids are not always treasures, but better the devils you know!

  2. Chris at 9:34 am

    Very cool. My wife and I just made year 9, and we know exactly how you feel. At this point in life, it would seem weird to go on a vacation without our kids (7 and 4). “Society” might view that as odd, or even unhealthy. But we view it through a lens that we’ve created something special. The four of us actually love hanging out together!
    Happy Anniversary and enjoy the wonderful memories you create on your trips!

    • BabySideburns at 9:41 am

      Exactly Chris!! I hate that people think that it’s unhealthy. I feel like the window we have to spend with our children is so small and we want to take advantage of it.

  3. CAROLINE I GODWIN at 9:49 am

    We celebrated our 10th anniversary this year too! and we went on an all-inclusive family vacation in Cancun, to a Club Med resort which is known worldwide for their childcare! And my 6 year old had a blast at kids club and barely wanted to come back to us at the end of the day, and my 2 year old had a lot of fun and even went kayaking, without us! And husband and I had alone time with cocktails on the beach, and we also had awesome family time and did our family portraits there on the beach! Win-Win for everyone! Happy 10th!

  4. Vicki Brooks at 9:49 am

    Happy Anniversary!! We’re empty nesters now and I miss family things together. But it is nice for me and hubby to hang out and get reacquainted also. I can honestly say I married my best friend and can’t imagine any other partner. We’ll celebrate 30 this coming May.

  5. Amanda at 10:07 am

    We did the same for our ten year anniversary, but this year is #15, and we’re taking a just us trip to Canada, and I cannot WAIT. [My daughter is Zoey’s age.] I adore taking family trips together but my husband’s and my idea of a dream trip is hiking in a gorgeous remote locale, which causes my kid to do nothing but complain. Hers is Disney World. At this point, she’s been to Disney 7 times, and it’s mom and dad’s turn : ) After we fully explained the Canadian trip to her, she is choosing to hang with her grandparents instead!

    • BabySideburns at 10:15 am

      Hahaha, I’m getting ready to hear the complaining in Maine!! We’re going to attempt to do our favorite hikes with them… and I’m bringing lots of candy to bribe them up the mountain 🙂 Hiking in Canada sounds HEAVENLY!!!! Hope it’s an amazing vacation!

  6. Shawnie at 10:12 am

    Congratulations on 10 years, and you look beautiful in that stunning wedding dress 🙂 We are dealing with this now. Pressure to go away next year for our 10th, and even an offer from my sister, in another state, to keep the kids (which is very nice of her). I’m actually into going away, but my hubs just doesn’t want to be away from the kiddos. It’s one of the reasons I love him.

  7. Veronica at 10:13 am

    We did the same thing! Our 10 year was last September and my husband turned 40 in October. We went to Disney World in December for the same reasons as you did. We wanted our kids to be with us. As much as they drive us crazy daily, we couldn’t not take them with us. Wherever we decided to go

  8. Jennifer Lenander at 10:39 am

    Amen! I couldn’t agree more. My friends think I’m crazy that I refuse to go on a vacation without my child. I think they are crazy that they leave their kids with grandparents several weeks a year. Yeah, my vacations aren’t as relaxing as they used to be. But the memories we create as a family are so worth it.

    Karen – thanks so much for this post. I really needed to know I’m not alone on this!

  9. Sue Fenick at 11:41 am

    Happy Anniversary! We’ve been married almost 18 years, and all of our vacations have been family ones so far. When we go to Hawaii with the rest of my family, however, we get some hours to ourselves.

  10. Heather at 12:04 pm

    Happy anniversary. We just celebrated 12 years. And by celebrate I mean he did yard work and I did laundry. When we first got married and our one year happened we celebrated and went to dinner, but after 12 years we have a house and kids. So much more to celebrare ❤️

  11. Kim McCarthy at 12:09 pm

    My husband and i leave tomorrow for a trip to mexico to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. You’re making me feel bad that I’m excited to be away from my kids. Is this wrong? I’m justifying it because my kids are 2 and 4 and as a preschool teacher and stay at home mom, my kids are attached to me. No exaggeration every waking moment we’re together. I even work at their school. So the thought of not cleaning for 4 day’s (all we could afford) and someone else bringing me water instead of me being the waitress all day, sounds like heaven. I’m hoping the break from them, since I’ve never had one since they were born, will make me a more patient mom. Idk. Well happy anniversary. You rock baby sideburns!

    • Lindsay at 2:28 pm

      I appreciate your comment, because I am currently on my 10 year anniversary trip with my husband in Mexico 🙂 my kids are in camp during the day, and being looked after my very capable in-laws at night. I am an exhausted mother of three, 2,4,6. We needed a vacation, not a trip, a relaxing vacation that will rejuvenate me for a new school year! I need to read a book in peace and love on my husband. I need to eat delicious food and sleep in. I miss my kids by the minute, but know there tired mama will be better for it! Don’t feel bad, you deserve it! Enjoy!! Happy 10!

  12. Lisa at 12:10 pm

    We feel exactly the same way. On our 10th we went on vacation to Niagara Falls and stayed at Great Wolf Lodge and brought my son. I got the same crap: ‘Why don’t you go someplace romantic just the two of you?’

    Because we were together for many years before we decided to have children and we had plenty of ‘just the two of us’ before my son. Since we started so late, having children didn’t come easy. We feel so lucky to have my son and I wouldn’t want to leave him behind. As it is now, if he goes away to college, we only have seven years potentially before the alone-time again. It’s going by fast and I want as much time with him as possible.

    People mean well, but they also need to understand what is good for one couple isn’t good for another!

    Happy Anniversary and enjoy your family time!

  13. Brooke at 12:40 pm

    Our 10 year is this year and we are heading out without the kiddos. We traveled to Germany last year for a business trip without them and decided that we wanted to do it again for our anniversary. We give 100% to the kids every other day of the year, we need a week to just give 100% to each other. Our relationship gets pushed to the back burner so many times, we need to make it a priority every now and then. Those kiddos will be there when we get back and some day they will walk out the door without a second glance. It is so important that our relationship is strong enough that we will have something left to talk about when they leave. Congrats to you guys on making it 10 years. That’s no small task.

  14. Jay Van at 12:46 pm

    Happy 10 years! Our 10 year anniversary is in February and I think we are going to take a family vacation (mother and mother-in-law too) to Disney!!

  15. Danielle at 2:28 pm

    Well, I definitely burst out in tears as soon as I saw the picture of your children. We just celebrated three years and never went on a honeymoon because we bought our first home and paid for our wedding in the same year. My son has become such a part of US and who we are now because right after the wedding we found out I was pregnant with him. Beautiful post!

  16. PirateJenny at 3:01 pm

    Happy Anniversary!! We had our 10th anniversary last year and dropped the kids at my mom’s and went to Nashville. It was a total blast and such a treat to be together just the two of us. I would never judge you for wanting to take a trip with the kids, but personally I feel zero guilt about ditching them for a long weekend to have some couple time! The kids get us the other 362 days of the year! I’m with you, Kim and Brooke!

  17. Karen Smith at 7:19 pm

    We are going on 30 years in January…and our 26 and 24 year old still go on most of our vacays…at this moment we are in Mammoth Ca. for the week and we’ve already hit 2 brewerys….it’s fun to be able to party with your kids!

  18. Val S at 11:02 am

    There will come a day when they want to be off with friends more than their parents and so I can affirm you are doing exactly the right thing for this time in your lives! Happy Anniversary!

  19. Debra at 5:41 am

    The first time we took our adult kids and grandkids (10 of us) to Disney I had a friend say ‘you two could have gone around the world for that price’. We didn’t want to go around the world. We wanted to vacation with the family! In the last 5 years (since I retired) we’ve been to Disney 2 times, on a Disney Cruise and had 4 week long vacations to the beach with all of us. Fortunately we have time and money to do other things, just us, but if we would give up other trips for the family time. Our 4 granddaughters are growing up fast and we don’t want to miss it!

  20. Nicki at 6:39 am

    So nice to hear we aren’t the only ones who don’t want to be away from our kids. We have several friends who take vacations without their kids and tell us to do the same, and we’ve never understood it. They grow up so fast!! We only have 10 years left!

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