My mother-in-law always preached the importance of time with your spouse and made sure that my husband Mark and I went out every couple of months. It was hard to get everything in place, be sure that all the phone numbers were listed and not feel guilty for going out and leaving the kids at home.
Once we got out, it was hard to unwind and not talk about the kids. I believe this is a normal parental reaction. But by the end of the evening, we were somewhat relaxed and rejuvenated…especially me. Arriving home, everyone was generally in bed and we were thankful.
However, the next day, there was hell to pay! It seemed that our absence the night before was the catalyst for increased behavior and neediness. We started to weigh whether it was worth it…and we always agreed that it was!
In 2013, we travelled to Italy for the 2nd Symposium on ATP1A3 in disease. It was not only our 30th anniversary but it was the first time since Kathleen was born that we would be gone for more than two nights. It was a terrifying decision to make. How could we leave Kathleen for so long and what if the unthinkable happened? We were blessed to have our daughter Stephanie, Kathleen’s caregiver, brother Greg and my parents to help with Kathleen. We also left a note and a small gift for Kathleen for her to open and most importantly, we called her everyday! The one day we didn’t call, was a total melt down for her. Upon our return, we were presently surprised that the following days were uneventful.
Recently a parent told me that she was planning her 20th anniversary – in 2017! For her, it would take the two years to decide where to go, did she have the support system in place and would her child be ok. Like us, traveling far and the ‘what if’ is the first thing we think of…
Do you have the support system in place to take a vacation whether it is two days or ten days away from your AHC child? Please join the conversation.