My husband and I are total Disney nerds. We had our first date in Disneyland, we got engaged in Disneyland, and we got married in Walt Disney World (Yes Virginia, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are not the same!). We even bought into the Disney version of a timeshare called the Disney Vacation Club.
You can say that we have emotionally and financially invested ourselves into Walt Disney’s mouse trap. And we love it.
So the opportunity has come to once again embark on another trip to Disneyland. This time, there’s one slight little (and loving) change from previous trips to our current lifestyle: We are now parents. We are proud parents of a wonderful 8-month-old prince whom we love to the moon and back.
And guess what? We are not going to bring him with us on our upcoming trip.
Now, I know what you are thinking. How could you leave your baby behind? What kind of parent are you? Monster! I get it, it’s a controversial decision. But it’s one my husband and I have put a lot of thought into.
I believe there is more than one way to vacation. Parents may choose to bring their babies with them, or leave them with a caring provider. It just depends on your circumstances, such as how old the baby is, where you are going, how you are getting there, expenses, logistics, so on and so forth. Some parents have a great time with their baby on vacation, while for others it’s another job away from a job. Some parents can’t leave behind their children, no matter the circumstances. Some parents need to leave the baby behind because children are not allowed at the vacation destination. All these scenarios are fine, so long as each member of the family, the youngest to the oldest, is taken care of, planned, and provided for.
And those are the key considerations in our situation. We have been granted a tremendous opportunity to have our beloved son looked and loved after while we take the time to replenish our minds, hearts and bodies. My husband and I work very hard 24/7 to provide for our family, and we have a small window of opportunity to shortly recover and reset ourselves.
We do have the opportunity to bring him to Disneyland, but we want to wait until he can fully process and enjoy the experience. Additionally, while we would have a good time with him, we don’t want to subject him to long periods of sun, heat and surrounded by crowds of people. Again, we can do it and make it happen (thanks to baby care centers, portable fans, diaper bags, baby food, milk/bottles, toys, pack n plays, etc.), but the option of having him home surrounded by familiar settings with family looking after him is a far better option for him and for us. He will be able to sleep in his own crib at night, have his own room, and be in a comfortable environment.
And while our son is being loved at home, we in turn get to take care of ourselves, during one small window of time. In the last year, we have poured our time and hearts into things and people other than ourselves. We give, we care, and have overcome challenges that have nearly broken us more than once. During this upcoming vacation, we decided for once to take care of us. Parents need to take care of themselves as well as their marriage, not only to function as healthy humans but also to continue taking care of their families down the road. There are times when my husband and I are exhausted, pushed, prodded and pressed into balls of stress. Vacation shouldn’t be a part of that process. So my husband and I are making it a point to de-stress ourselves, focus solely on our relationship, remember each other, and relax without interruption.
So while we look forward to the future vacation when each and every family member will truly and fully enjoy the experiences of going to a Disney theme park, for now we are taking the short time to rejuvenate and recover from the joys of parenting.
Now that seems like the perfect bait leading us to the Happiest Mouse Trap on Earth.
Rachel Cabanting has lived in Reno for more than 26 years. She also lived in Massachusetts, where she attended funeral school to become a mortician. Additionally, she spent a year in Kuwait and 8 months in Iraq. Rachel worked as a mortician before beginning a career in safety. She has now worked in safety for more than a decade and is currently a full time Environmental Health and Safety Manager. She also has spent 16 years in the Army National Guard and still serves as master sergeant. When she is not working, she spends her time with her husband and 8-month-old son, watching Disney movies, listening to Disney music, or planning an upcoming Disney vacation. Rachel also enjoys cooking, traveling, eating sushi, long hot bubble baths, Double-stuffed Oreos, finding fun opportunities for her family around town, and hanging out with friends.