First things first, the babymoon we are referring to is the type that does not include a baby! There’s also the kind, traditionally, following childbirth when new parents stay in and build a bond with their precious bundle. Well, we’re all for taking that type of babymoon too, but what we’re talking about here is a couples’ trip taken during pregnancy, typically before the birth of your first child, or before the birth of subsequent children but generally without taking your other kids along – because that sounds more to us like a family holiday (different type of vacay altogether!).
If you’re anything like I was during my first pregnancy, you are a busy mama-to-be! Planning to work as late in your pregnancy as you can (more time to spend with bub on maternity leave), coordinating your handover, list-ticking, setting up nursery, nesting and catching up with all your childfree friends for one last hurrah. So much to do – we get it!
At the time, rest simply wasn’t part of my vocab. So, when my husband booked a quiet, romantic getaway, tacked onto the end of a friend’s wedding, my first thought was, ‘Why didn’t he book a city trip?’ I know, right?
Of course, it was bliss! Lazy breakfasts in a peaceful courtyard with a view, nosing around stately villas, gentle hikes in the nearby mountains, late afternoon dips in the pool and barely a child in sight! It was the perfect babymoon destination and unfortunately one we won’t be revisiting any time soon. Why? Because back then, we were DINKs – the life-loving, work hard/play hard, extremely fortunate but without a clue, ‘Double Income No Kids’ couple.
The number one reason why we chose to have a babymoon back then was… because we could! It was an amazing way to acknowledge and celebrate the impending, ginormous change about to occur in our lives. A time to rest, reconnect and spoil ourselves. Take some time out from work, a change of scenery, to reflect and look to the future – not unlike the strategy weekend my work team took every year to regroup and plan ahead.
Fast forward to today, with baby number three on the way, we’re considering another babymoon, albeit on a much tighter budget. But it doesn’t matter whether we travel abroad or opt for the staycation, take one week or one night. The reasons for taking a babymoon have not changed, and, if anything, seven years and two and a half kids later, our sights may be smaller, but our need to take one is even greater.
So, let’s recap the reasons why, first baby, second or more, you need a babymoon:
- Take time out, rest and recharge – Step away from the busy! Rest is the number one thing you will struggle to get enough of when you’re the parent of a newborn.
- Reflect, dream and plan – Look back with gratitude on the life you’ve made together, the career you’ve built and fun you’ve had. Think about what your priorities are going forward and get ready for them to take a 180 degree turn once baby arrives.
- Make beautiful memories – So that when you haven’t washed your hair for two weeks and can’t see your sofa for the laundry piles, you’ll have something to reminisce about.
- Spend quality time with your partner and maybe reconnect with a little romance – Because you won’t have time for that in the months immediately following bub’s arrival, and you’ll want to build up your stores in an effort to keep any impending spousal resentment at bay.
- Spoil yourself – Sleep, exercise, read, eat, whatever tickles your fancy – remember to not apologise for doing what you want.
In the interest of antenatal health, it would be remiss of us not to also list the following things to consider:
- Plan when to go – Second trimester is your best bet, once the morning sickness has subsided but before you start the pregnancy swag and your ankles morph into cankles. Planes and ships have restrictions on when pregnant women can travel, and it’s generally earlier in multiple, IVF and high-risk pregnancies. Get the travel all-clear from your doc. Remember there is always the risk that baby could arrive early and you don’t want your birth plan to not go to, well, plan.
- Think minimising travel distances and times – Make sure you stretch and move your legs frequently during travel. Consider how quickly and easily you can get home if something goes wrong. If getting home before the birth isn’t possible, what healthcare options are available to you at your destination, what costs are involved and are you insured?
- Keep your budget in check – With parenthood comes new expenses – some you might not be prepared for. Make sure you choose a holiday within your means and don’t overspend when you get there.
- Be realistic about your destination – We all have different likes and tolerances. When planning your trip, think ahead about how you might be feeling when you’re that much further along your gestation. Tropical paradise or hot and bothered? Glamping bliss or dangerously low bed and a queue for the toilet? Remote retreat or without a high street to grab those last few items for the hospital bag? Culinary tour or wine and soft cheese nightmare?!
The details are important and planning ahead smartly is key to making it a babymoon to remember.
Written by Vanessa Geerling, former communications and marketing executive and stay at home mum whose world is rocked by beautiful prose, exotic places and authentic people. When she isn’t tending the kids, she’s editing web content for Circle In, DIYing for days and nurturing her soul meditating, singing out of tune and getting lost in a good book.