The Difference Between a Child-Free Vacation and a Pre-Kids Vacation

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I recently had the opportunity* to go on a 3-night vacation with my husband to Las Vegas. *By opportunity, I mean I was sure to mention to my parents on a daily basis how tired I was, how much I would love to spend some time with my husband where we could go out for late dinners and sleep in the next day, how I just wanted a mini-break... I think they were happy to watch the children just to get me to be quiet.

But I digress. You read that correctly: Three child free nights in sunny Las Vegas. A vacation without kids, just like the old days. I packed my bikini, my sun screen, and my dresses and heels. An hour early for our 7:00am flight, we ordered Mimosas with our breakfast. The vaca had begun.

And then something quite unexpected happened. I felt a little sick. I haven't slept a full night in three years. I was worried that the kids would be upset when they woke up and found us not there. Would my parents understand what my toddler was asking for? Would he nap? Would my baby get too heavy to be carried? Cheap sparkling wine probably doesn't sit so well in anyone's stomach at 6:00am, but mine was starting to swoon.

What I soon discovered was that "vacation to Vegas without children" is NOT the same as "vacation to Vegas before you had children."

Laughing Mom's list: How Vacation Without Children Is Different to Vacation Before Children

  • You stop in cheesy souvenir shops you wouldn't have even noticed before just in case "they have anything fun for the kids."

  • You get sidetracked by anything you think your kids might like, such as the strip's M&M and Coca-Cola stores.

  • While shopping at the outlet mall you:

    • hit up all the children stores first.
    • discover that the dresses at BCBG are still awesome, but wonder why they changed their sizing ?!?
    • are thrilled when the Coach bag you like has a divider in it where you can keep snacks.

  • You are so excited to sleep in but can't sleep past your children's wake up time. No matter how hard you try.

  • You check your phone in case there is a message or a text from the grandparents. A lot.

  • You nod off (just for a second...) at the Vegas show you are at.

  • Your heels HURT. Why do I need to be four inches taller? My husband is perfectly aware of how tall I am.

  • You are in the (uninterrupted) shower for so long your husband checks that you are OK. You may have been asleep. You can't remember the last time you had time to use shampoo and conditioner.

  • You buy the 48 oz blender drink from Margaritaville, but pour more of it away then you would like admit.

The Difference Between a Child-Free Vacation and a Pre-Kids Vacation

  • You notice every child that is about the same age as yours and smile at him/her.

  • You make note of child friendly places/menus/etc "for next time."

  • You marvel at how clean your clothes stayed. All day.

  • You realize the dress you wanted to wear to Cirque de Soleil requires a strapless bra. Strapless bra has an identity crisis, insists it is a belt. You wear jeans.

Hopefully I'll do it again next year. I'll just skip the pre-noon drinks and get a cell roaming package.

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