Rob and Laura have been married for 21 years and together since their college days. They have three children. "Our children are our life," says Laura, adding that it’s hard to get out of the mode of anything other than the most dedicated of parents.
That's why the Monrovia, Md. based couple decided to cruise, on their own.
“We left our schedules behind," Laura, 50, shares—45 pages of scheduling she wrote out for her kids to be exact. With the children—and their itineraries—safely with other family members, Rob and Laura were ready to do some serious "adulting."
They chose a (Carnival) cruise for their getaway. That meant seven days of prepared meals and daily housekeeping and turn down service, plus a full agenda of entertainment, activities and beach excursions to fill their days and nights. Rob and Laura took full advantage.
They dined on filet mignon in the ship’s specialty restaurant and treated themselves to an unlimited adult beverage package. "We didn't have to worry about driving home or getting up early in the morning," Laura shares. They met a ton of cool people, who they partnered with to win several ship competitions. They ended their ocean adventure sipping wine and enjoying cheesecake on private suite balcony.
Laura reveals the best part of the trip. "It was great to laugh with Rob, just like we did 20 years ago."
Relationship expert Fran Greene, author of The Flirting Bible, encourages couples to spend some time alone without their offspring. “A loving, united couple make for the best parents,” she declares, adding it’s important to take time out to recharge and renew themselves. “It’s good to have some separation. When you’re with someone 24/7, it can be overwhelming,” even it when it’s your own offspring. A little time apart makes all family members appreciate each other so much more.
Of course, it may be the parents who suffer from separation anxiety. Fran has a few suggestions. Make a detailed list, like Laura and Rob did, so you know everything on your kids’ daily agenda is covered. “You can make some meals and put them in the freezer,” so you know your children are getting a taste of everyday life. You can take a photo of the family with you and send a nightly email to your kids, “but remember, you’re on this trip to relax and leave your real world behind.”
Fran concludes, “When you return home and you’re greeted with those loving eyes, and they can’t hug you enough and you can’t kiss them enough, you’ll realize this moment happened only because you had some time away.”
Personal Space is Bravo's home for all things "relationships," from romance to friendships to family to co-workers. Ready for a commitment? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.