Just the Two of Us

A few years ago, I was listening to an audiobook and was introduced to an idea I fell in love with – traveling without children. This was the story about two career-oriented people with little kids who lived the hustle. The couple was so busy with their professional lives they enlisted the help of several live-in caregivers. Their careers required long hours and frequent travel. They hardly sat down for dinner together.

As infrequently as their lives intersected, the narrator described an annual tradition the husband and wife never missed. Every year, during the same week of the same month, the couple made sure their calendars were cleared – of client meetings, projects, events….EVERYTHING… they could celebrate their wedding anniversary with a trip, just the two of them.

I loved this idea because it followed another argument I heard on the radio that your relationship with your spouse HAS to come before your relationship with your kids for this simple reason — If you married in your 20s or 30s, and your kids move out after roughly 20 years, you have (hopefully) decades left with your spouse — just the two of you. While you may only have 20 years with your children under your roof, you could have an entire lifetime with your spouse so it’s important that you invest in each other, nurture your marriage, and that you don’t take each other for granted.

I mentioned in my bio that I daydream about finding more “me time” and traveling. Last fall, I traveled to Europe for 10 days without my family and when they asked how my trip was I said, “Great. The next thing I want to do is go on a cruise – somewhere warm,” without skipping a breath. I don’t get homesick, love to explore, and want more stamps in my passport.

It’s been 6 months since I came back from my European vacation and I haven’t stopped thinking about going on a cruise. I’ve made typical Katie spreadsheets, compared cruise lines, talked to friends who have been on  cruises recently, and sent my Google Sheet to Todd to review. He zeroed in on one that I was excited about as well and I’m thrilled to say we officially have a trip booked to look forward to.

We did it! Todd and I set sail in 177 days — just the two of us, on a 9 night Southern Caribbean vacation. Neither of us have been on a cruise before but we are going to have a blast! Thank you in advance to both of our parents for helping with the kiddos and the dog while we reconnect as Katie and Todd not as Mommy and Daddy.

Sometimes we all need a break from #thehustle to be our best selves for our kids.


Katie Helgesen

Katie Helgesen is the Senior Director of Business Intelligence at Dealer Inspire, a fast-growing and award winning technology company near Chicago. Katie and her husband, Todd, have 4 awesome kids and love living in a small community centered on a lake in northwest Indiana. Baseball, t-ball, and soccer schedules are just a few pieces of Katie’s Mom Hustle. Her daydreams revolve around finding more “me time” and traveling. In real life, Katie keeps herself sane with naps, Netflix and eating out as often as she can.