As I’ve written about in a previous post, I am a big believer in traveling sans kids every once in awhile to maintain your sanity, your identity, and your relationship. So when hubby and I found out we were pregnant with baby #2, one of the first things we talked about was when to schedule our babymoon.
Not to whine too much, because I am extremely grateful to be pregnant, but pregnancy #2 kind of sucks. You can’t take a nap whenever you want to because you’re chasing around the aftermath of pregnancy #1, whose energy is enviable, though exhausting (because…toddlers). You’re older, so your body–remembering what it’s like to house a human–preps super early by ballooning nearly the second you get a positive read on the pee stick. No one fawns over you. In pregnancy #1, strangers were opening doors for me and offering me seats in public. Now, they look at me in exasperation, trying to dodge their shopping cart around my toddler. And, most of all, you feel disconnected from your life. When I was pregnant with A, it was like everyone in my world was in it with me. Pregnancy was the consistent topic of conversation with my friends, parents, and Dave. This time around, Dave is basically running the show as a single parent, as I’ve been uterus-deep in morning sickness and other gross pregnancy complications. And my three year old has had his fun mom replaced with a swollen, grumpy, tired warthog who can’t get on the floor to play anymore and leaves every ten minutes to go potty.
So when I say that Dave and I needed a babymoon, we really needed a babymoon. And we decided to co-moon with one of our fave travel couples who are also expecting because, quite frankly, Dave needed a drinking buddy and I needed someone to vent to who understands exactly what I’m feeling and won’t judge me for crying because I dropped my hairdryer four times in one morning. But where to go? Our go-to city, New Orleans, was out because sobriety is literally the antithesis to Bourbon Street. Napa was out because…same. And then our travel companions suggested Kohler, Wisconsin, and we both thought, “What the heck is in Kohler, Wisconsin??”
As it turns out, sanctuary is in Kohler, Wisconsin in the form of the Kohler Spa and the American Club Resort. This place is some sort of hidden gem that apparently everyone in Chicagoland has heard of except us. At two-and-a-half hours outside the city, it’s a perfect distance for a quick weekend trip. And it is apparently the place to go for babymooners, as we spotted no fewer than twelve other pregnant women while we were there.
Truth be told, I had absolutely no idea what to pack for such a trip, as I’ve never had the kind of baller spa experience that Kohler is famous for. So I Googled. And thank goodness I did, because I would have been totally unprepared otherwise. If you choose to indulge yourself in a similar trip, here is your necessary packing list:
- a cute bathing suit for the many body-dipping options (love this one from Target)
- flip flops/slippers for wandering around without shoes (amazing)
- comfy pants and cardigan for post-spa hangouts (these H&M maternity joggers are the coziest ever and this Barefoot Dreams cardigan is practically my security blanket)
- an adorable cover-up (if you’re too pregnant for the robe to close)
- a book or your Kindle
- dinner outfits that are darling, but not too constricting (because you won’t like the feeling of real clothes touching your baby-soft oiled skin)
- a statement tote (the English nerd in me can’t get enough of this one from Out of Print)
- your favorite luxury pajamas
I’m not going to lie to you: this kind of trip is pricey. And difficult to schedule, as child care options can be limiting. But here is how I completely justify taking such a trip (if you needed some extra convincing):
- I may not sleep again for a year. This weekend gave us the kind of deep sleep that I haven’t experienced since becoming a mother. I know that I can’t stockpile sleep in preparation for the famine ahead, but I had forgotten that sleep actually isn’t a luxury. It’s this real thing that your body needs, and I found myself more clear-headed and patient than I’ve been in years.
- Laziness is a beautiful indulgence. While weekend mornings at home are my absolute favorite, with my little guy tucked in next to me watching cartoons, there is something glorious about a childless dawn. First of all, my husband understands the concept of sleeping in. Toddlers don’t. Second, the combination of HGTV, coffee, and Facebook stalking is the closest thing to heaven I can think of, and that trifecta can never be reached with the Mickey Mouse hot dog dance on repeat.
- I never knew how much I loved showers. I knew Kohler made cool bathroom stuff, but I had no idea how kick-ass their showers are. I took no less than three showers a day. I bathed more in one weekend than I have in the past two weeks. And through the hiss of running water, I never once heard a cry, whimper, whine, or “Mama!!”
- I read a book. I read a book. A real book. A book about something other than potty training, sleep training, or discipline. A book that made me think and gave me something to talk about. I read a book.
- Life is meant to be lived in robes. When I first got to the hotel, I was jarred by the sight of robes everywhere, like I had entered some utopian commune. And I couldn’t get over the thought that people were just, like, naked under their robes. In public. Having coffee and snacks. But after I put that robe on for the first time, I was hooked. I am a believer, and now I realize just how much regular clothes suck.
- A massage is great. But a massage plus several hours lounging inside the spa is magical. I’ve always gotten massages, but when it’s over, I just put my clothes on and go home. I’ve never actually spent time at a spa. I could not get over the options for lounge areas: pools, saunas, hot tubs, cold pools, rooftop fire places, quiet rooms. It felt like the tension continued to dissipate long after the massage ended. If I could have taken all my meals in that spa, I never would have left.
The American Club Carriage House:
The Kohler Spa: