Our First Parents ONLY Weekend

Easter 2013, Amanda is about 30 weeks pregnant and we have a lovely couple of nights away staying in Bendigo, the town where we met and fell in love. Fast forward to last weekend and another night away this time down on the Mornington Peninsula. What’s the significance you ask…it’s been over five years since Amanda and I had a night away together alone since the kids came along.

Our parenting style has always been to not force our kids into anything, just to let them mature through the childhood milestones. Such things like sleeping in their own room, potty training, stopping breastfeeding, etc we left until the kids only needed a slight nudge rather than a push to adapt. In addition, we decided to wait before we went for a night away without the kids. Controversial maybe, I know a lot of parents will be screaming at their screen reading this saying “Your kids shouldn’t rule your life,” “You shouldn’t sacrifice who you are and what you want because of your kids.” With all due respect to those people I disagree, to an extent. We had wanted to be parents for a long time, so when we were a Mum and Dad we were happy to make a lot of sacrifices for the sake of our little ones.

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Ice cream treat thanks to chief babysitters Nonna and Grandpa

Our kids have brought us so much pleasure that the sacrifices became easier and easier and in the end the sacrifices were not nearly as significant as we first thought. Always in the back of our minds though we knew that as the kids got older and more independent we would be able to start doing a lot more for ourselves.

Which brings me back to a kids free night away. We were confident that the kids were ready for us to leave them for a night and we as parents knew that this was the right time for them and us. Only weeks ago we knew that the kids would be too upset if we left them for a night and in turn we would not have fully enjoyed ourselves knowing this would be the case. We had to bide our time through the early years and we were happy to.

Peninsula Hot Springs – Sooooo Good!

We had booked the Peninsula Hot Springs for the Saturday afternoon, so we hit up some lunch first at Red Gum BBQ in Red Hill, such delicious meats! The hot springs were huge with two sections, one that looked like a community pool area and another for us kid-less VIPs! As we had booked the bathe and massage package we had access to the Spa Dreaming Centre where we could choose from a selection of baths with varying temperatures and saunas. Much better than splashing in the pools with the common rabble. We enjoyed a massage after soaking for over an hour and returned after to soak some more, because why not.

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The moment we left realising how quiet a long drive can be!

We booked the night’s accommodation only the day before, so limited choice, but we settled on a place that was close to Rosebud with a good selection of restaurants. We are lucky that my parents have such a great relationship with our kids because they would surely need to be comforted in our absence…which from all accounts was not at all the case and we were not missed in the least. Testament to us waiting for the right time.

Also one important point, we breakfasted in Rosebud at a place called The Pier Cafe, I had the baked eggs; go there; eat them; you’re welcome!

I have to admit that I was a little nervous and sad about leaving the kids. I have been away from them before, but always with Amanda keeping the home base secure. Amanda on the other hand was so excited she barely slept the night before having never been away for a night. We had an absolute ball together, knowing the kids were fine at home with their grandparents. We were so refreshed, thanks to the hot springs, massage and sleep, but the best part was that we laughed a hell of a lot.

After more than 15 years, two kids and many bumps in the road, Amanda, the renowned super mum, will always be that hot chick I met at university that could make me laugh like no other.

The Tentative First

I still look back on this trip as one of the most memorable for a couple of reasons. It was our first proper outing and night away with our first born, Fletcher, who was only about 4 weeks old at the time. Also, it was our good friends’ wedding and if not for this we would probably never have left our little nest we created at home. Looking back I’m glad we did as it kicked off the “Adventures of Duth”.

We were getting some serious cabin fever in those first few weeks, whether we knew it or not.  The only occasion we left the home, which wasn’t to the supermarket, was when I left in an ambulance and Fletch and my wife visited me in hospital. The injury story is too long, but let me just say it made my wife’s life a huge amount harder having to now look after me and a new born baby (I think hard to say who was the more difficult, my wife says there was a clear winner).

Thankfully though this wedding was looming, although I admit with us being exhausted as first time parents and recovering from an injury the thought of leaving seemed too hard. However, with the grandparents and some of their friends waiting for us in Sorrento, all looking forward to babysitting, we packed our bag and three bags for Fletch and off we went. Exhaustion aside, we were excited to be getting out to show off our boy to all our friends and of course for the wedding especially as my wife was one of the Bridesmaids and myself as the MC.

When we got there and settled in to the accommodation we quickly made a new nest and we relaxed. Lucky for me the day of the wedding was pretty easy, tracking back and forth to my wife so Fletch could breastfeed, all as she was primped and polished. This gave me a full day of walking through Sorrento to take in the place. First thing I sense is how zen and peaceful the place is, much like your typical beach town. The sun was out warming us all, steaming off those later than normal Winter chills and giving everyone a sneak peek at what to expect for the rest of Spring. Herhmm, sorry got a little poetic there.

Maybe this is why the locals seemed really relaxed though, all very happy to stop and chat as they came out to enjoy the weather. I will insert a caveat here, I admit it was more than the weather that coaxed people to stop to chat, having a weird cast on my arm and newborn bub in the pram made for an easy icebreaker and won a lot of people over. I’m a pretty chatty person anyway and I certainly made the most of the attention that was coming our way. Honestly, if I had a puppy too I think the trifecta (including newborn and injury) would have instigated some Beatle-like mania, such was the unaccustomed attention.

The wedding itself was on a secluded beach, just out of town, which was lined with beach boxes making for a beautiful setting. I kept thinking it would be a great quiet spot to return to with the family for a day at the beach. The reception after was held at The Baths, a great spot for the newlyweds with the jetty just out the front for those sunset over the water shots. I have to admit it did look pretty amazing.

The day after, it was nice to have my wife back to explore the town. We walked to the ferry dock and along the waterfront, the weather was perfect, so we played on the beach for a little while before we headed back into town. We met up with the in-laws and stopped at a few shops, one in particular is stuck in my mind with its funky garden sculptures and interior decorating pieces.

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Shop Front

All in all only a fleeting visit, one that seemed rushed with both of us exhausted and me pumping endone tablets, so Sorrento has left me feeling that the visit was unfinished. Hence,  it will have to go onto the to do list to visit again and this time we will plan it so we can simply meander around, explore the surrounding areas and stop at that secluded beach with the beach boxes.

Fletch first month

Fletcher’s first month

The best place to follow Josh’s adventures with his family is on his Instagram site @josh.duthie. You can see this post and more Adventures of Duth by clicking the link below.

www.instagram.com/josh.duthie