It's important to take vacations from your normal, busy life to reset. Your employer gives you vacation days to keep you happy, and to stay refreshed from the long grind. It should be the same for your household.
My wife and I take trips separately once or twice a year. The main reason is because it is easy to getaway separately so you do not have to worry about a babysitter. Also, it can be less worrisome knowing the kids are with your better half staying in their normal routine. Also, you are not worried the kids are giving the grandparents hell.
We do take the kids on vacation, and we will take vacations with just us, as well. The age our kids are at right now (2 and 4), it is easier to take separate trips. Below are some benefits I get from taking my annual dudes trip.
1. I can completely relax knowing the kids are with their Mom, and they are living their normal routine. Also, they are not giving grandma or grandpa trouble.
2. Being away from the family for 2-3 days does make you appreciate them and your life more. While on vacation, I will live like a degenerate for a couple of days with a lot of alcohol intake. I am more than ready to get back to the wife and kids after a few days of debauchery.
3. Just like work, it is a great way to reset. It is refreshing to get back to the ones you love most and try to be the best parent you can. It can be easy to get trapped in the monotony of life, and not appreciate the small things that make your life fulfilled. Getting away for a few days can help.
We appreciate all of our family and friends that do so much for us and our kids so I don't want this post to take away from that. We are lucky to have family so willing to help out with our kids when we want to get out of town for a night or two. We are beyond grateful for the relationships they have with our kids. The majority of time, our girls do not want to come back home and we would not want it any other way.
I am not a relationship expert or professional that can give relationship advice, but I know this is something that works for our relationship right now. When the girls get older then it will be easier to take them on more vacations. Long road trips will be more manageable, and flying will be a little more painless. I think it is important to take vacations with just your significant other, as well!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!