Founders don’t take vacations. But I just did. (Shhh. Don’t tell any VCs.)

Nothing says 'vacation' like champagne before noon. (Feeling glamorous at Domaine Carneros winery.)
Nothing says ‘vacation’ like champagne before noon. (Feeling glamorous at Domaine Carneros winery.)

When I was still enrolled in the Founder Institute earlier this summer, at some point my peers started talking about how they were going to take vacations or time off after graduation. We had earned it and were burnt out, right?

But at the same time one of the lessons being imparted to us was that “Founders don’t get to go on vacation.” Look, we get it. If you are running your own business you’re never really not on call. Whether you’re a small time freelancer or powerful CEO, there are occasions when you need to be available even if you’re taking time away.

Meanwhile, DH and I hadn’t been on vacation (sans baby) since our honeymoon 2 1/2 years ago. And we were both coming off some very busy work schedules. It was time. A few months back we had decided that we would go somewhere (anywhere!) in September. We lined up my parents to host DD for a few days and put off planning where we’d actually go til closer to the date.

So when FI ended in July, I kept going. I was jealous of those who took a break, but at the same time I knew that (a) I’d get my turn and (b) it was a good thing for me to press on after FI to find my new working rhythm without the imposed structure of their curriculum. If I had taken a break right away, it may have been really difficult to try to start over again after coming back without having an established routine. Overall, I think the company and I were better for having done it this way.

So with some last minute help from a travel agent, DH and I just got back from 4 nights in Napa Valley, CA. The weather was beautiful, the views were lovely, the wine was delicious, and so was the food. And I had an awesome massage at our hotel to boot. Plus DH and I got to reconnect as a couple without the responsibilities of managing our home or being Mommy & Daddy. It was really nice. We needed a break and getaway as individuals and a couple. And I think we’re returning to our work and our home all the better for having done it.

Cozying by the fire in our hotel room. That's real fire we lit ourselves with hotel-provided matches. Pretty sweet.
Cozying by the fire in our hotel room. That’s a real fire we lit ourselves with hotel-provided matches. Pretty sweet.

But don’t be fooled. I still did work. Just not much of it. I spent about two hours working on the flight out and then did some sporadic email checking, scheduled a few calls for the following week, and things like that. Shortcake’s social media channels were quiet, which is something I could have planned for but didn’t. That’s on me and I’ll try to do better.

Now to start making some local dinner plans so we can enjoy our souvenirs. :)

We may have overdone it. But they were all so good! Now we just don't have to buy any wine for the next year+.
We may have overdone it. But they were all so good! Now we just don’t have to buy any more wine for the next year+.

Startup Mom is written by Coralee Dixon, a NJ mom and founder of Shortcake. Is she “having it all” or losing her mind? Follow along as we find out…(I’m just as curious as you are.)