Parents tend to fall into two camps when it comes to the idea of going on vacation without their children. Some absolutely love it and can’t wait to get away for some peace or grown-up time. Others, can’t stand the idea of leaving their kids with someone else, feel guilty at the very thought and know that they’d spend the whole time thinking about the kids back home.
Neither side is wrong, and whether you choose to travel or not depends on your own feelings, situation and who you’ve got at home to babysit. But, going on the occasional break without the children can be wonderful if you think it’s right for you. Here’s why.
When you’ve got children, there is always someone there. During the day, even as they start to get older, they need you, all of the time. Or they want your constant attention. Even when they are asleep, you are listening out for any sounds or signs of trouble. If you go for a night out, you spend it thinking about getting back to the babysitter. You never get any space.
While you love your kids and are only too happy to play with and be there for them, it can get a little much. When they go to bed, you have your own things you need to do, and you never get a chance to enjoy some space. This can lead to stress. Taking a break away from them, even if it’s just a night or weekend, gives you a great chance to enjoy some space and time to yourself.
To Reconnect with Your Partner
With kids needing you all of the time, and your own stuff to do, it can feel like you’ve got no time for your partner. Even if things seem fine, this can start to take a toll on your relationship. It’s incredibly important that you put each other first sometimes, but it’s so hard to do when your kids are around. Going away on your own gives you a chance to talk and reconnect. To get to know each other again, as the people you are, not just mum and dad.
Our sex lives tend to suffer when we’ve had kids too. We can struggle with body confidence issues and tiredness, and intimacy can fade. Often when we’re busy with kids and work, we stop showing each other affection. We don’t kiss, cuddle or hold hands during the day. Without this affection, sex can start to feel like something we have to do like we are just going through the motions because we should.
Spending a weekend alone together, talking and appreciating each other could be all it takes to reignite your sex life.
To be an Adult
Sick of trying to fit your adult life into that two hours between the kids going to bed and falling asleep yourself? Going away gives you a chance to simply be a grown-up. You’ll get days of being yourself, without having to worry about what you are saying, watching your language and being extra careful.
You’ll also get to visit tourist attractions that you want to go to, instead of sticking to all of the child-friendly destinations and without having to check for changing rooms and pram access.
To Enjoy New Places
While we’re talking about visiting new places, you’ll also get to actually enjoy them. You’ll be able to visit a museum and read the displays and information boards, without having to chase a toddler around. You can take your time and enjoy the destinations, without trying to schedule everything around nap times or tiny child attention spans. You’ll be able to eat in a restaurant, without first checking the menu for things the kids will eat.
Of course, you will also get to drink. You’ll be able to get drunk with your partner, have a fantastic night out and not worry about having to deal with a 6am hangover while two kids jump on you.
To Miss Them
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it’s certainly true when it comes to your children. When we’re with them all the time, we can start to get annoyed by their bad behavior or struggles, finding we’re stuck focusing on the negatives. We stop noticing all their lovely quirks and mannerisms.
Take a short break, and you’ll find all you can remember is how wonderful they are. You’ll miss them like crazy, and go back to them ready to make some fantastic memories together.
To Give Them a Break
It’s not just us that needs a break. The kids can enjoy the time away too. As parents, we want what’s best for our children. This means that sometimes we expect a lot from them, or put strict rules in place. There’s nothing wrong with this. It makes you a great parent. But, when they go to stay with their grandparents, the rules no longer apply. It’s a holiday for them too. They’ll get plenty of treats, absolutely loads of attention and generally have a fantastic time.
But, don’t worry, they’ll miss you too, so send them some greeting cards to show them what you are getting up to.
To Let Grandma Play House
Years ago, families lived very close together and saw each other all of the time. Kids went to their grandparents for dinner a few times a week. Now, many families live much further apart. Grandparents can have skype relationships with the grandkids, missing some of their childhood. They’ll love getting the chance to have some quality time together.
The one thing all parents miss about life before children is sleep. Even if your children sleep well, chances are they get up early in the morning and you miss a good lie in. Even if you hate the idea of going on holiday without the kids, book a spa weekend and enjoy one night of restorative, relaxing sleep and breakfast in bed.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.