Some parents couldn’t dream of leaving their children for more than a day, and I used to be one of them especially when my Little Shires were little. But at the same time I know others who have felt differently from month one!
Being a parent doesn’t mean we suddenly become Super Human. We are allowed to get stressed & need a break. We are allowed to want to be a wife instead of just “Mummy”. You are allowed to go days out with friends. This is OK to do because sometimes because trips don’t work with kids – they may just be too young or it may just be a grown-up weekend away.
You are allowed to remember who you are as an individual, or even just as couple, pre-babies, right?!
Being invited to a ‘kid-free’ wedding with overnight stay for me was exciting and terrifying at the same time, because of the guilt of leaving the Little Shires behind.
I could only wear these shoes at a ‘child free’ wedding!
The guilt can be even worse if your kids are old enough and have been on every other trip with you so far. I missed them. You’ll probably miss them. You may miss them so much you’d consider never going away without them again. But for this one time, at least.
Book a Trip That is Different Than What You’re Used To
You could be brave and book a trip across seas. Put yourself in a situation that is so different than home, having different experiences. We have friends who had a rather bizarre ‘wild west’ style horse riding trip in Wyoming at WhiteBuffaloClub.com, and I ventured to Canada for a family wedding on my own last year, something I never thought I would do. But I did!
Plan Their Time Away From You
I’ve found that honesty is the best policy. Children of all ages do understand a lot if they are given the chance, so start by being open with your children. Explain to them why you are taking this trip without them whether it’s because of work or that you need to with friends.
Relate it to your children in a way that they can understand, so that even if they don’t like that you’re leaving without them they will understand. Don’t be discouraged by any tears! They will be okay that short time without you.
The trick is to plan their time when you’re away so that their weekend is full of fun things to do. These activities don’t have to be big – organize a movie, set aside money for a treat or have a family member take them on a day out. You’ll probably be surprised how much they enjoy the time away!
When you come back, bring a gift of some sort home with you, as both a bribe and a way to include your child in your adventure. Lastly, spend a bunch of quality time together, for both yourself and your children. Your break away will have left you rejuvenated and ready to be the best Mummy you can be. Your children, whether they know it or not, will also thank you for it!
I'm Tracey, nice to meet you. Mummyshire was 'born' three years ago after we moved from London to the Oxford countryside. Here I chart our journey adjusting to our new lives, the challenges of being in the countryside & surviving parenthood.