People can get a little bit judgmental sometimes, can’t they? A couple of years ago I wrote about needing a break from the kids and, oh wow, did some people get angry about it when it was shared on a popular parenting Facebook page. Apparently if you don’t want to spend all your time with your kids then you shouldn’t have had them in the first place. If you need a break then you must be an awful parent. If you are daydreaming about a weekend away from the kids then you don’t deserve to have them. Umm, what?! I totally believe that us parents are at our best when we have had a little break from our child rearing duties. Having a break is not selfish and sometimes a bubble bath or an hours naptime where you can drink a hot coffee in peace just isn’t enough. With all its demands, it is no wonder many marriages feel the full strain of family life and sometimes couples become just ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’, the couple they once were almost completely left in the past. Like there are people who will bestow their negative opinions on you for wanting some me time, there are also people who will be left horrified at the mere idea that a couple is contemplating a holiday abroad without bring their children too. What do you think? Is it ever ok to go on holiday without your kids? Well, the husband and I have just come back from a child free weekend in Venice so I think you know what my answer is going to be. YES! All couples need a child free holiday once in a while, don’t believe me? Here are five reasons why.
5 reasons all parents SHOULD have a child free holiday
We are more than parents – Yes, when you have a child your life completely changes, you can no longer live the care free life you once had and you are responsible for meeting tiny humans needs before your own. We all get that, we accept that, we know what we signed up for. But becoming a parent doesn’t mean that’s all you are, you are still the person you were before but that person just has a different life now. Just because you spend your days changing nappies doesn’t mean you no longer like spending hours wandering through famous art galleries and museums. You may spend most days wearing clothes covered in baby food or a toddlers snot, but that doesn’t mean you no longer like putting a pretty sundress on and a big floppy hat and walking hand in hand with your partner, eating ice cream while admiring a sea view. You are still part of something more than a parenting team, you are your own person and you are a girlfriend/wife/partner and you need to nurture and make time for that relationship. There’s no denying that kids can take over your life and romantic relationships can get left on the backburner, a holiday without the kids is the perfect way to reconnect as a couple and you DO NOT need to feel guilty about it.
The planning is easier – Packing one large suitcase instead of four giant ones bursting at the seams – uhh, yes please! Having a child free weekend may mean you have to put some planning in to organise someone babysitting the kids for you but the actual planning of the holiday is easier. You can choose a location YOU want to go to and not one that has lots of entertainment for the kids. You can fly at weird times of the day that are often cheaper because you don’t have to worry about waking little ones up at the crack of dawn and having loads of tantrums and tears to deal with in the airport. You can choose a hotel that you like without worrying if they have cots, kids club or a children’s menu in the restaurant. If you need to phone up the Easy Jet customer services on the way to the airport to confirm any flight details then you can do so without little ones shouting from the back or the car or Cbeebies CD turned up to full on the radio. There’s no denying it, planning a holiday as a couple is a lot easier than organising a family holiday (although, if you need tips on planning a family holiday I have a post full of useful advice).
Travelling is less stressful – On our trip to Venice, Oli and I both commented on how easy and relaxing navigating the buses/airport/water taxis was. Travelling with ease is something we are not used to as we always have the kids with us so it is no wonder we found the whole experience a million times easier without them. There was just one suitcase for us to worry about, we didn’t have to stress about missing boarding times thanks to a nappy explosion or Leo needing a desperate wee and we didn’t have to panic about one of them wandering out of sight when we were waiting in queues at the airport. It was all very relaxing and we made it from A to B without any stressful moments at all.
It feels like a real holiday – Sometimes when you are travelling with kids, especially young babies, when you go away it doesn’t always feel like a real holiday. You still do all the same things, nappy changes, feeds, naptimes and so on but your location is different. This obviously changes when your kids get a bit older but even then there is very limited time for actual relaxing as you are normally busy going off on adventures and chasing the kids around. When you go on holiday without the kids you can do what you want, be that relax on a sun lounger on the beach or walk around looking at ancient architecture, it’s really up to you. If you are on a sunny beach holiday you will actually get a chance to work on your tan as you won’t be off splashing around in the sea or chasing the kids up and down the sand!
Everyone needs a break sometimes – We all deserve a break sometime, like, a proper relaxing, no responsibilities to worry about break. Of course we love our kids, that goes without saying, but when you are looking after them day after day for years on end without so much as a Saturday morning in bed to yourself, it can really burn you out. Unless you are jetting off abroad every month with your partner and your kids have never been on holiday at all then you have no reason to feel guilty about going on holiday without your children. You deserve some proper time to recharge and relax, a break from the family life routine and some time to connect as a couple again. Remember, before you were parents you were a couple and just like your kids need attention and love, so does your relationship. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for taking a break and going on holiday without the kids – you’ve earnt it!
Have you ever been on holiday without your kids? Did you feel guilty about it or did others make you feel bad about it? What do you think, is it ever ok to go on holiday without your kids?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like to read..
The advantages and disadvantages of a self catering holiday
Our first family holiday in Majorca
Our camping holiday in Somerset
A trip to Centre Parcs
How to plan your summer holiday
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Contact Numbers UK. All words and opinions are my own.