I remember a few years ago reading a blog post by Dana Miller from the blog HOUSE*TWEAKING that really stuck with me. It was titled 'Vacationing without kids is an investment'. Of course, she didn't mean all the holidays! But every so often to get away without having her three little ones in tow was definitely something that made her happier. She says... "They're investments in our sanity, our relationship, our family, our future, our wellbeing. And to just be me with the guy I married".
I completely agree, and for the past few years that's exactly what we've tried to do. We book our two-week family holiday for the middle of summer, but from April to September we try to fit in a trip ‘just for two’ while the boys stay home and get spoiled by grandparents, aunts and uncles.
While I absolutely love our family trips there are quite a few perks to holidaying without the boys! Although I must admit I do spend the day before totally fretting - lists for grandparents, tidying for grandparents, mega cleaning, school bags and lunches organised for the few days we're away, sports schedules typed on the fridge, and that's all before I've even started packing for myself! But it's always worth it in the end. We're back about a month from our holiday without the kids and as usual got off the plane in Dublin chilled out and recharged.
Here are some of the reasons why a holiday without babies, kids and teenagers does the world of good.
They refill your mental and emotional reserves
Taking care of yourself by switching off is an important form of self care and actually makes you a better parent. Try to approach a kid-free holiday with the mindset that it’s healthy, not selfish, to give yourself a tranquill break.
They strengthen your relationship with your spouse or partner
Being away from our kids definitely makes us remember why we came together in the first place. Despite all the joys of parenting, having children around all of the time can strain a relationship, making it hard to even have basic conversations together. Going away is the ultimate antidote.
Kids and adults enjoy different things
How much do your kids really get out of lingering over a candlelit dinner or lounging on the beach for the entire day? Kids and adults usually enjoy different things. Just like you probably make efforts to give your children great experiences while on holiday, you deserve to enjoy adult forms of entertainment and relaxation, as well.
You can do nothing at all (almost impossible when you have children!)
There's a phrase in Italian called Dolce far Niente - The sweetness of doing nothing, and trips like this are a perfect time for this wonderful thing. Doing ab-sol-utely nothing!
It's actually good for your kids too!
Kids have to learn that their parents are unique individuals with their own interests and needs. Allowing yourself time away sets a good example of self-care. Your kids are then more inclined to follow your lead, taking better care of themselves when they're adults too.
Trip for two | Valencia, June 2022