Ok. That was a lie. I totally missed my son. A lot. BUT, I don’t regret leaving him behind with his grandparents while my husband and I traveled through California and Mexico for 10 glorious, sunny days.
If you’re a mom, and especially if you have young children, you probably feel hesitant to travel without your kids. I know moms who wait years to take even a few days away. The reasons are plentiful and the “mommy guilt” is real. Of course, parenting is personal and there is no “correct” way to go about it, but I’m a big believer in taking solo, kid-free vacations.
Vacations are a chance to unwind and relax; to be our most fun-loving and carefree selves. I’ve yet to meet the mom who feels this way while changing diapers or chasing after a toddler. It’s true that being a mom is a fantastic privilege and the greatest job on Earth. But, it’s also true that it’s one of the hardest, most emotionally consuming jobs, and it’s important to step away every now and again. If you don’t take time to take care of yourself, you will eventually burn out.
If you’re in a relationship, a couples-only vacation is a wonderful chance to reconnect with your partner, reinvigorate the romance, and strengthen intimacy. A girls’ trip with your ladies is also a great way to reinvest in friendships that often fall by the wayside when we’re busy with work and kids. Even a trip all by yourself can be exciting and give you the chance to see new things, meet new people, and get a fresh perspective.
If this seems selfish to you, it isn’t. Remember that when you’re on a plane, you should put your own oxygen mask on first. You’re no good to anyone – most especially not your children – if you’re overtired, burned out, and just plain ready to lose it.
But the benefits of leaving your kids behind aren’t just for you. They’re also for your kids. Leaving my son behind meant that he got to spend quality time with his grandparents who he doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with due to distance. Before I left, I was worried that he wouldn’t know how to adjust, but it turned out he had the BEST time swimming in pools, riding ponies, visiting the zoo and getting about 10,000 hugs and kisses a day. Most importantly, he was creating memories with special people in his life and learning to adapt to new people and surroundings – a skill that will serve him well down the road.
Have you taken a vacation without your kids? I would love to hear about everyone’s experiences!