Last week my husband and I did something we haven’t done in six years. We took a trip without our kids! Can you believe it? I still can’t believe we pulled it off. Guess what? We are all better for it. Moms (and Dads) definitely need to make time for a kid-free vacation.
It’s time to let go of the guilt and realize we don’t have to spend every free second with our children. You may not have this issue and that is great! I’ve always had mom guilt about leaving the kids. This time was different since we were leaving them with their grandparents though. I knew they would be well taken care of and have an amazing time.
For this trip, my anxiety was more about something happening to me and my husband while we were traveling. We were going to San Francisco since he had a business conference there. Sounds amazing, right? Well, in my head we would be dying in an airplane crash and leaving our children with no parents. I was almost paralyzed by this the weeks prior to our trip.
For some reason right before the trip, I began to relax. I think I just realized it was out of my control and I needed to move forward. I still freaked out a couple of more times towards the end of the trip. I had dreams that there was an earthquake and that our returning flight was hijacked. Yes, I may be a little crazy. I won’t apologize for it since that is just who I am.
You know what I realized though? Getting away and actually taking a vacation without the kids was so good for me. It was good for my husband too even though he did have a business conference to attend.
If you ever have the opportunity to get away without the kids, I encourage you to do it. Here are what I think are the top 5 reasons moms need a kid-free vacation.
Moms (and Dads) Need a Break!
This one is no surprise! We talk about needing and getting breaks all the time. It is refreshing to only have to worry about your own needs. Let someone else clean the room. That may have been my favorite part! You can go out to eat whenever you want. There is no schedule to keep. You don’t have to worry about who is going to be getting hungry soon.
It is also nice to do activities that you enjoy. We arrived in San Francisco a day early so we could explore together. We tried to get a tour to Alcatraz Island but that was already booked up. Other friends had talked about how amazing the tours in Napa Valley are. I won’t lie. I was super excited to explore this option. We spent an amazing day touring wine country in an open top shuttle bus. That is definitely not something we could have done with the kids.
That leads me to the next great reason for a kid-free vacation. You get the opportunity to have lots of wonderful adult conversations. This is true if you decide to go on a trip with your spouse, some friends, or other family members. You can sit down at a nice dinner and enjoy talking to each other.
It is healthy for us to get out and talk with other adults. If you end up talking about the kids most of the time, that is okay too. The best part is not being interrupted while holding a conversation. I feel like dinners at home are a constant competition over who gets to talk the most.
You Will Appreciate Your Kids More
Your kids will also appreciate you more too. I promise! It is good for you to miss them. You realize even more how much you enjoy being around them. You miss those little morning snuggles or silly jokes. You will look forward to taking them to that soccer game on Saturday when you get back.
We tried to video chat with the kids everyday. That was super helpful for us. It was nice to see their faces and hear all about what they were doing while we were apart.
The Kids Will Become More Independent
It is amazing the things our kids can do for themselves that we just automatically do for them. I found this more true for my five year old. Since we have all been back home, she can now buckle and unbuckle her own carseat. She is also capable of turning on the bathroom light and closing the door. Gavin made sure to point that one out right away.
It Will Make You an Even Better Mom
This one should probably be at the top since it is probably the most imporant. Spending time away for yourself is one of the best gifts you can give your family. You know the saying….you can’t pour from an empty cup. I am a big believer in that even though I am terrible at this myself.
A friend of mine said it best. Taking a break from the kids brings us back refreshed, stronger, and better able to tackle the daily job of parenthood. I know I am more patient and present this week with the kids. I hope that will last for a while. It is easy to get caught back up in the day to day responsibilities.
I feel so fortunate that I was able to have this break. Since the grandparents all live in Tennessee, it was really a miracle to have this all work out so smoothly. San Francisco is a beautiful city. It has actually made me want to start a travel blog. I have a lot of travel anxiety and I think it would be a good way to help cope with that.