As parents, it can be hard to get with the notion of taking a vacation without your kids. We know. It sounds impossible, blasphemous, incredibly ambitious, or like a guilt-ridden crime of opportunity.
But psychologists believe you have to make and take the opportunity. Traveling without your precious brood has its perks, and most of them have to do with how you feel on the inside. Whether you’re a single parent or happily attached, it’s possible to travel alone without feeling selfish.
How can you do it? Take a trip. Do it as a couple, solo, with your girls, or with your guy crew. Just do it. Run and press that reset button for your mind and body!
Psychology professor Nava Silton has especially been encouraging moms to take “mom-cations” so they can recharge. She told Fox 5 News in New York:
“Motherhood can be very stressful—whether it’s financial stresses, time stresses, just trying to get a whole lot done in a very short period of time. I think it’s really important for mothers to be rejuvenated and refreshed.”
She shares that in addition to helping moms get some self-care time in, it’s also healthy for the kids. They benefit from having a parent who’s balanced and mentally relaxed, and as Silton says, it helps everyone learn to not to take each other for granted.
The other good things for kids? It teaches them how to live without their parents for a little bit, encouraging autonomy and independence. They learn it is possible to move about and still be safe without mom (or dad) around.
You know your family and you may assume that you or children wouldn’t be able to handle more than a school day – or weekend – apart. You wonder if you could pull off an entire weeklong vacation (or even a 3 or 4-day sabbatical) without your kids losing their minds at the thoughts of you leaving for that long.
Some children may whine or pitch a fit, but many will be comfortable with both of you having your own adventures. With that said, you may be wondering about how to make a clean getaway so you can enjoy a few days to yourself.
One of the first things you want to do is set up childcare with someone who makes your kids feel comfortable. That may be family, good friends, or great neighbors. You have to feel okay about leaving them for days at a time.
Prepare them by letting them know you’ll be going away but use each child’s personality as a gauge for how and when to tell them. Your anxious toddler may do better if they know months in advance, or it may be better to hear it the morning of your flight so she doesn’t get worked up.
Make sure they have all their favorite things for when you leave and iron out how you’ll keep in touch. And lastly, kiss them goodbye. The guilt will be the biggest hurdle you’ll encounter, but rest assured that a little rest will do you some good.
Have you ever had the means to take a momcation or other grownups only trip? How did it make you feel? What are your thoughts on traveling without the kiddos?