Since I am sure you have already read my article on how to prepare for an overnight (or five) with out your kiddos here, you’re now totally ready to hit the airport and travel anywhere in the world! Woo Hoo!
If you’re like most parents, I am sure that no matter how much you prepare, nerves still kick in while you are away. It can be hard to enjoy a trip when you feel detached from your kids. While all your feelings may be normal, it is still important to enjoy your time away at its fullest.
Because you go HARD all day and all night as a parent.
You attend to all of the needs of your children sun up to sun down and it is beyond important to take time for yourself outside of a 45-minute solo Target run. It is vital to foster your own sense of self, your own relationships with your partner and friendships, or focus on the job at hand on your business trip. There is no way that you can be your best self if you are run down and tapped out.
If you have already booked your trip and are wondering the best way to travel apart from you kids, then you’re in the right place. I will guide you step by step with what you can do while away to maintain connection with your kiddos so that you can enjoy this time.
When my husband and I stayed at Playa Grande Resort and Spa in Cabo San Lucas, it was nothing but spectacular. We definitely had nerves leading up to the trip and wondered how the kids would do for Four nights without us. Not only did I follow the steps I have outlined below, but the resort staff took such good care of us and there was so much to do that we left our worries behind once we arrived.
When we arrived, they had champagne and chocolate covered strawberry’s waiting for us! If that’s not an invitation to enjoy ourselves, then I don’t know what is.
Since you have already left the daily scheduler found here with whomever will be care taking for your children, the next step is to jump in the car or plane and get to your destination! Throw on your sunnies, grab a favorite magazine or pop in those ear buds and listen to a new Podcast.
Steps to take while away
1. The first leg of the trip may be the easiest or hardest. If you are teary eyed or nerve stricken on the voyage to your destination, try thought stopping and thought replacing. The first thing to do is to catch yourself in an upsetting thought, “I am going to miss them so much”, and replace it with another one that elicits more productive feelings, “The are having fun with MiMi. I am really enjoying this book in my hand”.
2. Have specific times that you will contact the kids. I often suggest calling or FaceTiming in the morning when you wake up and at night before the kids go to bed. Throughout the day a quick picture from both parties is fun, however, this can disrupt your day and possibly the kids. If you’re having a nice lunch then decide to sneak away to call the kids, it can take you out of your present moment and pull at your heart strings. It can also distract the kids from their daily activity and throw them off. If you imagine, most school age kids do not see or talk to their parents while at school so try to keep the same perimeters.
3. Let go of the routine and rules that are normally in place. Things are going to be different back at home.
There WILL be more Tv.
There WILL be less naps.
There will be more sugar.
But you chose the caregivers who are with your children because you trust them to keep your children safe and sound. Being frustrated with someone X miles away will rip you away from your trip enjoyment and cause strain in the kid’s day with their caregiver. Replace those negative and angry thoughts with more productive and appreciative ones. Unless the kids are in harm, let.it.go.
4. Finding sweet items to bring back can bridge the connection while away. There is no need to spend tons of money when looking for a trinket for your child. The important point is that you are finding a sweet memento to return with that your child will enjoy. This can help you feel like they are getting something out of the trip, and that you have them on your mind. While we were in Cabo, I found the sweetest Frida Khalo doll for my daughter that was $8 and an Alebrije (Spirit Guide like from the movie Coco) for $2 for my son. I had fun searching for the right one and each day popped into a little shop in search of them. It was a quick mom thing I did to appease my guilt!
5. Sometimes less communication is more. When all else fails, say good bye and walk away from the phone. It may seem counter intuitive, however, some kids and even adults need to have less interaction to disconnect and be able to enjoy their day apart. One day on our trip, my son accidentally pulled out one of his dresser drawers onto his foot and lost it. We FaceTimed and he was in complete hysterics; tears running down his face, asking for me to come home, and completely unable to deescalate. I tried all of the things while on the phone to help him feel better and my mom tried all of the things in person. He would not stop crying. After a few minutes I finally told my mom that I was going to get off the phone since it was not helping. My mom texted me 10 minutes later saying he had stopped crying and they were going to get donuts. I also felt better because I was starting to feel useless so far away. If you sense that your calls often get one if not both parties too riled up, a sweet goodbye and try again later may be the trick you both need.
I cannot stress and urge you enjoy going and doing the things that you want to do without your kids. If you find a caregiver that you trust and follow these steps, you just have to have an amazing time. Weather it’s a work trip, a girl’s trip, solo one, or romantic getaway, you deserve it and should fully enjoy it!