MummyFever

Travelling without your children: Absolutely? It depends? Or, no way on earth?

Travelling and holidays, something so many of us love and perhaps live for to an extent, but when children come along holidays take on a slightly different approach. There is no ‘holiday’ from parenting is there, so really we end up doing lots of the same things somewhere else.

Despite this, I actually love family holidays. A lot of work goes into the planning and the packing and then the washing on our return, but I love sharing those times with the whole family, making memories and showing the children different parts of the world. I can’t imagine going on holiday without them, holiday time together is precious as it is.

Also, having a holiday without the children is dependent on having people you can leave your children with, not something that everyone has at their fingertips. In addition to that, when you’ve pretty much been with your children 24/7 since birth it can be hard to think about how that could work.

beach life

Lots of people we know, as well as having family holidays, do have regular weekends away and even full weeks away without their children. Having a grown up holiday with their significant other or friends, whilst their children are cared for by the grandparents.

Going away without your children is one of those things that I always get the impression people have strong views about, so I decided to ask some other mums what their views were. The responses were really interesting and quite varied, but the bulk of people fell into the “absolutely” would category, many of them having already had holidays without their children on numerous occasions.

Absolutely

Alex from Better Together Home thinks it’s really important to have time out as individuals and as a couple. They’ve been away on mini breaks without their daughter and she’s been away on a hen do on her own.

Jessica from Catch a Single Thought and her husband have been away without their two children a number of times. It’s something they think is hugely important. Their children stay with grandparents and have a blast. Likewise, Corrina from Cherry Sue, Doin’ the Do thinks it’s really important to have time away from your parenting role. She’s a soon to be mum of six and although they have no one to take care of their children so they can go away together, they take it in turns to have some time out and re-charge.

Laura, who writes at Max and Mummy thinks that having a break away without the children is important, not just to have a rest, but to remember who you are without the ‘Mummy’ name tag. Lauren, who blogs at Inspire, Create, Educate feels the same and says that a break from the parenting role helps her to stay “sane”.

Kerryanne, who blogs at The Money Saving Mummy says “if I had an opportunity to go on holiday without the kids I’d be on the plane before you could say ‘bon voyage ‘. Selfish? Not at all. The everyday grind can get exhausting especially when you throw parenting into the mix. A few days or a week away without the kids allows you time to recharge, to just be yourself without the constant stresses of everyday life and to relax. In my opinion it’s healthy to go away without the kids and certainly nothing to feel guilty about. For a short period of time you are able to put your needs first and what’s good for you is ultimately good for the rest of the family. The kids will equally be delighted in the change of scenery and routine having a little holiday with Nanny and Grandad. So it’s a win win”.

preparations for family travel

Nikki, who writes an incredibly touching blog Living With Lennon absolutely would travel without the children. Having recently experienced the death of their eldest child, her and her partner are trying to re-build their relationship and spend time together.

Emma from The Mini Mes and Me loves holiday time with her children but also loves a good break without them in the sun. She feels very refreshed afterwards and feels this is her time to unwind and recharge. Emily from Babies and Beauty is off on holiday without her boys this week and can’t wait to relax.

Kelly who blogs at Reduced Grub is also a stewardess and often sees parents going away to recharge their batteries. Katie from The Perfect Juggler feels that as a single mum this is important. She spent some holiday time in Portugal getting some much needed time to relax, and she’s thinking of doing it again. Michelle who writes the blog Shell Louise goes away every year with her husband for their anniversary. Her mum comes to look after the children. She loves their holidays without the children and would do it more often if they could.

Sophie, who writes at her self-titled blog Sophie Le Brozec, thinks child-free holidays are really important and told me that this pretty much saved her marriage.  She also feels that having time away from her children makes her a better parent “I remember saying goodbye to them as we left for our week in the Red Sea. Léna clung to me and said “but why are you going on holiday without me?” I replied, totally honestly, “so I won’t be such a shouty mummy anymore”. She couldn’t get me out of the door fast enough!!” Sophie and her husband have left their children with grandparents but for their first trip away when they only had one child, they left their daughter with her childminder, someone they knew well and trusted and also the person who knew about their childs’ likes, dislikes and routine.

Honey, who also writes a self-titled blog Honey Landsdowne enjoyed her time away on her own, no children and no partner, spending 10 days in Canada on a training course.

cocktails

Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof is looking forward to her break in Venice with her husband next month. Their son will be staying with grandparents, which he does on a regular basis at the weekend when they are working. Chantele thinks this really helps and her son loves it, although they wouldn’t go away for longer at this stage.

Amy from Everything Mummy is heading away for eight days with her partner soon. Her daughters will be staying with their dad, she said she wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving them with another family member.

Chloe who blogs at Sorry About the Mess, acknowledges that they are very lucky to have family to take their children so they can holiday without them. They are off to St. Lucia soon. However, she says that this doesn’t come without anxiety, although that normally eases once they arrive at their destination.

It depends

preparations for family travel

There were a number of mums who, whilst they liked the idea of having a holiday, or short break away without their children, felt that it was not something they could do at the moment. The bulk of the reasons people gave for this were that they felt that their children were still too young.

Kim from The Improving Mum felt that at 13 months her son was too young to be without her, but in another couple of years she’d consider leaving him with his grandparents. Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger thought that she might go away for a long weekend when her baby was older, but at the moment she isn’t ready to leave him. Likewise, Emma over at Ettie and Me thought it depended on the age of the child and your circumstances. Christy who blogs at Welsh Mum has been away for a couple of days without her son and he is happy to stay with her mum, but she feels a week would be too long.

Liberty who writes over at Liberty on the Lighter Side has been away without the children and would recommend it BUT, she feels it is an age related issue and it’s not something that should happen when you have a young baby.

Some mums were prepared to go away but the emphasis was on the trip not being too long or too far away. Raimy, who writes over at Readaraptor Hatchling is planning a trip for her anniversary but didn’t want to go too far away and would limit the trip to a few days. Helen over at Talking Mums agrees, and she wouldn’t want to go abroad without the children whilst they are still young.

Some parents felt guilty about the idea of holiday time without the children. Sam from Memories and Mayhem said she would only consider it if they had another holiday planned with the children. Erica, who writes at The Little Bargain Hunter said that she has been considering having a few nights of unbroken sleep somewhere exotic, but she worries they would regret not taking their little one along with them.

family holiday

Lucy at Muffin Top Mummy went away on her own when her baby was nine months for four days which she really enjoyed. Although the day she got home her daughter came down with food poisoning! Jules from My Family Home was invited away with a friend, after wrestling with the decision she decided to go for a week, but a hurricane hit and the trip was cancelled.

Jeanie who writes over at What a Difference a Day Makes, had me in absolute stitches with her views on this – “My first holiday away without my first child was both wonderful and painful. The wonder of going to bed without keeping one ear open for his cries and waking up at a reasonable time was so exciting we could barely sleep – no really, we barely slept because we couldn’t turn off the inbuilt “wake-up-to-every-little-sound-and-before-the-birds” switch. As we frolicked in the waves and tried out new foods and new experiences, I couldn’t help but wonder how much he would have enjoyed it, and couldn’t help but tell my husband how much he would have enjoyed it too, to the point that my husband no longer wanted to frolic in the waves or try out new foods nor new experiences because he knew he would hear “oh, the baby would have enjoyed this sooooo much! I miss him soooo much!” So we stayed in our room for way too much of our time away. The good news is that we conceived baby number two on that holiday and we were way more chilled the next time we went away without the kids!”

No way on earth

family hotels

Donna, who blogs over at Skirting Boards & Chandeliers enjoys holidays with her children and isn’t afraid to travel long haul or even head to a festival with a baby, she feels those experiences bring out the best in her children. Tracey who writes the blog Mum’s Make Up Bag says holidays with her family of six are brilliant.

Nikki, who writes over at Yorkshire Wonders, felt strongly that she would not want to go on holiday without her children. They don’t have anyone they would trust (or could put upon) for that length of time. Although, she admits, “the truth is, I wouldn’t enjoy it without them”. Charlotte from The Mummy Toolbox enjoys a child-free evening on holiday but wouldn’t want to go away without her children.

Kirsty, who blogs at The Money Saving Mum said that although she probably needs to go away without her children, she can’t bring herself to, because she’d rather spend money on a family holiday.

Jo, who writes Mummy’s Knee, says she loves the idea but has no one who can look after her kids even overnight never mind a few days. Friends of hers do it and they love it, so she feels very jealous. Ruth, who blogs at Craft With Cartwright says she really likes the idea but thinks she would crumble when it came time to go. Jessica, who writes a gorgeous blog Nora & Co says that she doesn’t think she could ever bring herself to holiday without the children. She feels she couldn’t rest knowing they weren’t nearby.

What’s your view?

family travel

What are your thoughts about going on holiday without the children?

It seems that there are a number of factors involved, given the comments from the people that shared their views here. One of those is obviously about whether you have anyone you can leave your children with whilst you holiday without them. For many people that just isn’t possible, although it does seem there are a number of families that are able to rely on grandparents for these sorts of things.

After you’ve got over the issue of who will take care of your children in your absence, there are things to consider around the age of the children, how long you might be away, where you might go and whether or not that will impact on any family holidays you might want to have.

This is clearly a very personal decision and every family is different. I imagine though that if you are used to leaving your children with family members and they are willing to help out that must form a big part of the decision.

10 comments on 'Travelling without your children: Absolutely? It depends? Or, no way on earth?'

  • Great article, I think as you say there are a number of factors which need to be taken into consideration, and we as parents are all different (if we were all the same life would be pretty dull). What works for one family, may not work for another, but its important we all respect each others parenting decisions. Thanks for collating all the view points, a great read xx

  • Thanks for the mention, it’s a tricky one, in many ways I think we all need time to recharge but I also think it seems a bit mean on the kids, we kind of sign up for life with them and they are only little for such a short time. I have an grown up daughter too and I know that you do get more time as they get older for doing your own thing.

  • Thank you for including me. I was telling my husband about your post and he said he would have no trouble going away without the kids and he pointed out that they both get holidays away without us (they are in high school and have been skiing and on various residential trips) so why shouldn’t we have some time away without them!

  • I think it’s important couples have their own time together and it helps to strengthen a relationship/marriage which can only benefit for children. However, their is a balance to be struck. Even though I trust the grandparents I don’t think either of us would be comfortable going away for a week or more without our little one. A weekend away? Absolutely, and we have done that and were able to relax and it’s good for everyone concerned to have that break for a couple of days.

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