Parent to Parent: Enjoying a Guilt-Free Child-Free Vacation
Parent to Parent
Enjoying a Guilt-free Child-free Vacation
by Patti Hermes
Ah yes, a break from the parenting run-around that’s exactly what I needed. For many parents, the question isn’t IF they will leave the children at home, but HOW? And for how long? And WHEN?
If you’ve never tried it, taking a vacation from parenting responsibilities, an adults-only vacation, is truly worth the effort. To get the full effect, though, I suggest targeting a destination that’s likely to have very few, if any, children tagging along with their parents. Besides the usual couples-only, clothes-optional resorts, you could try a spa or an adventure tour that specifies age limits. If other people’s kids won’t bother you, there are plenty of cities where you can engage in adult entertainment, particularly during the months when most kids would be in school.
On my recent trip to Las Vegas, I was surprised at how many families were strolling the Strip after midnight. Even though most shows even required you to be 21 to enter, some parents just can’t bring themselves to leave the babes at home.
Or they can’t get a reliable babysitter. Grandparents are the obvious choice for most of us, but not always an option. If you have more than three children, you may want to consider splitting them up, shipping a couple off to a childless friend for a weekend to ease the burden. Some prospective sitters would be more willing to take your older children and leave “night duty” and potty training to someone else. Don’t overlook carpooling buddies, especially if your children will need to get to team practices in your absence.
Remember, you can always offer to reciprocate for another family.
And sometimes you may find hiring a local college student on semester break the best you can do. In that case, I’d try a few practice weekends before heading out on a longer trip.
What to do when you’ve been gone a few days and you miss the little rascals? Call them, but don’t be too disappointed if they act like they don’t miss you. For some kids (like mine), being spoiled by the grandparents for a week is the next best thing to Disney.
So go! Have fun! The break will be good for the whole family.
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