How do you prepare your children when you are planning to leave them for a week?
Ok so I don’t want any bad mummy comments; how can you leave your child and go on holiday without them?!
Well my husband and I have never had a holiday just the two of us, we enjoy our family holidays very much but we’ve never been abroad the two of us or as a family saying that, mainly because we can’t afford it. The holidays we have been on are UK Holidays we love Bluestone and we love caravanning in Tenby.
I recently entered a competition to win a holiday for 2 adults abroad. I enter quite a few competitions and to be honest you never really expect to win especially when the prize is a holiday! To our shock though a week later we found out we had won!
We were obviously very excited but then we realised we’d have some planning to do.
We have never left our children for more than a night. They quite often go up their grandparents house and stay overnight but this holiday is for 7 days!
Yes we felt like bad parents for even considering going away, on holiday, without them, for 7 days! But when would we ever have this opportunity again? It certainly wouldn’t be within the next 18 years.
We decided that we would accept the prize and go on holiday without our children. We are very fortunate that the kids have amazing grandparents who can look after them while we’re away. They will be well looked after and they love their grandparents and spending time with them.
We naturally worry about leaving them for a week, but we know they will have a great time and yes we will miss them greatly and they will miss us but is that a reason not to go? I don’t think so. We will back before they know it, and after a few days it will probably seem like we haven’t been away at all.
As parents we all need a break sometimes, and we can be too hard on ourselves and often feel guilty even thinking this, but we have to give ourselves a break from time to time.
So we are now planning ways to prepare our children for when we go away. Here is our plan so far;
1. Tell them. Be honest and tell them where you are going and what you’re doing and why. They more they know the better they will understand. I explained that when they go up their grandparents they usually stay for one sleep but this time it will be 7 sleeps. They asked why so I told them mummy and daddy are going away but we will be back and in the meantime they’ll be having a sleep over at their grandparents. We keep reminding them how many days are left until the sleepover starts so that they can be prepared for it as well. I don’t think that at 3 and 4 years of age they truly understand but I do believe that this will help.
2. Let them pack a bag for themselves. This could be favourite toys, books or snacks. Anything that will keep them happy and occupied whilst they’re at their grandparents house.
3. Pack a goodie bag for them. We decided it would be nice for our children if we packed them a goodie bag for their stay. This could include activity books, a game, DVD, snacks etc. You could also leave them little notes or letters to open.
4. Ensure that whoever is looking after your children respects your rules and their routines. Children can be sensitive to change so it’s important to keep as much as possible similar and consistent for them not to stress or upset them any further. We have a good routine with our children, it helps them to know what to expect next. For example they know that after they have had their bath they’ve have milk and biscuits and a cuddle on the sofa before its time to go up to bed. We’ve never had any drama at bedtime because the children know what comes next.
5. Keep in contact. While you’re away there’s no reason why you can’t keep in contact especially this day and age. You can phone them, FaceTime them even send them a postcard!
6. Bring one their toys on an adventure. Take photos of their toys in unusual locations or enjoying an ice cream. They will love seeing what their stuffed toy has been up to!
7. Say goodbye! But don’t make it a long overdrawn process as this could upset and stress your child. Keep it short and sweet, never leave without saying goodbye.
8. Plan some quality time on your return. Luckily for us it will be the summer holidays so we will be able to take the kids for days out and spend quality time with them on our return.
Have you gone away without your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, leave your comments below…