Parenting by definition is stressful. Constantly being subjected to the energy sucking nature of kids takes a toll mentally, physically, and emotionally. There reaches a point where you have to make a choice. You have to choose your own well-being above all. For any parent this is by no means an easy task… but it is a necessary one. From what I’ve experienced a kid free vacation is exactly what a parent needs to recharge. Unfortunately, the entire process involves a whole lot of extra stress.
You have been running on empty for quite awhile. Emotions are on edge and your patience vacated the premises. At times it feels like the monotony of your daily duties and responsibilities is going to be the end of you. At least the end of the you you want to be.
As you sit drinking lukewarm coffee, yelling at your kids to be quiet, and haphazardly folding laundry you know will never stay folded… it happens. A glimmer of hope flashes across the screen of the TV. The Price is Right just gave away a dream vacation. You think, “I wish I was that lucky”. Then it hits you, what if you designed your own showcase? People go on vacation all the time and damnit you can too.
So there you went and got yourself all excited. You dreamed about white beaches, mojitos and enjoying yourself without the burden of additional responsibilities. You bite the bullet and book the trip. The bubbling excitement in your chest has given you a new burst of energy.
Suddenly you look around and realize everything this dream is going to require to turn into a reality. Financing, childcare, and rearranging every aspect of your life. The tasks are daunting. You create a “to do” list that spans a few football fields.
There is a very real fear that whoever is caring for children will be incapable of making their favorite spaghetti the right way, and this is simply unacceptable. You rack your brain trying to remember every aspect of how you raise your children and run your home. Knowledge is power and you want to give your babysitter enough power to light up New York. You have to ensure your kiddos feel support and love. You make double sure to write down that spaghetti recipe.
All of the crap that has to be arranged is arranged, at least to the point where you really don’t give a shit anymore. At this point you have burnt out the part of your brain that cares about that spaghetti and you will be happy with your children subsisting on chocolate milk and potato chips.
Once the travel begins there is a deep sense of regret. How dare you leave your little family and pursue selfish endeavors. The “what ifs” flood your brain. There is a point where airport personnel suggest hard liquor and you oblige without hesitation.
Slowly you begin to settle into the idea that you are on vacation. No one is demanding your attention, you have no responsibilities, and people are lining up to take care of you, for once. It is a situation that is foreign to you but exhilarating.
Time loses meaning, schedules mean nothing, you begin to function like your pre-kid self. The resort throws something called a Foam Party and suddenly you find yourself in a midnight group bubble bath… with alcohol. You are so far out of your element you broke the damn periodic table.
The vacation turns into a blur. It’s a positive blur filled with lounging, drinking, food and a general feeling of ease. The hangovers and sunburn fade to the background.
Creating a kid free vacation is no easy task. It creates an entirely new level of stress. However allowing yourself to spend time on you is vital. Once you return to your little critters your emotions will have a strong buffer and your patience will have returned to take up residence. Your kiddos will also have a new appreciation for their Mama’s spaghetti. You will also have reclaimed a little bit of the you you want to be.