I just got back from my first child-free holiday and I have to say it was absolutely AMAZING!
We were invited to a wedding abroad and after a lot of consideration decided to go child-free. My partner and I work opposite shifts and barely see each other, so a week away together was something we both felt was a good idea.
Of course I missed my little boy, but I also got the chance to unwind, relax and spend some actual quality time with my partner.
I know a child-free holiday isn’t for everyone, but if you’re considering it, here’s a few things you should know:
1. You STILL won’t get a lie in
You might think a holiday away without the kids means late nights, no alarm clocks and the parenting holy grail; a week full of lie-ins. Sadly your body will be so wired to waking up at 5.30am you’ll still do it anyway. And quite possibly watch an hour of Peppa Pig before realising the kids aren’t actually there.
2. You’ll pack more stuff for the kids than for yourself
It’s pretty much standard that whenever we go away, my son takes more stuff than we do. In preparation for this holiday though, I went a bit overboard. I was so worried about him missing a special toy or blanket while we were away that I basically packed every item he owns. Which anyone with small kids will know is a LOT. Luckily, there’s no weight limit on the luggage allowed in to Nannie’s house or we would have been charged a fortune!
3. You won’t be able to stop parenting
Despite there being no children around, you’ll still find yourself removing small objects from their reach. You’ll lock the patio door at night so they can’t get on to the balcony, and you may even transfer your parenting on to your partner. I didn’t even realise I was doing it until I asked him if he’d been to the toilet before we left the apartment…
4. You’ll feel guilty for not feeling guilty
So I pretty much went through every emotion possible between booking this holiday and getting back home. The worst one though was guilt. Guilt about leaving my son behind, guilt that he might be missing me, and unexpectedly…guilt about not feeling guilty. After a few days I found myself actually relaxing, having fun and not worrying about anything at all! Then all of a sudden the guilt hit me! How could I be so relaxed? How could I be having such a good time without my son? Then my Mum sent me some photos of my little boy. As expected he was being well and truly spoilt by his grandparents and having the time of his life!
This really made me feel a lot better. That and the three gin and tonics in the poolside bar…
5. You’ll find a new appreciation for your job
Being a Mum is the best job I’ve ever had and I love it completely. But before we went away, I found myself stuck in a parenting rut. The same old routine day after day, running out of fun activities to do and watching more CBeebies than I’d care to admit.
After a week away, I felt refreshed, recharged and ready to be fun Mum again. We’ve packed so many activities and games into each day since I’ve been back, that my son is probably bored of the sight of me! But I’ve enjoyed every single minute. I feel like I’ve got more energy and patience; even the dreaded ‘terrible twos’ tantrums don’t seem as bad as before.
And while I won’t be in a hurry to leave him again, our time apart has made me appreciate him more than ever.
I’m a stay at home mum of one gorgeous but exhausting toddler. I’ve got a passion for money saving and getting the most out of family life without spending too much money! I’ve recently started blogging to share my adventures in parenting on a budget and hopefully help other families make their money go further!