Open Letter: It’s Okay to Want a Break From Your Kids
Want a Break From Your Kids?
Hey there. Recently, I’ve been having many chats with both friends and clients who have something in common: they come back from holiday with their kids feeling more on edge, more stressed out, and more ready to take a vacation than ever. Why? Because typically during the week, they have diversions like childcare, preschool, or other activities that give them a little breathing room so that when they are reunited with their child, they’re refreshed and excited to be with that little one again. On vacation? Not so much.
The other thing I’ve seen from almost every single parent who I’ve discussed this with is an immense feeling of guilt for wanting even just a few hours away from their little ones to gather their thoughts, truly unwind, and revive. One told me she felt like being with her daughter should “give her more energy” and “make her feel alive,” but instead, she reported being drained and burnt out after a beach holiday away with the kids.
If you’re feeling the same way, or have been in those disappointed flip-flops before, I’m here to tell you that there’s nothing wrong with feeling that way, and that, in fact, it’s normal! We all love our children more than anything or anyone in the world, but sometimes, if a family vacation isn’t carefully planned and organized with some relaxation (for you!) in mind, it can end up being fun and games for everyone but the parents. If you come back feeling frazzled, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom or that you don’t love spending time with your children anymore—it just means that when you were busy responding to their homesickness or making sure they didn’t destroy other children’s sand castles on the beach, that you weren’t able to take the time for yourself to unwind. And no, needing that time doesn’t make you selfish, it just makes you human!
So take a deep breath (and maybe a long relaxing shower tonight!) and the next time you plan travel for your family, try to find a way to schedule in some you time without the little ones—even if it’s just for a few hours or an evening. Many family friendly hotels have child care and child activities, and you can find vetted babysitters almost anywhere you travel to on reputable child care sites. It’ll make all that time that you do spend having adventures with your wee ones that much more precious and joyful for everyone.
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