First trip away from the kids
As a busy mom, I am learning the importance of balance and “me time” however it is still by far one of the hardest things to put into practice. My whole life basically revolves around my kids. I think my biggest problem is not feeling guilty – guilty that I might actually need some time to focus on just me. So you can imagine when I was planning a trip without the kids, that guilt became that one thing that made the whole concept of leaving difficult to manage. Renan and I have never been away from our kids for longer than 2 nights, so when we planned a trip to Mexico City for 7 days, I knew it would be a bit challenging for all of us. The minute the trip was booked the guilt kicked in. I found myself feeling guilty that my parents would have to watch them, that I wouldn’t be the one to tuck them in at night or be there when they woke up, and even guiltier that I might actually enjoy some time away without them… Wait did I just say that?!? Then the fears kicked in, like what if the kids get sick, what if they don’t sleep through the night and are nightmare for my parents to watch them? But then I also thought, what if they don’t get sick, what if they actually have fun with the grandparents knowing I won’t be there to say “no” you can’t eat that, or what if it makes them understand even more how much we value relationships. An important value Ren and I talk about with the kids is the importance of connection and investing in relationships. Just like they enjoy having play dates and sleepovers with their friends, we tell them that adults also need time with each other. So to ease my mind about leaving I planned a few things that made being away from the kids a bit easier.
Prep the kids
Basically as soon as our trip was booked, (which was 5 months prior) we told the kids we would be going away for a week. My kids like advance warning about big stuff like this so we knew telling them right away was the best decision. It gave us time to alleviate any of their insecurities about us being away and gave us plenty of time to reassure them that we would miss them just as much, if not more than they missed us.
Keep the routine the same
When we planned the trip we wanted to make sure there were no big events we were going to miss, for example the last day of school. We wanted to make sure they understood the routines would remain the same. It gave me a bit of comfort knowing they would still have school during the day, and their activities in the evening keeping them busy for the majority of the day versus if we left during summer break.
Prep lunch notes
In keeping with the routines I knew it was important for me to make their lunch notes ahead of time for the week we would be away. I also counted down the days on each note letting them know that it would be one less sleep till we came home.
Draw about your day.
Because I don’t like to miss a thing, I gave the kids each a little book to draw in or write about each day. Since I wasn’t going to be there to pick them up from school or tuck them in which are usually the times we like to chat about the day, I thought it would be fun for the kids to document their days while we were away so we could talk about them when we got back.
What would we do without face time? Of course talking to the kids using face time was so great being able to see them while we were on our trip. Made me feel like we were not that far away, and of course I couldn’t go a day without seeing their faces and hearing them giggle.
So yay I survived my first trip away from the kids and YES I completely enjoyed myself. It couldn’t have come at a better time and exploring a new city with some of my favourite people made being away so worth it. Now a few photos of our amazing trip away.