Family trips are always difficult and exhausting for parents. While it’s trying enough to keep your children safe and happy at home, it’s even harder to do the same in a different environment. Whether you are visiting some relatives or going on a vacation, you probably think of it as just another job to do, rather than a time for celebrating or relaxing.
Wherever you are going, you know that you will have to sleep with one eye open. There will be new people, new things to do, new areas to explore and possibilities for all kinds of mischief. The one thing that won’t be there is the time for you to relax and enjoy your vacation or family visit. Is there a way to make at least some time for that?
Many parents rely on the moments when the children are asleep to get a nice dinner or visit the Spa, or something else of that kind. Remember – this is not a good idea! Children go to bed early and also wake up early, which means that you do too. If you tuck them in at 8 pm and stay up till 1 or 2 am catching up with friends or family, you will just not be able to handle the next day.
If you are going to a resort for a family vacation, look for one that is family-friendly, i.e. has day care facilities where you can leave your children for the whole day and have trained professionals take care of them. But before you book your stay, make sure you have researched the resort well – you will not be able to relax and enjoy your massage if you are always wondering whether you’ve left the kids in good hands.
Another way to enjoy some time for yourself in a resort is to take shifts with your husband or wife – he/she can take them to the water park today and you can take them to the aquarium tomorrow. That way you will both have a day all to yourself to do whatever you want while the kids are also having fun.
If you are visiting some relatives and if there will be someone else there with children, you can work up a schedule with them – you watch their kids today and they watch your kids tomorrow. If you are just visiting your parents – well, the solution is clear – just leave the children to your parents and go out to have a nice day off.
Whichever course of action you choose, you will be delighted with the results – finally some time for yourself after 4/5/6 years of constant alertness. Be careful not to try anything else, though – a nap by the pool while the children are playing might seem very tempting, but is a sure recipe for disaster. There should always be someone watching and that someone has to be a person you trust. Otherwise, the family trip will just be another test to your resolve to be a good parent, and not an actual time away from work and worries.