While it may be tough for some super-moms and overachieving dads to shift focus, taking time to refresh, revitalize, and reconnect with your significant other is as important to your kids as it is to you.
Family vacation: two words that either paint a relaxing picture of rest and relaxation or make you break out in hives at an otherwise-repressed memory of a beat up RV, obnoxious siblings, and weeks on the road bouncing from one showerless campground to another. And while the thought of taking two separate family vacations in the same year may also get a divided response, the end result will, if executed correctly, make for a happier, healthier, and stronger family unit.
Leave The Kids At Home
It may seem counter intuitive to seek a family trip without the children, but whether you want to admit it or not, the most important relationship within the family unit is not between you and your kids, but the relationship between you and your spouse or partner. It is simply the foundation upon which every other relationship is built. While it may be tough for some super-moms and overachieving dads to shift focus, taking time to refresh, revitalize, and reconnect with your significant other is as important to your kids as it is to you. Take time to take care of the relationship that takes care of them.
The Gift That Keeps On Giving
For some, leaving the munchkins with grandma and grandpa may be the usual choice, for others an aunt or uncle might be more practical. But before you go the obvious route, consider trading kid-sitting duties with another couple you know and selling them on the idea of a childless vacation as well. You may have to beg at first, but when you return with a Cheshire-cat grin on your face and an album full of envy-invoking pictures, the sales pitch will likely get much easier. Once you send them off on a kidless vacation of their own, no pitch will be necessary. As their relationship strengthens, you may find that they not only love you for dumping your rugrats at their doorstep, but they may want to turn it into an annual event.
A Family Vacation For Two
With the kids settled and kissed good-bye, it is just the two of you for the next few days. But with no need to take the desires of the sippy-cup contingent into consideration, where do you go? What do you do? The first and most important step is to be honest. A good rule of thumb is to visualize yourself at the end of your vacation. How does it look? How do you feel? Now work your way backwards and plan your get-away around that end result. Whether you see the two of you with arms raised in the air after scaling the face of a mountain or tanned to perfection after lounging on a white-sand beach for days on end, leave everyone else’s idea of the perfect vacation behind and choose something geared toward the two of you.
It has been said that the single most important thing you can do to show your kids how much you love them is to love each other. Study after study has proven that kids grow up repeating not what they have been told, but what they have been shown. While at first glance a vacation without the kids may seem like a selfish endeavor, your time away from them will serve not only as a romantic respite from your daily parenting duties, but also as a living example of a healthy relationship that your kids will take into adult hood.
And their future husbands and wives will thank you for it.