- Family and Parenting
Taking a Child-Free Weekend Away
Taking a child-free break as a couple can be a great way to inject some romance and passion back into your relationship, especially as the stresses of modern life often mean that couples take each other for granted or have little opportunity to spend quality time together. As beneficial as a short break without the kids can be, many parents can't even imagine going away without the rest of the family and therefore don't do so. Here are some tips for arranging a child-free weekend away.
The Advantages of Child-Free Weekends
It's easy to take each other for granted in a long-term relationship, especially if you have children together as they become the focus of attention. Getting away from the family routine can work wonders for helping you to reignite your relationship, even if you only take a few days away.
Are Your Children Ready?
If the concept of taking a child-free weekend is entirely alien to both you and your family, separation anxiety may be a problem. Children who are not used to their parents spending time away from them can quickly become distressed if you were then to leave them for more than a day. If you're not sure whether this will be the case for your children, an overnight trip can be a good way to assess how they would react to your absence. If your children react badly to this, it's probably a sign that your family isn't yet ready for you to take a child-free weekend away. A few more overnight trips may be needed to get used to the idea of spending time apart before you build up to the full weekend trip. If your children are of the age where they can understand, try explaining the situation to them so that they can grasp the situation and are less likely to be afraid that you won't come back.
If you don't usually leave your children for any great length of time, it's better to leave them with relatives or family friends that they know well so that they don't become more anxious at the prospect of being left with strange babysitters. They may still experience some degree of separation anxiety but this is likely to be worse if you leave them in unfamiliar company.
If this isn't an option and you have to use nannies or babysitters to look after the children while you're away, be sure to check their professional qualifications so that you can have confidence in their childcare abilities. A background check can be useful if you have any doubts, although the majority of the highly rated childcare agencies will do as a matter of course before they take on staff.
Managing The Guilt
Most parents will feel guilty about taking a child-free weekend and this is entirely natural. It's worth reminding yourself that spending some quality time together helps to ensure that your relationship doesn't suffer and have a negative or traumatic effect on your children. The guilt won't automatically go away but it can reduce the anxiety that you're a bad parents for leaving your children even on a temporary basis. Guilt can encourage parents to spend lots of money on gifts to take home as a means of making them feel better but this can set a precedent as far as future trips are concerned as your children may come to expect big rewards after every weekend away.