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10 days without your kids. Bliss or unbearable?

Would you holiday without your kids?

 

For the past four and half years, my partner and I have lived and breathed our children. Aside from the occasional date night and one night away for a wedding, our lives have pretty much revolved around our two boys.

Don’t get me wrong, this is our choice. My partner works away a lot and when he is home we prefer to spend the time as a family.

This year we decided to be selfish. We booked our first ever overseas holiday and we didn’t include our children.

Hawaii for ten days. That would be ten days without the following:

–        Nappy changing

–        Filling my handbag with endless snacks and ridiculously heavy water bottles day in and day out

–        Endless conversations about who is better – Spiderman, Batman or Ironman

–        A 6.30pm curfew

–        Meals consisting entirely of meat and three veg, which is pretty much all my super fussy four year old will eat

–        Constant arguments over the application of sunscreen

Needless to say, we were just a little bit excited.

Relaxing without the kids? Bliss.

I had envisaged that I would be a little teary when it came time to say goodbye. But we had arranged for my parents to take the boys home early from my sister’s 30th the night before we flew out, and let’s just say, the prospect of abandoning all parental responsibility was a lot easier to handle when armed with a bottle of Sparkling.

We got to Hawaii and yes, straight away it felt like something was missing – the idea of missing my children. For the first few days, I didn’t miss them. I hiked, I drank a few cocktails, I swam in the pool and the beach. I went out for dinner at a “grown up” restaurant with a menu that didn’t offer chicken nuggets.

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I went snorkelling and watched the mother of a two year old have an utterly miserable time as she spent the entire expedition struggling to keep her child on board and happy.

I remembered and relived life before children.

But I did more than that. I reconnected with my partner. We had spent so many years either trying for or living with our babies, we had kind of forgotten that originally we had a pretty awesome time with just the two of us. We had uninterrupted conversations where we talked openly and honestly about the changes in our relationship since having children. We resolved to remember Hawaii and the feelings we were experiencing once we were back in the reality of every day life.

Then something changed. I started to miss my kids. Everywhere I looked, things reminded me of our boys. Every shop I went into, I found something else one of them would “just love”. Where just a couple of days earlier, I had smirked at those parents who had brought their children on holiday with them, suddenly  I started to envy them.

Instead of phoning home every few days, as promised, we started to find excuses to ring almost every day.

By the end of the ten days, we were chomping at the bit to see our little munchkins. Our plane was delayed, we didn’t get home until 10.30pm. I had already resolved not to wake them up when we got in, but I was secretly thrilled when my four year old woke up crying an hour later. I picked him up, determined to get my ten days worth of cuddles.

Two weeks on, like most holidays, Hawaii is a distant memory. Would I go away without my kids again? Probably not for a few years. We’ve done it. We had a great time, but we both agreed next holiday will be in Australia and will be a family experience.

Would I recommend going somewhere sans children if you’ve never done it before? Absolutely.

Jakobi is a SAHM to two busy boys, Zac and Ash. When she is not too busy performing tricks for them in the kitchen, she works as a relief teacher at her local high school.

Would you go away without your children? Where would you go?

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