The best advice you’ll ever get on taking a holiday from your kids
Listen up, it’s right there on the airline safety briefing!
Let’s be honest, going on holiday with your kids is hard work. Loss of routine, normal support structures, and the familiarity of your home means additional parental load and strain when holidaying with your kids.
Most parents I know need a holiday to recover from their family holiday.
Holidays with your kids should be amazing and offer immense value on many levels, both for the parents and the kids. The aim of a family holiday should be to spend quality time together, to do things together you don’t normally get to do or have time to do.
Sounds ideal, but it requires lots of energy and willpower. We start our family holidays already drained, desperate for a break.
Most family holidays only feel like a holiday for the parents when the kids aren’t around, when we can send them to a kids’ club, unload them onto other family members, or let them rack up the hours on their iPads. If it only feels like a holiday when your kids aren’t around, you need a holiday from your kids.
There’s no point in going on holiday with your kids if the best parts of your holiday are when they’re not with you. You should want to build forts, go on adventures, read stories, and play games together.
You should want to spend time with your kids, the kind of quality time you don’t normally get. This idyllic scenario can only play out if you’ve already had your holiday, a holiday that actually feels like a holiday and recharges your batteries. Your holiday doesn’t have a single kid in sight. Your holiday is for you.
So, how do you pull off this trick? The answer is simple: get divorced.
If you don’t want to get divorced then get ‘divorced a little’ by adopting one of the best aspects of being divorced – the ability to get your co-parent to have the kids while you go on your holiday. This isn’t a luxury, and it isn’t a dream. It’s an absolute requirement.
If you’re still happily married, you should allow and support your partner to take holidays away from you and the kids.
This could entail them going away, or you going away and leaving them at home alone. Either way, a holiday away from spouse and kids is the best way to recharge batteries, increase fondness through absence, and most importantly, allow you both to be fully present with your kids when you do take your family holiday.
Every time you’ve sat on a plane, you’ve heard the best life advice ever spoken: “In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Apply your own mask first before assisting other passengers.”
You have to apply your own mask first. If you can’t breathe, you can’t offer value. You have to prioritise your own oxygen, energy, and happiness.
You have to prioritise your own holiday in order to have the energy, desire, and willpower to get the most from a family holiday with your kids.