There are many mothers that have never spent a night away from their children. However, eventually something will come up — whether it’s for work, family, or just a much needed getaway. It will require you to leave your kids in someone else’s capable hands while you are away and that can be a bit scary, for both mom and children.
I was one of those mothers until recently.
Planning my first trip away from the kids came with a lot of mixed feelings and emotions including sadness, separation anxiety, fears, and mommy guilt. It was really tough for me to leave, but by the end of it, I was really glad that I did and I had a wonderful trip.
Of course there were many things that I did to prepare for my first time away from the kids to make it easier for the whole family. Here are some ideas you can implement when planning for your first overnight, child-free excursion.
Talk About it Ahead of Time
Start talking about your trip a couple of months ahead of time. Let your children know you will be going away for a certain amount of time, and show them that you are excited about it. Talk about where you will be going, what you will be doing, and how you will communicate while you’re gone. This way, when the big day arrives, the kids will be well prepared, physically and emotionally.
Pick a Caregiver You Completely Trust
If it’s not going to be your partner taking care of the kids, make sure it is someone that you completely trust — whether it’s a grandparent, nanny, or family member. By having someone in charge who you know loves the kids as much as you do and will do everything to keep them safe and happy while you’re gone, will make the time away easier and more enjoyable for you.
Prepare and Write Notes
If your kids have specific schedules, activities, and sports that they do, talk to your caregiver about it and then write everything down. Do the same with the kinds of food you want them to eat (or not eat), television rules, and play dates. Anything that you think is important, make sure it’s well-documented so that you’re not thinking or worrying about it (too much) while you’re away.
Stay In Touch
Technology is so amazing! You can see and talk to your kids everyday via video chat. Just make sure you figure out what platform you will be using and test it out ahead of time to ensure that everything is working on both ends before you leave. This way you can always talk to your kids each night to see how their day went and even to read them a story before they go to bed.
And lastly, remember, it’s okay to feel worried, emotional, anxious, or guilty. It’s normal. You’re a parent and your child’s welfare will always be on your mind. That being said, it’s also important to take some time for yourself, away from the kids — even if it’s just for one night. And when you get back, you’ll be refreshed, re-energized, and ready to be Mom for those kids that jump into your arms when you walk back through the door.
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