Unless you’re a parent that has to travel often for work, finding the time, money, and willpower to take a trip without your kids can feel almost impossible. On the chance that the stars align and you are able to get away, you may find that the hardest part about your trip isn’t the money or the long flight, it’s being away from your kids for the first time. While the little ones are expected to exhibit a bit of resistance to one or both of their parents being away from them for the first time, you may be surprised at how hard it is for you as well. These tips, while relatively simple, won’t be able to calm all your nerves, but they definitely do a ton for your peace of mind.
1. Talk About Things Ahead Of Time
Breaking the news about your impending trip is better done sooner rather than later, but shouldn’t be done too soon. The longer both you and your kids have to prepare yourselves for the trip the better but having too long can be a detriment. Depending on how long your trip has been planned, a couple weeks before is a great time to bring up the topic. Tell your kids exactly where, when, and for how long you’re going and who they will be staying with when you are gone. Printing out a map or a picture of the place you’re visiting as well as a visual reminder on a calendar is a great way to ease anxiety.
2. Choose Childcare You Trust Implicitly
Whether it is your partner staying home with the kids or a close family friend or relative, it is important to choose childcare both you and your kids trust. Choose people that your kids are used to spending large amounts of time with without their parents. Grandparents are always great if they are an option. The added comfort will allow your kids to be comfortable and excited even if they are nervous about your departure and help you relax with the knowledge that your children are well taken care of.
3. Plan Activities For The Kids
As harsh as it sounds, it’s best not to give the kids a chance to miss you too much. While you’re gone, make sure that they have plenty of activities planned. If they’re in school, ensure they don’t miss any of their extracurriculars. Encourage your childcare to allow them to play as much as possible. Keep their minds active with things that aren’t your absence.
4. Be Careful With Your Check-Ins
Trying to resist checking in at least once a day is pretty much futile. And while you may be in a constant text conversation with your childcare or partner, you may want to limit actually speaking to your children to only once. Unless there is an emergency, speaking with them before bedtime is a great way to hear about how their day has gone, ease their anxieties, and ensure that they have plenty of sweet dreams. While too few check-ins can make you and your children nervous, too many check-ins can disrupt their schedule and make them miss you even more than they already do.
5. Stop Worrying So Much
This sounds easier than it is, sure, but it’s still pretty important. It is important to be secure in the fact that, even if they miss you, your children will be perfectly taken care of while you are gone. Whether your trip is for work, obligation, or pleasure, you should take the time to enjoy yourself while you can.