A holiday without kids. Going on holidays without the children or taking them with you? Which is less pain? In my mind they both have their rewards and benefits but they come at a cost. My husband and I recently went to New York for 10 days. We had been invited to a 40th in the Hamptons and jumped at the invitation. With flights and accommodation booked without the kids, we just made it happen.
We both work and to allow us both to work we have an Au pair live with us. Au pairs can be amazing and they can be total duds. They are mostly over indulged, self-entitled millennials that have no idea how to do the most menial tasks without a long list of instructions and assistance. Occasionally we have struck gold and had loving and lasting relationships formed with both the children and ourselves.
Leaving my children in their care can sometimes be a nerve racking experience but as I am a 15 minute trip away in the office, I get on with what I need to do and reassure myself that I can get here in an emergency. Being a 19 hour flight away was a major logistical task to work through before we could go. Not just to ensure the children were taken care of but also to ensure I wasn’t going to stress about a holiday without kids. Au pairs also tend to give you notice right when everyone is settled and you are feeling comfortable.
Rather than bore you further with my staffing issues. I brought in an old Au pair to help the new Au pair and paid an over qualified nanny to help every second day. Family were engaged to pick up the slack on weekends but as they all have their own commitments, which was one morning. I bribed the new Au pair with a promise to pay her $400 Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb to get through the week.
With 3 people looking after my children and taking them here, there and everywhere, there was a running schedule in my house not unlike a large event plan. Plans were made to try and cover all situations and scenarios, but that is never the way and we just had to roll with the punches as they were presented to us.
On local holidays we often take the au pair with us. This allows us to have a few meals out and spend time in their company of adults and generally just be ourselves. We have taken the kids to Bali and put them into the kids club and hired nannies and babysitters. On other holidays we have booked babysitters through the concierge. At $40 per hour doesn’t really let you relax and allow dinner to be leisurely does it? Taking them to dinner tends to result in carrying one back to the room having fallen asleep at the dinner table. Either that or melt downs!
Having just had ten days without the kids – it is nowhere near the same as leaving them behind. Every meal could be consumed at any time and with any amount of alcohol. We could eat whatever we wanted without the need for considering fussy appetites. It was possible to go to a show and then go to the Rockefeller Centre afterwards. As we weren’t woken up at 6.01am every morning, we didn’t go to bed until we were ready. The freedom!
Something to think about
As we were cycling around central park and getting some exercise before we headed to the airport we got an alert that our plane was delayed. The delay would result in a potential overnight stay in LAX as we would miss our connection. With a hurricane approaching the east cost of America, I started to panic about seeing my babies and being home for them. I panicked that the various carers would just walk out and leave. I will point out the alert we received was from Tripcase and not from the airline. If you don’t use it – you should. It is an amazing tool.
The holiday promises
Having had time to ourselves we will continue to take more trips without the kids. My husband makes grand sweeping statements that ‘we will never take them anywhere again’. Obviously we will. I felt like myself again. After ten years of being wife or mum, I felt like fun me. Relaxed and full of cheer.
I have made a promise to myself to get more me time and a promise to my marriage to get more us time. We will continue to want to build memories with the kids and will continue to travel with them. For this trip, I am glad I didn’t have the kids in tow whilst I shopped and wined and dined. Having said that, I do think older children would find lots to do and see in New York.
- Movement – non restricted t little legs and little peoples energy
- No scheduling of meals around little peoples bodies bit rather around what we were doing
- No restrictions of finding child friendly menu options
- Enjoying drinks before dinner, after dinner and after dinner again without needing to consider bedtime
- Those moments when my boys only ave each other to play with and the brotherly love is ignited.
- I missed them and missed sharing things with them.
A girlfriend pointed out that with each trip it gets easier and the kids actually don’t mind. As long as you have someone they love and they are excited to see, then stress less and off you go. I am off to find someone they love who wants to move in for another ten days!