Parents, don’t feel guilty because you need/want a vacation away from your children. Raising kids is physically tiring, emotionally draining, and thankless (that is of course if you are doing it right). Single-parents and married parents where the husband thinks raising kids is the wife’s job you are TDT (tired-drained-thankless) squared.
Take “staycations.” You don’t have to go out of town, you can arrange for a babysitter, go in your bedroom, close the door, and do whatever. Give yourself a break!
As a single-parent for 22 of the 25 years of raising kids, I didn’t really know how tired I was until I had an empty nest. My Monday thru Friday schedule looked something like this:
4:00 am Rise and Shine/Workout
5:00 am Get Dressed for Work
6:00 am Get children ready for school
7:00 am Depart for Work (Children went to my school so we all left together)
7:05 am Put headphones on in car so kids don’t ask a lot of questions
7:30 am Start Work
6:00 pm Leave work (if I’m lucky) take kids to activity (piano or tap or golf, etc.)
8:00 pm Return home – Get kids ready for bed
9:00 pm Prepare for tomorrow
10:00 pm Lights out
No thank you, I don’t want to go dancing – SMH!!!!!!!!
This is definitely a sign of the times. I agree it is time consuming to raise our children and enjoy separate and inclusive lives. The art of taking “anycation” is not what you anticipate so you do a lot of dreaming, faulty prioritizing and procrastinating…next year, no, we have to get the car fixed, we need new furniture, etc, etc. To be better parents, I believe as you do, parents need to take time for themselves. You can start a cohort with your friends to alternate “time-off and “time-out” and leave the guilt behind. Grandparents simply love filling in (well, maybe not all). A novel idea is to save for the occasion. Remember, if you have raised your kids to be rambunctious, no one will want to keep them and that’s probably another reason why you want vs. need to get away. I was somewhat chagrinned when you spoke about fathers who viewed their spouses in the perceived traditional role of caretaker. Then, I was brought back to reality. There ARE still defined roles of mother and father, wife and husband, man and woman out there. So, therefore, there might need to be separate “anycations.” (I’m not judging.) When/where possible, parents need to seize every available “moment” to express appreciation for each other, the challenges and unforgettable successes they enjoy professionally, personally, and as a family unit. It may ease the pressure of trying to “cation” every month. Fathers who have assumed the previously traditional role of homemaker have undeniably changed the historical (high) heel print. They not only have to learn new behaviors, but they also have to rescript their roles which is contrary to what they might have learned throughout their young/adult lives. In addition, women have taken on the roles of “bread winner and nurturer.” Personally, I love the diversity of our society and the complexity of viewpoints. With today’s dollar value it may appear seemingly impossible to take a vacation because we all know that the places we would like to take vacations with and/or without our children are very pricey (outlandish). I say be creative…a vacation is what you make it and can have the same affect as if you were on some secluded island, forest or mountaintop. This is not an advertisement but there are places out there that carry stuff to make the doom and gloom of home transpose into a luxurious resort. Get some blowup palm trees, beach balls, volleyball net, Italian backdrops, checkered tablecloths, etc. and you’ll think that you traveled the world! You might even get to do some “Oriental Trading” if that is your “Pinterest” (subtle hints).