Mom Vacation

Do You Vacation Without Your Children?

Mom Jeanine
January 25, 2011


Good Question, hot topic, Jeanine Edwards, Travel

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I love my daughter, I really do. But it’s that time of year when I’m thinking about trips for the upcoming year and I’m seriously considering taking a vacation… without her. Of course, we’ll take a trip or two as a family, but I’ve already started secretly budgeting for a 3rd trip just for myself.

Is that horribly selfish? I can’t decide.

I’ve been justifying it to myself by saying, “Even moms need to take some time away to relax and rejuvenate. I’ll come back to her well-rested and refreshed and I’ll be a better mom because of it.” But then I have flashbacks to the time my parents took a trip to Bermuda while I was away at camp. I was so sad. Beyond sad, actually. I called my grandmother, threw a huge fit and convinced myself that they didn’t love me. I just remember feeling horrible and I would hate to make my little girl feel that way.

So I’m wondering–is it totally normal to take vacations without your kids? Or after you have a family, should you only travel as a pack? Share your thoughts in the comments.

And for your reference only, here’s the resort I’m saving for… if I can get over the guilt and decide to go through with my mom vacation, that is.

Nice, right?

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  • Lee Allport
    January 25, 2011

  • I would not even hesitate to take a vacation by myself. I love my kids, but I love myself and my husband too!


  • Nikole
    January 25, 2011

  • We’ve done it twice. It was fabulous and very needed.

  • Shari
    January 25, 2011

  • Absolutely NOT. My son is 3 and I have never spent a night away from him. They grow up too darn fast and I want to spend every moment that I can with him. I am a full time working single Mother. I miss him during the days. My vacation time is his vacation time. We have been to Hawaii, Tahoe, and various road trips since he was born and I can’t imagine going without him.

  • Marlleen
    January 25, 2011

  • I think every parent needs to recharge their batteries every once in a while. And going on vacations with kids isn’t always very relaxing. So I say, yes go for it!! I’ve done it once but not for very long, a long weekend at the most. I would miss my kiddos too much!!

  • Mommy Crib Notes
    January 25, 2011

  • Completely natural, and needed, to want to vacation sans kids. I just got back from a long weekend away with the hubby and it does wonders for the marriage. You actually get to remember why you hooked up in the first place rather than just being co-parents. And the old adage, “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is true.

  • Caryn
    January 25, 2011

  • Nope. There are so many wonderful opportunities for families. Why would I not want them to benefit from time away? And before I know it, I’ll be an empty nester with all the time in the world to vacation without them…

  • KAren
    January 25, 2011

  • This is just me but no I wouldn’t vacation without my kids. I would miss them too much! I think it’s good for a marriage to get away without the kids though. Karen

  • Julie G.
    January 25, 2011

  • I remember when my parents went on a second honeymoon when I was a kid and I was so angry! That doesn’t mean that when I got a little older I didn’t appreciate why they deserved it. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for being a woman whose needs and interests extend beyond your kids (or spouse).

    If you’re worried about how your daughter will feel, just do your best to explain that she gets to have play dates and sleepovers away from home, and sometimes you do too. It’s a crucial part of cognitive development when children learn to understand other people have needs. Consider it a teachable moment.

  • L
    January 25, 2011

  • Absolutely. It’s not healthy to never be away from your kids. They need to learn independance and separation and you need to relax and have some time to yourself.

  • Nicole
    January 25, 2011

  • I’m a single mother and I am SO looking forward to Florida in 2 weeks! I think all parents need & deserve to have time for themselves. I think by doing things like this, a trip independent of them, it shows your children that it is important to take care of yourself, too. And when you return and your are energized, and vibrant, they are sure to reap the rewards of that. Go & enjoy, and regret not.

  • Jen
    January 25, 2011

  • I feel it’s healthier for both parents and their kids when mom and dad get away once in a while. Those who say it’s selfish and unfair have no idea what they’re talking about. We have travelled both with our kids and without, and while family vacations are wonderful, the other trips have definitely strengthened our marriage and have been a much needed break from the hectic life we lead as parents. Of course we miss our children when we’re away, and I definitely have cried when I’ve left them… but the benefits of taking time to breathe outweighs everything else. I also remember being a child, crying when my parents left for a trip, but I never had to go therapy to deal with abandonment issues! There are lots of things you can screw up as a parent… this is definitely not one of them.

    I am planning my first girls getaway with my best friend away from hubby and kids… I am not ashamed to say that I’m doing it, either. So I say go for it… and don’t worry about what other people think. People who criticize you obviously haven’t seen the benefit of it since they’ve never tried. If anything, you’re a better mom for being able to admit that you need and want to take a break.

  • Alisha
    January 25, 2011

  • Absolutely!! I have taken 2 trips (1 each year) the last 2 years with just my spouse. We left the kids with my parents, it was really hard both times to leave them, I would talk to them everyday on the phone or through Skype. But I think it made me a better Mom, sometimes the stresses of being a Mom, and having no “me” time can be hard. When I came back from my trips, I felt like a new woman, I was ready to take on the life of a Mom again. I love my kids so very much but I think it was a really good thing for me to do. I say go for it!!

  • Tari L.
    January 25, 2011

  • About 12 years ago I began vacationing by myself. I go off with girlfriends at least once a year, sometimes 2 or 3 times. My vacations are long weekends away from my family. They are great for all of us. The boys get time with just their dad and I get time to be me, free of the responsibilities of running the house. I highly recommend it.

  • GG
    January 25, 2011

  • I would say that the sign of a healthy family is one where children see that moms and dads need alone adult time, whether that be 20 minutes each night or a trip away once in a while. I would worry if my child couldn’t handle one day away from me. And, I would worry if I felt like I couldn’t handle one day away from my child. I am not judging anyone else, but speaking only for myself and for my own need for balance in life. Whatever works for you that makes you happier and more fulfilled, you need to do. A well rested, well rounded, balanced parent is key in making sure we don’t raise anxious, dependent children. I feel that it is BECAUSE of my ability to have my adult alone time away once in a while, that I am more HERE when I’m HERE for my husband, my kids, and my friends. Of course I miss my kids when I go away, and I love that they miss me, too. I prepare them in advance, by discussing that I’m going to be away for work/vacation, but that I will be back. And, actually, I have proven that I do come back, so it has increased their security and faith in that. With skype and all of the new ways to stay connected, you can make sure that your child still feels safe and in touch with you while you are away, so that they don’t feel abandoned. So, to answer your question, not only is it NORMAL, but I feel it is HEALTHY to teach your kids, especially daughter, that it is OKAY for a woman to have alone/quality time and still be considered an AMAZING mother.
    When my 17 year old daughter was much younger, I had actually taken a trip to Europe. She complained, but I called her all the time; sent her postcards; brought her back little gifts; and promised that when she graduates hs, I will take her and a girls’ trip (mommy and me) to Europe! We have planned this for over a decade, and this April, she and I are going by ourselves to Spain. This has huge sentimental value, and as my 6 year old daughter complains, I promise her to do the same when she graduates high school! ENJOY LIFE! EVERY MOMENT! ENJOY!

  • Alicia @MommyDelicious
    January 25, 2011

  • DO IT!!!!! I am a working single mother and FULL TIME grad student. My son is 3 years old. And YES… I haven take two vacations already without him. And I would take more as well. I love him, but yea… I need a break as well. It’s never for that long — just 4 days at most, but those days are much needed. And while I am away, I plan something FANTASTIC for him to do. Without me.

    There’s no mommy award out there for not enjoying yourself as much as you enjoy your kids. Go have fun. Your daughter will be just fine.

  • Justine Pierson
    January 25, 2011

  • I think most people do it but I wouldn’t…I personally couldn’t enjoy myself worrying the entire time without them, it’s already horrible to just leave my dog! Well, I might if my kids got to go somewhere too, otherwise I just don’t think it’s fair :( I wouldn’t want to have one and them not also have an enjoyable time, they’re not less valuable than I am….

  • Brianne
    January 25, 2011

  • I say go for it! When my first was justbunder 2 we did a week long cruise and it was awful. I would talk to her on the phone and would be in tears because she was crying for me. But when my second was about one dh and I did a weekend away and it was perfect. Just enough time to reconnect but not too much that anyone was crying! Start small and work your way up. The older they get the more they understand and won’t miss you!!

  • LEE
    January 25, 2011

  • My husband and I have taken long weekend get aways without our three kids. During that time they spend with their cousins, aunts, uncles or grandparents. They love that time with their extended family! We spend the time focusing on our relationship and discuss all family matters, plans and goals for the coming year. A sort of Family State of the Union conference!

  • nicole
    January 25, 2011

  • sorrt term, ie 2-3 days, YES! A week, probably not.

  • Mom Jeanine
    January 25, 2011

  • Thanks for all your comments! I was initially worried about how the trip would make my little girl feel, but after reading your comments, I’m also second guessing if I’d actually be able to relax being away from her for more than a night. I think I’d start to miss her since we’re always together…

  • Gabrielle
    January 25, 2011

  • My hubby and I use to take a vacation once a year by ourselves. It was wonderful. I love my kids, but it makes you feel like a person without extra appendages for a few days. Only way for moms to really relax and enjoy ourselves. If you haven’t done it yet it is a must.

    My kids are now 17 and have no desire to be around us on vacation. They do their thing and we do ours until they need money or food. It all works out in the end.

  • Megan Newton
    January 26, 2011

  • I say, “Go for it!” I have a 17 month-old son and I often have him stay with my mom and dad one night a week (usually Saturday) so that my husband and I can have us time.

    Every once in a while I feel a little guilty and miss him, especially now that he is getting more into the “clingy stage”. However, between work and taking care of our son, we rarely have any time for just the two of us, which our relationship struggles without.

    If a little time away from your child will make you a better parent or better parents, I say go for it. It is hard to give so much of yourself when you don’t have any of yourself to give. And when you are happy whether as an individual or as a couple, I think that peace extends to your child as they sense when our vibes are good or bad and feel the effects of those vibes, for better or worse.

  • Ellie W
    March 29, 2011

  • I totally agree with you!

    I (and my husband) love our kids, but sometimes we find out for ‘spectial trips’ for us. It’s good for us all, for me, infact, for my husband and for our family.

    Been away from our babies don’t mean you’ll not put them away from your mind. Sometimes we’re very very busy so we usually do ‘stupid mistakes’ by ignore our feeling inside. I sometime love to travel alone for ‘fixing’ these feeling.

    Don’t be nervous or disputed to leave them with your grandma, when back from a ‘private vacation’, the first who run for are your kids!