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Why Vacationing Consistently WITHOUT Your Kids is Overrated

Updated: Apr 11

Today, kids are seen as a burden rather than a blessing—an annoyance rather than teachers. I don't quite understand the trend that more and more parents are taking part in - leaving their kids to go on a vacation with friends or just themselves. Now, hear me; I'm not saying this can never happen. I think there is a healthy balance for parents to work on their marriage together. It's also vital that parents play together; sometimes, getting away is the only way for some parents to have this quality time. Still, when this outweighs the amount of time parents spend with their kids/taking their kids on vacation, I believe we have a problem. The thing is, we all have time. We have time at night to be with our spouse after the kids go to bed. What are you doing with that time? Are you vegging out on the couch watching a show? Are you doing your separate things? Jordan and I have tried to be intentional with our time together. We are currently working through How We Love by Milan and Kay Yerkovich. We read the book and answer the questions in the workbook during the week, and on Sunday, after Quinn goes to bed, we take some time before doing anything else to spend some very intentional time going over the stuff we learned that week.

More and more, I am seeing families separated for a short time by vacationing parents. The kids are left with a sitter while the parents enjoy their time. I continue asking, "Why can't you bring your kids with you?" The excuses are "It's easier without kids," "I need to get away from my kids," or "We can't afford to take them too."

The first excuse makes me curious about what parents thought their life with kids would be like. Kids are messy; they get in your space, don't listen, and rarely wash their hands. But, they are the best teachers, have the most incredible imaginations, are curious and want to learn, their wonder is impeccable, and they have a child-like hope and faith that are a great reminder for us adults to see the world through our kids' eyes. Here's the truth: life with kids isn't easy, so take that expectation away. Life with kids will drive you crazy, and you'll want to scream into a pillow, but the reward of having your kids tell you "I love you," or write you a kind note or share their snack with you, or hearing them play in their made-up world where you marvel at where the time has gone from them being in your arms to where they are now. It will be easy on some days, but it won't be on other days.

The second excuse makes me wonder about how they are living their life when they are at home. Are they being intentional? Do they homeschool? What does the parent's day look like for them to "HAVE to get away from the kids?" Do parents need breaks? Yes. Do parents not use their time wisely? This comment seems like an excuse to say when you don't want to deal with stuff in real life and want to get away, but they blame the kids. It's interesting how much time parents spend away from their kids. My child goes to school from 9-3:30 every day. We get a little time in the morning to be together, but when I sometimes sub at her school, our mornings are more separated as we get ready. After school, depending on the day, we have small group or horse lessons or a seasonal sport or piano lessons. When we get home to eat dinner, I want to be home with my child, hear about her day, ask her questions, read a book, watch a show, play games, etc. I miss her so much during the day that I want to be with her. Most kids go to school, and their parents go to work. How can a parent "HAVE to get away from the kids" if, in 24 hours, they only see them for a certain amount of hours? It seems like an excuse that is being brought upon the kids unfairly.

The third excuse for not being able to afford it is just that - an excuse. If you are being intentional with saving for a trip for yourselves, you can be intentional about saving extra for your kids to go with you. Take the additional few months to save that extra money so that your kids can make memories on vacation with you. It's worth noting that with the rise of social media and the oversharing we see, remember, your trips don't have to be Instagram-worthy. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars on extravagant trips. Kids love simple. Camping, road-tripping, weekend trips, etc., will leave a mark on a child's heart because they provide quality time with each other as a family. Some of my favorite memories are staying in a cabin held together by duct tape on the Oregon Coast or going camping every year, waking up to a fire already started, and being cozy before the sun gets hot. These memories are special because they were traditions. These memories last a lifetime. Leaving them at home consistently while you go and get away, they will start to question as they get older, "Why are mom and dad not home?" or "Why do you always get to go on a trip and we don't?!" or "this isn't fair! I want to be with you; I don't want you to leave!"

Here's why vacationing consistently without your kids is overrated - you only have your kids with you for 18 years. That's 18 years of them being able to mess up around you, learn from you, and build a strong relationship foundation built on trust and respect. You only have 18 years with them under your direct care. Choosing to consistently vacation without your kids opens up more space to miss out on the growing up years.

In choosing to have kids, I chose 18 years (+) where I would have to live selfless. I chose to die to myself so that my kids could grow up with an intentional mom (& dad). I chose less income to raise my kids in the most critical years of their life and not have someone else do it for me. We so easily believe the culture that we can have it all. But when you try to have it all, something does not get the attention it needs. That could be your kids. It could also be your emotional health, spiritual health, mental health, marriage, friendships, etc. You can't have it all without sacrificing something, and I'm not willing to sacrifice my kids so that I can live the life I would have if they weren't here. I chose these things so that I could be the first person my child tells about their school day, their highs and lows, their questions - ALL the questions, their heart and what makes them sad and glad, and so many other things that I would miss.

There is so much life to live in our daily lives that we can easily miss out on the mundane of our kids growing up. Don't leave them behind because you "need a break."I never want my kids to feel like a burden in mommy's life. Consistently going on vacations without your kids will cause them to question this.

So, take your kids on the vacation. Make memories with them. Will the vacation be different? Yep. Is it going to be exhausting? Maybe. Will it be worth it? Totally. Get your expectations in the right place, and the trip will be what you make it.

You only have 18 years.

This is the season I am in. By having kids, I chose this season. I only get this season once and don't want to miss it. So, I'm taking my kids on vacation. I'm choosing to stay home more. I'm choosing connection and relationship with my kids because I know it starts now if I want that connection and relationship later in life.

Take your kids on a vacation, child running on a beach, carefree little girl on a beach, vacationing with kids


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