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Parent Only Vacays Are Good for the Whole Family

Grand Canyon 40th Birthday Vacation

“Did you have a good time with Nana and Grandpapa while we were away?” my wife and I asked our kids over dinner. We had just spent the past week in Iceland running a half marathon for Team Diabetes, and the kids had been staying with my parents.

“Yes!” they both squealed.

“Would you like it if Mommy and Daddy had more vacations and left you with Nana and Grandpapa?”

“Yes!” was the immediate response, confirming the idea that parent only vacations are great for the whole family.

My wife and I try to jet off a couple of times a year without the kids. We enlist the help of my parents for babysitting and we just get out of town. We’ve been to Easter Island, Rio, Vegas a couple of times, and now Iceland.

Taking a vacation from parenting is an important part of our family dynamic. It gives my wife and I a chance to miss the kids, and it gives my parents a chance to build that spoiling experience only grandparents can give.

We’re not as fortunate as some to have the grandparents live in the same city. My wife’s parents are a 4 hour flight one direction, my parents a 12 hour drive the other. So when our kids get to see their grandparents, it’s a very special treat.

20120603 hiking with nana grandpapa - 16I take my kids hiking, we’ll spend a weekend camping, head out to the zoo, or go to baseball games. We do all that sort of thing as a family, but it’s just different when Nana and Grandpapa do it.

My grandparents are my favorite people in the world, I miss my Nan terribly, and take every chance to soak up all the seconds I can when I’m with my 87-year-old grandfather. Giving my kids a week with their grandparents is better than any Christmas gift Santa could stuff in his sack.

So the kids love the time away from their cranky parents, and you know what? Mommy and Daddy kinda love the time away from the whiny children. My wife doesn’t like it when I talk about the kids while we’re away, she tears up and misses them, but a quick Skype or FaceTime settles her soul to know the boys are doing just fine without her.

I’ve said I get jealous of my friends who are divorced and get to have ‘couple time’ every other week while they share custody with an ex. While I wouldn’t wish that drama on my family, having a parent only vacation helps us all recharge.

Taking a cue from the green light the kids have given us to get away, my wife and I are already planning a golf vacation in Bali for the fall, and then another Mommy Daddy Team Diabetes adventure in Scotland next May.

They can’t come soon enough.

Do you do vacations without the kids?

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