I feel like I’m only talking about holidays this week so apologies. The reason for this post is I’ve just been on a child free holiday. Whoop whoop! It was only for four days but those four days were wonderful and I am ashamed to say that although I missed the girls it was nowhere near as much as I thought I would.
I’ve left the girls for a couple of nights before for work or weddings but I have never left them longer. So when our friends announced they were getting married in Madrid it seemed the perfect excuse for a few days away. Now I will point out that the girls were actually invited to the wedding but after consulting with friends no one else was taking kids so we followed suit. We decided to tag a couple of extra days on to explore Madrid and ended up going Wednesday to Sunday.
I wasn’t really too sad to be leaving the girls as they are old enough now, five and nearly four, so knew they would be absolutely fine. It’s also been a hell of a long time since Edd and I had a break on our own. In fact I think it is probably seven years since we went to Barcelona for our second wedding anniversary. So a little trip was well overdue and who doesn’t love an excuse to pack some nice clothes that don’t need to be child proof? On that note if you want to see what I packed in my case head over to Rock My Style. Seems you can get more in a carry on case than you think.
The biggest factor when planning a child free trip is obviously ‘who on earth is going to look after them?’. I’m pretty lucky that we have family nearby and they very kindly offered (read had no choice) to look after Molly and Alice for us. I felt it was a bit of a big ask giving them to my mum for the whole time. Even I struggle with them for five days!! Instead we split the time between my mum and Edd’s mum and the girls were sooooo excited about all their sleepovers. It doesn’t take much does it?!
As is always the way, a last minute spanner was thrown in the works as Edd’s mum got her move date for her new house and it was, you guessed it, that weekend. I couldn’t grumble as she had been waiting six months to move. Instead I took a deep breath and got straight on with trying to rearrange the child care. Honestly, it’s a logistical nightmare and I haven’t even mentioned the swimming lessons and transfer of car seats between three different people!
Anyway, we eventually made it out the door looking rather presentable, for once, and off we went. I actually read my book and a trashy magazine on the plane. That never happens.
Just having some time not thinking about the day to day chores and planning was amazing. We got up when we wanted, had leisurely breakfasts and generally just chilled. A lot of the time when I’m doing things I think how much the girls would like it but this time I realised how much easier it was without them. There is no way in hell they would have walked 14 miles around the city, looked in quiet art galleries or sat for a nice long lunch and a glass of sangria. As we were strolling through the park we both remarked how easy it was not having to think about when we needed to stop for lunch or carrying bags full of snacks and spare clothes. It was not in a ‘wasn’t life great before kids?’ kind of way but more a case of appreciating and enjoying that exact moment. I knew it wouldn’t last so I wasn’t going to waste a second.
All our friends were there as well and one of my favourite afternoons was about 12 of us sitting in a gorgeous Plaza with the sun shining down. We had found the most amazing restaurant and we all sat chatting and laughing whilst drinking too much Sangria and eating yummy fresh food. There was no thoughts of rushing back for school pick up or what the hell was I cooking the girls for tea. No juggling work and childcare or spending my afternoon watching another ballet class. It was time for just us, as adults, and it was bliss.
Obviously I did miss the girls and called home to check how they were but not as often as I thought I would. Besides, they only spoke to me for all of five seconds before they were rushing off doing something else. They were on their own little holiday after all. One day I didn’t phone home at all, not even at bedtime. It was strangely liberating.
It was so nice spending time with Edd away from the kids. As he works away a lot it means that come the weekend he just wants to see the girls and our weekends are a whirlwind of trips to the park, chores and general family life so a few days with none of those distractions was lovely.
The days flew by though and after a wonderful (but rather late night) wedding it was time to return home. It’s funny how that return leg brings you back down to earth. I spent the flight thinking about logistics for the next day and the moment we stepped off the plane I was in M&S in the arrivals hall buying up stuff for the girls packed lunches. It would have been easier if I had been the mum that had remembered to book school dinners but that would be too simple wouldn’t it?! So we arrived home, I gave the girls a quick bedtime kiss and I was straight on with organising school bags, gym kits and lunches for the start of the new term. All whilst putting on three loads of washing, sorting school pick up logistics and getting myself ready to head off on a photoshoot at 5am the next day. Talk about back to reality.
But it was most definitely worth it and if you are even remotely contemplating a few days away, sans children, you need to do it. Everyone needs a bit of time to themselves and I’m vowing to try and do it more regularly (hope my mum doesn’t mind!). I know it isn’t easy when they are tiny but once you can you should really treat yourselves. Have any of you been on a childfree trip or are you planning one? Do tell.