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  1. #1

    Default Those Of You With Kiddos...

    Do you take a separate vaca with your kids during the year, as well?

    The reason I ask is that this has been on my mind since my dear mother & father [mostly mom!], who watches my 6-1/2 y.o. when we go to Couples, has been on me about it. Hopefully, this will be our 3rd trip in August for just hubby & I. We celebrate 17 yrs on 8/6. Hadn't done much after we got married...a few trips after 5 yrs or so. Waited until 10 to have our kiddo. Waited until a few years ago to start up again.

    She has been giving me flack about needing to bring the little one on a trip with us. I told her she wants to go to Disney, which we were supposed to go in March, but didn't get to. My daughter is very petite & I know she is going to want to do everything! I want her to be able to. I told my mom that many folks go on their own trip as a couple & then take the kiddos at a different time as a family.

    Any advice would be much appreciated! I'm starting to feel

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011
    CTI 2017 [50th birthday & 23rd anniversary], 2019 [25th anniversary]

  2. #2


    We always took a vacation each year with the kids. We then usually took at least one long weekend a year just for us. Once the kids got older and we could afford a bigger trip just for us we have tried to do that. We still can't go each year on a big trip but hope to be to that point in a few more years. Our kids are finally in their 20s and probably won't be traveling with us after this year (I can only hope!!!).

  3. #3


    I think times have changed, most people of grandparent age weren't raised to take couple only vacations or do anything that was anything but family oriented. We don't have kids but both of my sisters do and I observe them and my parents and I see the differences in relationships and raising kids. I think that we have realized the importance of taking time to focus on the couple while raising the kids. If you don't a few things happen, one you aren't a united front for the children on issues that arise. Second you aren't a good example of what a secure, loving marriage looks like...this is where children form their ideas of how marriage works. Third once the kids leave the house you don't know what to do with just the two of you.

    Vacations WITH the kids are important too and that doesn't mean the kids get to choose the destination, though they can voice an opinion. I wanted to go to Disneyland too but we never did and I think I'm a pretty well adjusted adult in spite of that huge disappointment. It's more important that kids learn to spend time together as a family having fun and exploring the world...whether that be 30 miles from home or 3000.

    Your parents certainly have a right to their opinion and you should take their opinion under advisement but you ultimately have to do what seems best for you and your family...your family being you, your spouse and your children. You have to balance the couple and family time as you deem appropriate. Guilt serves no one, think it through and then know that you made the best decision you knew how to make.

  4. #4


    There is a difference between a vacation and a family trip......

  5. #5


    We call our Jamaican trip "marriage insurance". We don't have family locally so while we are gone, they get to go to Camp Grandma & Grandpa" at the lake. Now that they are older, we don't take the family vacations like we used to, but I still manage to get Spring Break with our youngest and long weekend trips. We went to Chicago a couple of years ago and he wants to go back this year. We have done Disney a couple of times, Bush Gardens, FL and VA. Willamsburg, Mammoth Caves and have a season pass to King's Island. We have also taken them to Jamaica to a family resort. So it's not like we don't spend time together.
    Last edited by Vickyj; May 1st, 2011 at 08:17 AM.

  6. #6


    In the years before kids we never took traveling vacations, couldn't afford it. Once we had kids we saved up enough to take a trip of some sort every couple of years. Sometimes close to home, other times more exotic (if Disney World and Fort Myers, Fla. can be considered exotic). When we got to our 25th anniversary we decided it was time we had a vacation for the two of us, in fact it was for the honeymoon we never had. We finally decided to try this place called Swept Away in Jamaica. That was six years ago and we are returning for our fifth trip next month.

    Over the years, if we could have afforded it, we would have probably taken a "couples" vacation on occasion. Not every year, but once in a while. No guilt would have been felt about it either. The kids would have been at grandma's and been fine with it. In fact grandma still looks in on them when we go to CSA these days, they are 24 and 20 now.

    Take your trip, enjoy the time together. The kids will be fine and you will be recharged and that much better parents for having taken the break to refresh your marriage.

    Have a great trip!

  7. #7


    We have a 2 year old, and 13 year old stepson. My ILs always complain we don't take enough vacations with the 13 yo, and I'm sure they will flip when they find out we are going to Jamaica for 10 nights in October, but the way I look at it, it's our hard earned money, and to have a healthy family, you need a healthy marriage. They aren't happy unless we would take the 13 yo to Disney World 5x a year, and we live in SD.. We take a long weekend trip at least once in the summer with the family. We also take a few alone trips for long weekends 2-3 times a year. With a 13 yo who's only interested in video games, and a 2 yo it's hard to find reasonable trips that are within driving distance that everyone can enjoy.

    Don't let your parents make you feel guilty. I think it's important and healthy for alone trips!

  8. #8


    We switch back and forth. Usually we go somewhere as a couple one year then somewhere as a family the next. This year however is the exception! CSA in 22 days and Disney in November! I'm going crazy with all of this planning! LOL!

  9. #9


    We try to take a "grown-up" vacation about every 12-18 months - and we have been doing so since my son was 18 months old. (He is now 6 and his sister is almost 4.) We take one vacation (or even a "stay-cation" with the kids - and then one with just us.

    We find that all year we devote so much of our time and attention to the kids that if anything gets neglected, it's OUR relationship - so we need time to reconnect and remember why we are together (besides the kids!!) I know so many couples who let their relationship erode until there is nothing EXCEPT the kids there anymore....

    I think it's worth 1 week away from your kids a year to give them parents who are in a loving, connected relationship.

    But what do I know - my husband and I have only been together 22 years now...

    I have found that no matter WHAT you do - someone will disapprove - and Mommies usually feel guilty about pretty much every decision that affects the kids!

    It's your life and your marriage - tell your babysitter that if she doesn't appreciate the extra time with the grand-baby - you will find some one who will! (My in laws count the days till our vacations!!)

    Sorry - a little long winded - apparently this is a hot topic for me!!

  10. #10


    We always take a family vacation. We have 3 kids. This is our first vacation together after 20 yrs of marriage. We have done long weekends in the past, but never a whole week. We are so excited. I don't want to make you feel bad, but your mom is right. The kids grow up sooo fast!! I would never take back any of the vacations I had with my husband and kids ( even for a week in paradise!) We told the kids we were going on this trip alone and they wanted to know about our traditional boating/fishing trip as a family. From a 19, 16, and 8 yr. that meant the world to us. When 2 teenage daughter's are upset because they might miss out on a family vacation, we knew it was a great tradition we had started. And our 8 yr. old boy loves the outdoors and the cabin we rent. So needless to say we are doing two vacations this year.
    It's not too late and don't feel bad! Finish your reservation with couples this year and start next yr. It won't be nearly as romantic, but family time is so important. Especially with so many working parents.
    Good luck. Mom's are so wise!!

  11. #11


    We have been married for 35 years this month, and never took a couples vacation until our kids were in college. Even for our 25th, while we were planning what to do and where to go, my husband asked me if I wanted to take the kids. I sheepisly said "Yes," and he agreed that he did also. We had a wonderful time, and they still talk about that trip. It is really no one elses business if you do or don't, but if in-laws are keeping the kids while you are gone, they may feel they have a right to express an opinion. We are not sure how we will react if and when our kids ask us to babysit while they take a couples vacation. I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

  12. #12


    Thanks everyone so much for your well thought out responses! I will take all of them with utmost consideration. You've given me much to think about. I feel better about my decisions. I just needed some reassurance.
    Hubby did say he didn't know how to respond to what mom said about us not taking the little one, tho we do other activities, etc. with her. As sherry said, when our folks were our age, taking couple only trips just weren't done. We would go the the grandparents place in what we called the country and stay there for a bit. We only took one family vaca and that was to Disney, but my father drove. I didn't even fly until I was in my 20s! lol
    Hubby said their fam was about the same. We grew up with folks working all the time. I told him I wanted to be able to do more because life is too short, ya know? His mom and dad never got to enjoy their retirement because his dad passed away back in '88. Now his mom has been widowed all these years and never really has done anything.
    Once again, thanks for the insight and apologize for the rambling! lol Tho it does help me to sort out things in my mind.

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011
    CTI 2017 [50th birthday & 23rd anniversary], 2019 [25th anniversary]

  13. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by Vickyj View Post
    We call our Jamaican trip "marriage insurance". We don't have family locally so while we are gone, they get to go to Camp Grandma & Grandpa" at the lake. Now that they are older, we don't take the family vacations like we used to, but I still manage to get Spring Break with our youngest and long weekend trips. We went to Chicago a couple of years ago and he wants to go back this year. We have done Disney a couple of times, Bush Gardens, FL and VA. Willamsburg, Mammoth Caves and have a season pass to King's Island. We have also taken them to Jamaica to a family resort. So it's not like we don't spend time together.
    Vicki we are from the same part of the world! We have season passes to KI too. We have taken our three kids (15 and twin 12 year olds) on a vacation every summer. The Outer Banks, Disney and DC to name a few. We have gone as a couple on long weekends a few times, as my husband travels for work, so I was able to tag along, but we have never done a vacation just for us. We are going to CSA in July for six nights to celebrate our 20th anniversary. It will be the longest I will have been away from them but I know we need this for us. My hubby travels to China so he is used to being away. We are doing two small close trips with the kids this summer. They were a little disappointed but understand it is a special year for us. I can't wait!

  14. #14


    Our kids are 19, 25, and 27.

    Did the Disney, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone thing.

    Time for mom and dad to PLAY

    Life is good

  15. #15


    Hereís my two cents....
    Times have changed a lot, and I think kids today are pretty lucky with all the luxury vacations they get to take. Sure, when I was a kid we did family vacations, but for the most part they were camping trips. Luxury for us was going to Florida and spending some time on the beach. We never went to Jamaica etc. and I donít recall any kids at school did, so I didnít feel I was missing anything.
    Then thereís the age of the child/children to consider. No one can ever convince me that an infant or young toddler gets anything out of a beach vacation. The sun is hot and makes them miserable. Their sensitive skin burns. The water and change of food can be a big issue. And what do they remember when they grow up? Can you honestly tell me you recall your vacation as a baby or even a two or three year old? Can you tell me you felt neglected when you where a year old and your parents went away without you? Traumatized by staying with grand parents? I think not!
    Sure thereís the age were kids tend to love the vacation on the beach, or Disneyland. But then it heads the other way and the teens and tweens even, would rather be home with friends and playing with all their electronic toys. Sad how many people ask about cable, internet, etc at family resorts. I recall someone asking about if they could bring their Wii on a cruise. Whatís the point then? I mean really?
    My parents went to Europe without me when I was eight. I didnít want to visit relatives. Then they did cruises without me when was older. I didnít want to go. My siblings are older, so Iíd have been bored.
    So fast forward to today (and the past couple of decades or so). Some kids have parents who can only afford camping, but many kids get to go to Disney World, on cruises, on all-inclusive beach vacations... every year or sometimes more often than that.
    I donít think parents wanting their own time is a crime at all. I think itís good for every relationship.
    So I say donít feel guilty. Youíre smart to wait with Disneyland until sheís old enough to go on more rides and not get frustrated How old is she anyway? Sounds quite young still? Lots of time for vacations. In the mean time mini-breaks and/or just spending quality time together is what is more important, I think.
    Ok... off soapbox now.
    Go to Couples. Enjoy. Your daughter will be just fine!

  16. #16


    We try to alternate years with the kids. Last year we went to CN to renew our vows for our 10th anniversary and stayed for 8 days. The kids got a long weekend camping at a water park in Md. and a few misc. camping trip long weekends throughout the year.

    This year we took the kids (6 & 9) on a 2K mile roadtrip from DE, to TN, to GA, to SC, to NC, and to VA Beach over 11 days for Spring Break - as a result my loving wife and I are only taking a long weekend (4 days) "home" to Swept Away this year.

    If your mother is giving you a hard time about it maybe you should try to find another sitter either for the whole trip or split it up between 2. Maybe she needs a reminder to appreciate the extra time she gets to spend with her grandchild when you go away.

    I'm fortunate that my mother believes that couples NEED couple time and SHOULD get away alone, at least for a long weekend, once a year.

  17. #17


    ty Beer_Suds for your perspective! I totally agree. We usually go for a short stay, as well....5 nights, if we're
    We have discussed as you have suggested to split the time between 2 sitters. Hubby is thinking about asking his sis. She doesn't work & doesn't have kids and always wants the be the favorite Hubby's bro & his wife, who are our daughter's godparents, don't have kiddos, either, but both work full-time.
    I figure once my dear mother gets wind of that, she might change her got a great mother's day card for her from hubby & I & this year the rugrat is giving mom one herself.
    Thanks again for making me feel better about the whole situation!

    CSA 2009, 2014 [20th anniversary]
    CSS 2010
    CN 2011
    CTI 2017 [50th birthday & 23rd anniversary], 2019 [25th anniversary]

  18. #18


    Jamaica is OUR time! We have two small girls and yes someday we are going to bring them to Jamaica but for now its just time to relax and reconnect. We are fortunate that my mother in law lives in Florida so they get to hit the beach once or twice a year. Never feel guilty about having some alone time.

  19. #19


    I don't have kiddo's but I will tell you about my favorite childhood memories and my opinion as a 45 year old women.

    My parents are/were middle class blue collar workers. Every year Mom would save her change so we would have spending money when we rented the "cabins" at the State Park in Elkton Maryland. From my earliest memories we went every Saturday for day picnics and 2 weeks at the cabins in the summer with all my aunts, uncles and cousins. The cabin had no hot water and there was only a main bath house. My 3 siblings and I LOVED it. We would also take long weekend camping trips when I was about 10-16.

    I loved the sound of the screen door "banging" in the cabin. My DH and I recently purchased a home that has a screen door. He wanted to remove it as the BANG is driving him way I said. Well, my MOM recently puppy sat for us while we went on our own 2 week vacation. When we returned she said that screen door has to GO! NO WAY, I reminds me of all those summers the family spent at the cabins at Elk Neck State Park.

    So, you see it is the LITTLE things that mean a lot to children. It is not big fancy vacations to exotic spots that are important. It is simple family time spent together playing, splashing around in a lake, fishing, hiking, roasting marshmallows, sharing with extended family and walking to the lone store to get an ice cream every night.

    Mom and Dad never went off by themselves and I never got to spent time alone with my Grandmom. I sure wish I would have as I never felt I got to know my only living Grandmother.

    There is NO reason to feel guilty for spending Mom and Dad time reconnecting with each other. I see parents today devoting themselves completely to the kids and forgetting about themselves and their relationship. However, you should be making memories with the little ones that are meaningful. Meaningful memories do not take money.....just a banging screen door


  20. #20


    Fluffin your story reminded me of our family vacations when I was a kid. My dad drove a bus for Continental Trailways...remember them? So when he had time off the LAST thing he wanted to do was drive or travel. The biggest vacation I remember as a kid was an overnight stay in Kansas City, we went to Worlds of Fun one day and some sort of sightseeing on the way down...Eisenhower's memorial is in Abilene and I remember going there and seeing his home and the marble statues and as a kid that was really something. I was raised in Lincoln, NE so it wasn't really a big trip for my parents but as a kid I thought it was great. Kids are impressionable.

    Other than that trip we did a lot of camping too and I have great memories of campfires and special meals and sleeping in a sleeping bag and taking hikes on trails that today don't seem so adventurous but back then they were like being in a place you could surely get lost forever...I thought my dad was quite the outback adventurour and I admired him for getting us back safely every time!

    In the summer us girls each got our week with Grandma all by ourselves, she lived in the same town but it was fun to go spend a whole week "just me and Grandma". Sometimes we did it more than once!

    My parents also did a lot of stuff with my dads cousin and his wife and left us kids behind once we were big enough to stay home alone, not week long vacations but certainly sun-up to late at night day trip things. I think it was good for them to have time just to be adults and as a kid I don't think I would have begrudged them an adult vacation because I knew they loved me and it wasn't about "instead of" or to get away from me because I drove them nuts. If kids get attention as they should on a routine basis then the adult time isn't a threat to the family it's a bonus.

    I'm still loving the thought of that banging screen door...what will todays kids remember from childhood? Seems the only option is sounds from their video games, not a very warm and fuzzy memory. Sad.

  21. #21


    My mother in law watched our kids the 2 times we have been to CSA and she refused to watch them again until we took the kids on a family vacation. We live in NY we spent a few days in VA and DC last year my hubby, the kids and I and the hubby and I are now headed to CSA in Oct. again.

  22. #22


    Hi Sherry, I DO remember Continental Trailways There is nothing like good quality family time as well as good Mom and Dad time. You cannot have one without the other!

    Families need to get back to basics.....camping is a great fun and inexpensive activity. That way there is more money to save for COUPLES...HEHEHEHEHEHE!!

  23. #23


    I've always taken my son on a "family" vacation each year. When he turned 15, I decided it was time for me to have an "adult" trip once a year so we went away in February and left my son at home. The first time, it was very difficult for me and I was on such a guilt trip. A guilt trip that I imposed on myself. That was until the second or third day into my adult vacation where I was completely relaxing, free of worry and immensely enjoying myself. I realized then, that there was NOTHING WRONG with some adult time. That was 5 years ago and I've continued on with this new tradition. We go away in February/March to an adults only resort and still take my son on a family vacation too during the summer months. Actually, I can't understand why your parent would begrudge you this alone time with your significant other? Maybe she needs a reminder to appreciate the extra time she gets to spend with her grandchild when you go away? Maybe it's a simple case where you'll have to agree to disagree? Regardless......I say GO, HAVE A GREAT TIME!!!

    CN 2010
    CSA 2011

  24. #24


    I believe couples need a seperate vacation from their children. They need this time to reconnect away from the hussle and bussle of raising kids and work. A time to remember how and why they fell in love with one another. I also think kids need a little adventure as well, but at age 6-7 maybe a shorter vacation like a long weekend would be better for everyone. Many children do not do well for extended times away from the comfort and familuarity of their own home. I also believe family vacations should consist of a little fun and a little education. I'm a grandma and probably of the same generation as your dear mother and i agree with you that two seperate vacations is perfectly fine. It's whatever works for you and your husband.

  25. #25


    Thanks all...your wonderful words are soothing balm to a mum whose mind and emotions are split into two! One half very excited at being at CTI this time next week and the other half panicked, guilty and worrying about leaving our 2 year old with Grandma for a week.

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