Be a Couple Again: Why Sometimes It’s Okay to Leave the Kids Behind
Published: Thursday 17th Apr 2014
Written by: Alice de Courcy-Wheeler
Being a parent requires a lot of sacrifices. Sleep, money, dignity and sometimes your identity as a separate person is subsumed too. You can tell this has happened when you know what the time is just by which programme is on Cbeebies. When you sit on the floor more than the sofa, and it’s been three years since you’ve drunk a whole cup of coffee. When you excitedly point out ambulances even when the children aren’t with you. And when getting ready for an outing takes longer than the outing itself.
But every now and then it does you good to stop being ‘mum and dad’ and be a couple again. Taking some time for yourselves gives you a chance to relax and recharge the batteries, as well as your patience levels. Above all it will make you realise how much your children mean to you all over again.
So why not take a short break and do grown-up things for a little while? Your whole family will benefit.
The UK has some amazing countryside to explore. The Lake District, the Welsh mountains, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Cornish coast are just a few examples. But while the thought of a bracing walking holiday may appeal to grown-ups, the thought of walking just for the sake of walking would horrify most children, no matter how pretty the view. It’s also often impractical for young children as their little legs need to take three or four times as many steps as their long-limbed parents.
Most of us as children remember being dragged round a dusty museum or a site of cultural significance by well-meaning parents or on a school trip, the only highlights of such a venture being a visit to the overpriced gift shop. There is really no reason to inflict this on your own children apart from a nagging sense of guilt that your children need to be exposed to ‘culture’. And it will be a lot more enjoyable for you if there are no protesting children trailing behind you.
A holiday without the children should be all about you as a couple finding ways to relax and taking time for yourself. There was a time in your life when you didn’t count going to the toilet on your own as a luxury, why not rediscover it with a visit to a spa or a pamper trip?
Remember when a date was something more than going to CarpetRight to choose some new lino? Rediscover the old days with a romantic break. Take a candlelit meal at a great restaurant, a long walk under the stars, and enjoy staying in a cosy cottage all to yourselves. This is what you did before you had children.
You’re not old yet! Unstop your adrenaline glands and take life by the horns again. As a parent life can literally be a case of swings and roundabouts but without the children you can try all those exciting things that they’re too young for, such as hang gliding, mountain biking, and bungee jumping.
Escape with your partner on a trip to the city. Whether it’s somewhere historic such as York, a vibrant city such as Cardiff, or the city of stories, Norwich, the range of activities and entertainments available to you will give you plenty to do, day and night.