Get Away From It All With Other Grown-Ups
While nothing is more rewarding than being a parent, having some grown-up-only getaways is important if for no other reason than to keep you from baby-talking 24/7.
The first thing you need to do is get an idea of what kind of outing your circle would like to go on: just how adult is this to be. That will have a huge impact on the choices you need to research and options available.
Alicia on “Doing Your Own Thing”:
In the initial planning stage, when all things are possible, you might tend to over-plan. But remember that this should be about getting away from it all and recharging with other adults. The best way to do that is to plan for something that, when you get there, you can let things happen with no deadlines, stress or pressure. Things like three-day cruises or camping trips allow for different members of the group to decide individually what to do — say, being active or catching a nap. Also, these kinds of non-structured trips are more conducive to having free-flowing conversations on a wide variety of topics.
Sarah on “Hearing Voices”:
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, ask the participants to make suggestions about where to go and then offer them up for a vote. That way you are not “shoving” an idea down people’s throats while at the same time making your job a lot easier. Besides, someone might suggest something or someplace you have never heard of, adding a new possibility for a future getaway. And remember that life is not perfect. The main idea is to get some time with adults only. So, if your not-first choice is picked, just go with it; there will be plenty of relaxation and adult company no matter where you go.
Here are other tips to help you get back to the world outside your world.
#1. Commitment Issues
Once the getaway has been decided on, you must get people to commit. Send them an e-mail that tells them exactly when and where the outing is going to be and give them a hard date they must commit by. This is, obviously, because any reservation for a large group, whether a campsite or a spa retreat, is going to require reservations far in advance. And there is no such thing as commitment without cash. They must send their part of the deposit or they will not be included.
#2. Kids’ Camp
Most grandparents would love a chance to spend quality time with their grandchildren, so they are naturals to turn to for some low-cost baby-sitting coverage. Or you might want to consider arranging a round-robin baby-sitting service. Let all the kids camp out over at one person’s house and that way the service you hire can send a rotating shift of sitters. Your trip will not be seen as a negative by the kids: They got to have some fun while you did.
#3. Let it Go
Once you are there, the best way to relax and have a good time and good conversation is to not try to be everyone’s mom. It is natural that the person who spends so much time planning and preparing will feel responsible for everyone during the trip. But these are all adults perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. Yes, some will turn to you with questions, which is natural, but do not do anymore than is asked of you (and maybe not even that much). You do not want to come home feeling you had to continue to play the role of mom.