While nothing is more rewarding than being a parent, having some grown-up only get-aways is important if for no other reason than to keep you from baby-talking 24/7.
The world spins pretty fast, especially during an election year, and you will want to be able to spend some time with people that you can talk about the world at large with. 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 3-day cruises or camping trips are wonderful for providing an environment in which different members of the group can decide individually that they want to be active or catch a nap whenever they want. 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 to any future get-aways. And remember that life is not perfect and 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 some other hints to help you get back to the world outside your world.
1. Commitment Issues
Once the get-away 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 camp-site 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 some quality time with their grandchildren, so they are a natural place to turn for some low-cost babysitting coverage. However, if one of more sets of grandparents in your circle are unable to baby-sit, you might want to consider arranging a round-robin babysitting 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.