Anxiety or Bliss?
By Shirin Yadegar
The anxiety of traveling without the kids for a week is overwhelmingly stressful and all consuming. A mother’s first instinct is to stay home and plan to get away when it’s more convenient, but it’s never convenient. One of your kids will undoubtably have a game, performance or life altering crisis while you’re gone. There is no “perfect” time to travel without the kids except for now. Now is the time to do everything we want to do because tomorrow will be filled with even more responsibility.
I am writing this on my flight home from a weeklong vacation with my husband and 7 other couples in Phuket. Together we flew 16 hours across the world, leaving behind 23 children who all survived and actually thrived while we were gone.
Living in Los Angeles, we are constantly worried about how to make sure our kids will be resilient, kind and successful. We worry that if we leave them for a week, they will be traumatized with emotional negligence but I am here to tell you that the opposite is true.
While we were enjoying a blissful vacation in Phuket, my older girls took on the responsibility of caring for themselves and their little sisters. Although my mom moved in and my nanny helped with driving, the girls essentially woke themselves up, made their own lunches and reminded themselves about after school sports, musical instruments and library books that needed to be returned on certain days. They were forced to take care of one another which resulted in sisterly bonding.
The girls sent us a video of their Friday night dinner together while we were in Phuket. It brought tears to my eyes to see how beautiful the four of them coexist without parents to orchestrate them.
Kids will only rely on each other out of necessity and once they learn to reply on each other their love and trust for their siblings grows exponentially. They gain tremendous self confidence each time we travel making it easier to say good bye the next time.
If our goal as parents is to raise self confident children who have a loving relationship with their siblings, then traveling without them is a must. It’s the best opportunity for children to learn that they are not alone and when mommy and daddy are away, they can turn to each other for love, support and guidance.
Next time you second guess a getaway without the kids, go for it because there will never be a more “perfect” time than now.
Shirin Yadegar is the CEO and creator of www.lamommagazine.com. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and four daughters.