If you are planing in future to travel like single parents this story will help you and will give you a hope. Sarah Johnson has 2 children and this year is going on a vacation as a single parent.
Last month, I went with my children, 9 and 4 years old, abroad. Independently. For the first time. It was the last milestone in a year that saw me decompressing the tree (bad) and igniting my first grill (not so bad). I was a little upset before we left and spent several weeks preparing my kids for all things that could go wrong if they play. First lost. Getting wounded in luggage cartels. Arrested while controlling passports. The list was infinite. Bring the empty spirit! But when the time came, they fully strengthened, even my four years. And, certainly back to the English coast, I can honestly say that it was a victory. Here’s what I learned about surviving a vacation as a single parent.
Better for you to go in the place when you have been before. We returned to the Club of Latvia, Turkey, the wonderful all-inclusive resort where we were two times before. Knowledge of the resort, people and structure made it much easier for the first holiday as a single parent. It took a lot of anxiety, acclimatization and we all felt safe.
Keep your children close and always watch on them. Your children are never too young to help them understand that walking alone with one adult is different. I started talking to them about this, a few months before we went. When we were out and about at home and they were badly affected, i reminded them what could happen if they pulled this type of trick at the airport or in the resort. When they behaved impeccably in reporting, much to my surprise, I realized that some of them must enter.
Help your children to be unique. My boys were carrying these funny freaks while we were traveling. I mean, you will not lose your children when they look like this, do you?
Traveling light. With children who are having fun, you also do not want to worry about countless bags. Cancel the five pairs of shoes that you can otherwise pack, plan your clothes, keep your children’s clothes at a minimum (remember that they will usually wear swimwear during the day) and use a lightweight suitcase that does not take 10 kg. Your precious supplement for luggage. I took the incredible Cosmolite Samsonite, which weighs less than my purse and is so easy that my nine-year-old took it with one hand, as if it was a fun bag.
Pack bag for an airplane with activities for everyone (and headphones for you). I bought three coloring packs for Crayola Mess Mess Free, which kept them quiet. I packed many snacks and a few bags of candy for bribe purposes. Note: DO NOT buy hot drinks on board, no matter how your children convince you that they will not spill them. These will end up all over, but in their mouths. Trust me.
Be prepared for things. Do not go to plan and believe in your abilities when they do not. Of all the things I was worried about, my eldest had an allergic reaction to a nut that he mistooked at his airport breakfast was not one of them. I had to leave the children with a neighboring table, while I made an emergency dash for Pirithon boots.
He was ill and excluded for two hours and we had to get the First Aid so we did not clear up to fly. Somehow, I handled it and stayed calm. We even laughted about it after it recovered. So, whatever happens, you know that you are better than you have ever figured out and when the time comes to stop and count, you will stand high.
If you need help ask. You are a lonely parent in unknown circumstances. This brings some practical hurdles, especially if you have more than one child. You will not be able to have a parent as a family with two parents. Make peace with that, at the beginning.
You will need to do things that feel a bit more risky, as if you trust one of your kids to go to the bathroom alone. Allowing them to take their drink while supervising the younger ones. Leaving them with someone while you go to medical / poo / tantrum emergency assistance. I had moments when I was worried that other parents might judge me that I’m a little “weak”. The truth could not have been different. Most often they impressed that everyone was trying to make a rest with two children and always wanted to help.
Make rules and establish trust. Tell your children what you expect from them and often perform them. Children are lost at the moment and easily gain confidence, so I occasionally found my need. That said, they really understood the need to work together as a team and I was proud to watch them become independent and take responsibility for some small things.
You want to back in disco time. If your location / resort has extraordinary evening parties, such as the Latvian Club, your children will stay late from home. A few days in, I noticed that everyone was getting tired, so I returned to the temptation for the young and the youngest. They did not want my insistence, but they always slept in minutes. Funny it.
Rescue equipment. This is by far the best thing I did. For my reasonableness and their safety. Smoking was probably my biggest fear of rest alone, because I know that I need only a second and I knew that I would not always be able to keep my eye on three children, at the same time. My boy, at the age of 9, is a good swimmer, but his 4-year-old brother had made appropriate rescuers all the time. That meant I could relax around the pools and even read a few pages of my book.
Give your self a hope.
Going on holiday only with your children is not a small thing. It’s a bit strange to start. There will be gruesome moments when you see other families together. There will be great times when you want someone to take responsibility with you. But these are transient. Most often, there will be strengthening moments where you realize that, not only can you do it, but you actually enjoy it.
Your children are happy. You are happy. You spend more quality time with them than you did at home; responsible and entertaining parent all rolled into one. Watch a different side of them. They see a different side of you. And there is a new and deeply rooted respect for each other. Make sure you take a moment to recognize your success. Therefore, one day, your children will attract a lot of power from these holidays that they advocated for single parents, where they showed that they are not just holidays that come in many different and wonderful packages. But families, too.