Going on Vacation…Without the Kids
Posted March 1, 2014 by Prairie Wife - 8 comments
The Cowboy and I work really hard to get time away from our herd of Cowkids at least once a month for date night. As you all know this can be super tricky between balancing him being gone and finding a babysitter. More often than not our date night slips in right at the end of the month on the 30th or 31st, but we get it done! Our rule is that in between kids, or about every two years, we go on a trip all by ourselves. Going on vacation without the kids has been vital to keeping our marriage (10 years this June) happy and healthy! In the past we have gone to the Kentucky Derby (so fun), Hawaii (personally I feel it wasn’t worth the long flight), and Costa Rica (this is by far my favorite place I’ve been).
This year we actually get two trips away from the kids. A long weekend in Vegas for a work trip (Cowgranny is coming up to watch the kids) and then…wait for it…the French Riviera for a week! I know crazy right? We actually won the trip through a fundraising raffle at the Cowkids’ school! Thankfully Ma and Pa are willing to fly in to watch the Cowkids for us for that trip. I know that we are so blessed that we have such amazing family willing to travel across Wyoming and the US to take care of our kids and give us a break. With new technology like FaceTime and Skype it’s even easier for us to leave but still stay connected to our kids. Because this isn’t my first time leaving the kids with Grandparents, gathering up all the paperwork only took me about 30 minutes. I just had to add Cowboy C to the lists.
But, it made me think about how challenging it was for us the first time we left. Not just emotionally but there is a lot of must do’s before you leave your kids for more than a few hours. So, to help all you mom’s and dad’s out there I’ve compiled a list for you of what you need to do before you hit the road and leave all your troubles (aka children) behind!
- Medical Release Form– This is super important! You need to fill out one for each child (it was a pain for 4). This gives the caregiver permission to take your child to the ER and make medical treatment decisions if you aren’t available.
- Medical information clearly posted– I tape this on the inside of the bathroom cupboard where all the kids medicine is kept (stock up on Tylenol and cough medicine etc. just in case). Have the children’s full names, birthdays (and age), and weights clearly listed. Doctor names and numbers. Then I put a list of symptoms and what medicine to use. With the weights and ages it is a piece of cake for caregivers to figure our dosages.
- Basic Information– Put a paper on the fridge with your home address, your home and cell phone numbers, doctor name and number, and a few numbers of friends that can come in an emergency. If your caregiver has to call 911, your address is one of the first things the operator will need. We always have it up for sitters. (we also have a CPR picture guide up too)
- Daily Schedule– Now this one is up to you on whether or not you want to do it. With school, preschool, and naptimes it just makes it easier for everyone if you type it all out. I know that they might ignore it half the time but it’s nice to have in one spot the ballet days and times and preschool times so no one forgets. We also have feeding animals (horses, dogs, and cats) down on it too so no one forgets.
- Will– No one likes to think of this, but frankly if you have kids you need to have a will. A verbal direction to a friend or family member, telling them who you want to take care of your kids if the unthinkable should happen, won’t hold up in court. Death can make people do strange things, and it’s better to have it written clearly want you want to happen to your children and your assets should you die. I also write a personal note to each of our children when they are born and slip it in there as well. It simply gives me piece of mind to know that what we want is written our clearly before we leave.
- Information for where you will be– We always leave a paper with our flight information, the name and contact information for our hotel, and if necessary the contact information for the name of our tour group and the information for the American Embassy if we head out overseas. If there is an emergency at home or abroad we want to be sure that our family can reach us.
- Groceries and Money– I always try to stock up the house with groceries before we leave, the last thing I want my parents to have to do is drag my kids to the store. We also like to leave some cash in case of emergencies, or if Cowgranny or Ma and Pa want to treat the kids while we are away.
I think this is everything that you’ll need, and I know it seems a little overwhelming. But, it’s worth it to know that you’ve dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s. I find it so much easier to relax and enjoy my time with The Cowboy when everything is taken care of at the Prairie Homestead!
Think I forgot something? Please let me know!
Categories: Life As It Happens