By Soarin’ Diva
Disney vacations are known as great destinations for an immersive family getaway. Walt Disney World is our favorite family friendly vacation. This is why we usually reserve our one annual vacation for Walt Disney World. With so much to do and see, there is always an adventure for your kids no matter if they are toddlers or teenagers.
I previously wrote an article explaining that in some cases, you can even take your child out of school for a Disney vacation and have it excused as an educational trip, depending on your particular school systems rules and regulations. You can read about that here. There comes a time, however, when your kids may not be able to take time from school. I don’t mean that they won’t be excused, again, that’s up to the school system. What I mean that as your child gets older, the work load becomes more intense and taking them out of school can make the workload more difficult to handle, especially when you add make-up work onto an already full schedule.
This is the problem we ran into on our last vacation. My oldest son was in his senior year of high school and my youngest was in his freshman year. As much as it pained me, my husband and I decided that it would not be beneficial for them to go with us to Walt Disney World this time. The amount of work they would need to make up to try to stay caught up on everything was just too much.
And I felt incredibly guilty. You have to understand something about me, I can count on three fingers the number of times I had asked someone to watch my kids for me, not counting day care when I was working full-time. That’s right, three fingers. I take my role as parent seriously and have always managed to take care of my kids and my “to do” list with only having to ask either of the boys’ grandmothers to baby-sit them a total of three times in their lives, and once was because I was in ICU in the hospital and literally couldn’t avoid it. My husband and I had NEVER taken a vacation without the kids since their births.
It never occurred to me that we would venture off to Walt Disney World without either of the boys until they were both in college, yet…we did it. We asked their grandmother and grandfather to stay with them, we packed up our car (with a LOT less luggage and items) and we drove the seven hours it takes to get to our favorite vacation destination from our house. And I felt incredibly guilty…
We arrived at All-Star Sports, which was exciting because we had never stayed there before, so it was something different and we had another resort we could check off our Disney bucket list. Our plan for our first day was to head over to Disney Springs to eat lunch and do a little window shopping, then do something we had always wanted to do, but never had time, take the Monorail to each resort on the route and explore a little. I was a little surprised to find that, despite my guilty mom feelings, I was having fun. Despite the fact that I knew my poor kids were stuck at home and having to go to school, I was actually having fun. I couldn’t believe it, I was at Walt Disney World and I was having fun without my kids.
As the week went on and we hit the different parks, I expected to feel twinges of guilt for leaving my babies behind, but you know what? I actually stopped feeling guilty. It was nice to just have some time with my husband and no one else…well, no one else unless you count the thousands and thousands of other park guests.
Can I let you in on a little secret? We discovered that we can actually do MORE at the parks with just the two of us. I’m not saying I enjoyed myself more than I would have if my boys had been there, I’m just saying that when you only have to worry about two people, yourself included, rather than four, you can actually get a lot more done. We rode more rides, we were able to explore more areas that we had never had time to explore in the past. We were able to get to the bus stops and the parks earlier because I didn’t have to nudge my kids awake for thirty minutes every morning, forcing them out of bed and to get ready. Do you even realize what a timesaver that one is? My goodness, the time that had been wasted in the mornings in the past with those boys….but don’t even get me started on that!
I never once had to walk through the parks, constantly checking behind me to make sure my guys were keeping up with my husband and myself. There was no whining or grumbling from anyone in our party because it was just the two of us! I didn’t have to tell my boys to stop fighting on the bus because, guess what? They weren’t even there! They were at home, probably fighting there, and Grandma and Grandpa were spoiling them rotten with delicious food and lots of love, and I knew I didn’t have to worry about them for a second!
So, why am I telling you all of this and what does this mean? I’m telling you because I never thought it would be okay to go to Walt Disney World without my kids. I thought it would be unacceptable and selfish. It’s not unacceptable, it’s not selfish. It’s wonderful. It’s amazing. Sometimes we parents need to learn to take some time away from our kids and focus on having fun for ourselves. Walt Disney World has brought joy and wonderful memories to our little family of four for so many years now, but those boys are growing up and leaving the nest soon. They will be embarking on their own adventures, so why shouldn’t we? I’m not saying we won’t go back as a family again, we will, and we will absolutely love and treasure every single precious second of it. I’m saying that it’s also okay to go back with just the adults. Trust me, you will love and treasure every second of that adventure as well!
Are you ready to start planning your magical vacation, but you aren’t sure where to start? Contact our recommended travel agent, Patricia at All Dreams for Travel, and she can do all the work for you. Best of all, all of her services are FREE, all you have to do is click here to request a quote!
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