13 Moms Share Tips for Surviving Your First Big Couples Getaway

13 Moms Share Tips for Surviving Your First Big Couples Getaway

We asked moms how they prepare for trips far away from their little ones

By Marisa Torrieri Bloom

In just three weeks, one of my good friends is getting married in Nashville -- a city of great live music and good times. The only problem? My husband and I are leaving our two toddler sons behind (14 months and 2 years old).

While I’ve gone away on business trips, as has my spouse, I’m terrified of the idea of both of us being several states away from our Connecticut home and the little men we love so much. What if they aren’t happy staying with their grandparents? What if they miss us and cry a lot? And, heaven forbid, what if something bad happens while we’re away?

While all of these questions are legitimate concerns, and life is, unfortunately, uncontrollable, I asked some well-traveled moms to offer their best advice for surviving my first real couples trip. Here’s what they had to say:

1. “Don’t worry about checking in all the time. My children actually did better when I didn't call and check on them – out of sight, out of mind.” -- Amanda G., mom of three, Norton, Massachusetts

2. “We go away once a year. I try to manage everyone's time and needs before I go and worry about it for about 30 minutes until it is out of my system. Then I check in once a day and no more. It works for us and them.” -- Karen S., mom of two, Washington, D.C.

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3. “I made sure I was really organized while I packed and made lists of everything my 1-year-old daughter would need days before we left. [And I] had some conversations with my mom about her eating [and] sleeping [routine] and daily schedule before we dropped her off. We went to my parents’ the day before and stayed overnight before we left to make sure she was OK and to walk my parents through everything so that she would feel comfortable being in a new environment.” -- Lisa Kay M., mom of one, Wilton, Connecticut

4. “We left copies of our wills and bank account info with our parents.” -- Amy G., mom of one, Fairfield, Connecticut

5. “My advice is to create a processing book for elementary-age and younger kids. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half to make four pages. Tell a story and illustrate it with stick figures. Page 1 departure. Page 2 child plays. Page 3 child feels sad, misses mom and dad. Page 4 mom and dad always come back.” -- Sherlyn L., mom of two, West Hills, California

6. “We brought along a computer to video chat with her. But otherwise, we shut off our phones and just had faith that our moms could handle watching our daughter. They raised us, so I obviously felt completely comfortable leaving her with them.” -- Abbey F., mom of one, Belleville, New Jersey

7. “For me, creating a worry list has been helpful. By simply writing down all of my fears about leaving, I give [them] a name and just seeing the words on paper gives me clarity on how to cope with each one.” -- Shawn F., mom of two, York, Pennsylvania

8. “My daughter was fond of listening to pre-recorded books on tape. I used a tape recorder and recorded myself talking to her conversationally. Next, I read one of her favorite books aloud and talked about the scenes on the pages, as if we were discussing it in our usual way. I even said ‘ding,’ so she would turn the page. I knew that by hearing my voice and participating in a familiar activity, she would feel comforted during our absence.” -- Janet F., mom of one, New York City


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9. “Leaving surprise notes or treats for the kids to find while you are away can help them feel a connection even in your absence.” -- Jane W., mom of two, East Greenwich, Rhode Island

10. “We took a long weekend [and] left the kids with a trusted friend and her tween twins. They had our numbers to call in an emergency, and we called every morning and every evening to check on them. It helped that the children REALLY like the people who stayed with them.” -- A.K., mom of three, Norfolk, Virginia

11. “We left the kids in the care of my mother, which really helped eliminate stress. Leaving them with someone you trust wholeheartedly makes it easier and allows you to relax while away. We called just once a day to check on things. I think it's important to get away occasionally, to just breathe, rest.” -- Elle W., mom of two, Minneapolis, Minnesota

12. “It gives the grandparents some focused alone time with our son that they all seem to cherish. Nothing to feel guilty or stressed about! It's a win-win for everyone!”
-- Kristin T., mom of two, Tampa, Florida

13. “My best advice is to turn it into a learning opportunity for the kids, even though they're not there. I check in daily, and give fun updates on wherever it is I'm visiting -- it's always my favorite part of the day, and the kids really look forward to it, too.” -- Lissa P., mom of two, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

What’s your best advice for parents about to go away for the first time?

Marisa Torrieri Bloom is a freelance writer and guitar teacher who lives with her husband and two young sons in Fairfield, Connecticut.

Image ©iStock.com/michaeljung

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