As children we were very fortunate to experience so many lovely holidays. I recall holidays on farms, holidays in the country, some by the sea, in hotels or cottages but always with a view. We were exceptionally lucky to be able to experience this and have these memories.
Travelling back from our honeymoon where I've done nothing but think about how lovely and quiet it is I have also had lots of time to reflect on time without our children and the experiences they miss out on as a family of a child with special needs.
We as parents don't get enough time on our own to enjoy each other's company with hectic lives with the children and it's so important to find that time for yourselves. We would never normally go away without the children but this was special. This week was our honeymoon. I've often wondered why parents go away without their children. Some may say it's selfish, it's neglect, why not take them. I can now fully appreciate the ease of travelling without the children. The peace and quiet it brings but most importantly the quality time parents need together to rebuild and recharge.
Our children were more than looked after while we were away! Dakota was with her mummy as usual and having fun and Ethan was at the hospice having an absolute wail of a time! Ethan enjoyed lots of music therapy, time on the magic carpet, Jacuzzi fun and playing in the beautiful grounds of the hospice.
We lasted about 3 days before it became the norm to miss our children. This was the longest I've ever left Ethan. Life with Ethan is full on 24/7. I never relax at home because I'm constantly thinking about the next step preparing and organising for my little man's full on schedule. It's been very weird not having to stick to regular feed times or med times or bedtime routines. The biggest thing I've not missed is the constant travelling for hospital appointments or answering phone calls to arrange or change appointments. It's been so lovely to 90% switch off to all this. I have however the last couple of days started to prepare myself for the return to this hectic shedule.
Ethan has been in very capable hands while we have been away. He had respite at the hospice and then a weekend with his daddy.
I've not worried about his care like I normally do.
We have fully embraced the time to ourselves and most of all, relaxation to the maximum.
We have talked loads while we have been away about more family holidays. We have tried a fair few times taking Ethan away and he just doesn't enjoy it! He always ends up ill, which with him is much harder to deal with while away. Ethan isn't a fan of the heat so a week like this would have been horrible for him.
We are going to try and build him up to do more holidays at home starting with some weekends. Ethan does not miss out on any life experiences as we include him in everything.
We would love to be a normal family jet setting off every year, but Ethan just doesn't enjoy it. We felt incredibly guilty leaving the kids behind but we needed this time alone. We are going to make more trips away as a family when we have more children, so that they and Dakota don't miss out. Ethan is incredibly happy at the hospice while we're away so we know he is in safe hands and we will just remind ourselves of how much we do as a family, that sometimes we all need to have time to relax without Ethan too, so that we don't miss out on what life has to give us outside of being a special family.