How can you enjoy a vacation with friends and children?

Every year or so, for years now, you've been going on vacation with your friends, and having children isn't going to make you give up these moments of celebration and rest. Except that your friends have also become parents, and yes, that can change things a little. Your friends have different ways of being parents, different rules, different rhythms, and children whose needs are sometimes different from yours. Here are a few tips on how to enjoy a vacation with friends and children.

children sitting on the grass

#1 - It's a family vacation too
Yes, you want to spend time by the pool chatting with your friends or doing lots of activities with the others. But your child, especially if he's small, doesn't see it that way, and demands even more divided attention than normal with all the people we're so happy to see again. So make time every day to spend JUST time with your partner and child, to recharge their little emotional batteries. They should be less clingy the rest of the day.

#2 - To each his own
Every family has its own way of doing things that works for it. Don't feel obliged to follow the rhythm of other people's waking, eating, napping or bedtimes. Some children adapt very well to changes and can, for example, take a nap anywhere, but that's not the case for everyone. If your child needs a routine to function normally (and not to give you a hard time at night), don't feel pressured to follow a rhythm to please the group. Not easy when the children are 3 years old and realize that their little friends go to bed later, I grant you.

#3 - Let go
No, this doesn't go against the advice above. If your child is rather adaptable, make the most of her vacation! If, even if you put her to bed later than usual because she recovers in the morning or during the day, don't stress too much. She'll find her rhythm once she's back home in familiar surroundings. If she doesn't turn into the Hulk because we're eating later at lunchtime, enjoy! Don't look at your watch - that's what vacations are all about.

#4 - Don't compare yourself
Going away with other parents also means running the risk of comparing yourself, with your "Enzo only eats homemade food" attitude the moment you open your industrial pot. Our situations, our children, our abilities and our means are all different! Even with all our children, we're not exactly the same parents. We all do our best, we let things flow, and we also respect our friends' choices.

#5 - Spend time with other people's kids
We may be close friends, but sometimes we don't know each other's kids very well, especially if they're new. When we see each other, we talk to our friends and leave the little ones together without really paying attention to each other's children. Vacations are the perfect opportunity to really get to know your best friend's child. Not only is it fun, but it also strengthens our friendship, because as we get to know each other's children, we also get to understand them better.

So, if you're lucky enough to go on vacation, enjoy yourself, your children and your loved ones. In short, enjoy life.

Hélène Girard
Mom of three boys aged 10, 12 and 14

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