I think as a parent you are eternally questioning whether or not you make the right decisions on things, and sometimes you cock it up, other times you get it right. Sometimes you’re not really sure which one of those it is!
A couple of weeks ago we took Edith to Disneyland for her 5th birthday – just her, we didn’t take my boys. I know, CONTROVERSIAL.
On this occasion, I think I got it right, but lord above, so many people who don’t know us think I’ve got it wrong. From the not-so-subtly-judgey “OMG are your boys not there?! I could never do that” to the slightly more subtle “hmm how do your other kids feel about being left?”. Obvs a few of these comments have been in jest or heard me out and then said “yeah, makes sense” but there has been a lot of very triggered people.
Here’s the skinny: Everyone was happy about it and it was discussed as a family (without Edith’s knowledge) and agreed before anything was booked.
I know, it’s not very dramatic is it? People go on holidays with their kids, leaving behind other kids all. the. time. The issue comes when you chuck Disney into the mix, or you have younger children and everyone is still a judgey pants about your ability or wants to have a say about how you do shit. I don’t give a flying fuck what Tina at number 23 thinks when she’s tapping away on her computer after a few vinos to let you know her scathing opinion – have your opinion, and do one with it.
When we were thinking about doing something special for Edith’s birthday, it was quickly decided to take it from a mini break for us as a family to a mini break for the girls – me, my mum and Edith. You have to understand that when I grew up and my parents separated, we couldn’t afford to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld or any of it, so to be able to afford to take my mum and my daughter, three generations of females who all love Disney and specifically Princesses, was an absolute honour and something that will be sat happily in my heart for the rest of my days.
When it comes to Princesses, the boys aren’t quite as excited as us three. Don’t get me wrong, they love Disney and they love the Princesses, but we deliberately chose Disneyland because we knew that they had their Frozen special on, and it meant that there were extra Frozen shows, Frozen parades and Frozen theming everywhere. At the same time there was a Star Wars event, something that would have been great in the boy’s minds, but that we didn’t go anywhere near because, well, Elsa was calling and Olaf needed us to wave at him in the parade.
We discussed it with them and gave them options – we could book a trip for Me, Maw Maw (my mum), and the three of them, but they would be doing all the extra Princess stuff because that is what we’re going for and it would only be on during this season, OR Toby could have a weekend of doing football and going to football matches with his dad and Reuben could either join in with them (he hates footballs almost as much as me so it was an obvious no) or he could spend the weekend with his Grandma and Pops, building things in the shed. They chose to stay… I mean, realistically the only one hard done by in this scenario is Adam, who wasn’t given the option at all. Violins out for him guys, he’s crushed.
I think another reason I feel secure that we made the right decision here is that it’s REALLY important to have one on one time with your kids sometimes and do the things that they want to do, or that they enjoy, separate from their siblings. I’m not suggesting that everything should be this way, or that one to one time should be a fancy weekend away – it was a boujee thing to do for a 5 year old’s birthday, and make no mistake about it, I’m aware of that. One to one time rarely looks like this for us, the last time for Reuben it was a special trip to cinema, just us three, and for Toby it’s all about the football with daddy.
I guess you have to know yourself and your own children? If it’s not for you, then you don’t have to do it, everyone’s special time with their children as individuals can and does look different. For us, this worked really well, and when it comes to the boys birthday’s we will probably do something as a family of five because what we’re thinking of suits everyone… or maybe not. Who knows?