Feeling guilty about not taking the kids

Disney Dukers

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 27, 2011
I say take them, but I'm not you so easy for me to say. Haha. We are going to Disneyland in April for our 10 year anniversary with our kids. Our girls are 7&8 and we'd never leave them behind to go on vacation especially to Disney. We love our family vacation time too much and we know that time passes oh too quickly. We figure we have lots and lots of alone trips in our future when they are teens and young adults and don't want to come anymore :(
 

starshine514

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 21, 2010
I had a work conference at WDW when my girls were tiny (3 and 5). We had gone to WDW 9 months before and they loved it. Even though work was paying for my flight/room (on site even),I left the family at home (DH wouldn't have been able to take the girls to the parks all day while I was in sessions). I visited DTD and attended my work sessions. One evening, they had a client event at the Magic Kingdom; I went (the only time I set foot in a park that trip). I was literally crying when walking down Main Street and seeing the castle without them. That told me there was no way I could take a Disney trip without them. Even one evening at the MK was too much for me.
 

Brancaneve

That means Snow White in another language.
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
I had to double check and make sure that this wasn't my post five years ago when we celebrated our tenth anniversary! Looking back I can honestly say that we had a wonderful time and have so many great memories.....the rose petals placed in the Grand room( using DVC points), the unforgettable meal at Napa Rose and how much we accomplished without the kids in the parks. I felt guilty for a few hours and then embraced the moment and felt fine. Since you are a DVC owner your family will have many years of disney vacations. Just go for it!
 

DizMe

Here we gooooo...
Joined
Jun 4, 2007
Somewhere along the line, parents have been hammered with the idea that we must feel guilty for everything we deny our children, even though sometimes denying your children is an important part of parenting. Kids do not need to experience everything they think they want. It's actually very healthy for them to see you and your dh having a special anniversary and, as many others have said, devoting yourselves to each other on this occasion. Not everything is about kids, even if they'd like it to be :)

There is nothing wrong with going to Disney without your kids. One size does not fit all; I would go absolutely bonkers if I couldn't get away from my kids once in a while, and for many reasons Disney is my preferred escape. I am a person who has always craved/required escape once in a while to maintain my sanity. I'm not kidding about that. My best friend is the type who has to be surrounded by people and her family all the time to feel content. That's just the way we're wired and it doesn't make one of us wrong. What's wrong is to assume that if it works for you, everyone else must be the same.

Don't let anyone tell you you'll regret the decision not to take your kids. I have never regretted that, never. I have occasionally regretted taking them with me :rotfl:. I have grown kids and young kids, 5 of them. I CAN tell you that if you take them on your anniversary trip, they will very likely not remember anything special about that over any other Disney trip, whereas if you follow your wish to make it a special getaway for you and your dh, you will most likely have the most wonderful memories of that anniversary for the rest of your lives.
 

kkmcan

Official Mouse Fan
Joined
Apr 23, 2003
Two years a couple of girlfriends and I decided we needed a girls weekend and we all wanted to go to DL. I didn't feel guilty about going but the magic of parks wasn't there for me without my family. We were supposed to do a bunch of adult bars and meals and that didn't happen as well as leisurely shopping and that didn't happen either. Granted one member of our small group got extremely sick and ended up staying in bed most of the 3 days.

I just really missed my family and it wasn't silly and fun. It was kind of boring actually.

Everyone has their own personal feelings on taking vs not taking the kids and mine is that I will always only visit with my kids for as long as I can. I've got teenagers too and its just so much more fun with them and my dh:wizard:

When they grow up and have their own kids, they already know that I must visit Disney with them and their families. :angel:

Dh and I are having our 20th anniversary this summer and we've already picked going to do wine tasting in Temecula for a few nights. Somewhere the kids would never want to go anyways. :banana:
 

sherilaine

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
I think most have people have responded to this thread with their own personal take - for some there would be no guilt and that is great.

For others though, it might not even be guilt, it might be that without the kids, Disney would not have the same magic for them.

I think it also depends on location and frequency - if you live close enough that going to DLR is a few hours drive, that is entirely different than having to fly there.

I know myself I would likely feel guilty, but yes, that feeling would pass - however, I still would not enjoy myself as much as if I had the kids with us, and that is just my perspective.

That being said, I'd never even think about planning the trip - if the OP is considering this then they likely will have an awesome time going kid free.

This thread got a bit off track earlier with people judging (those comments and the subsequent responses to them have since been removed). It is nice to see that since then everyone is being very considerate!! :)
 

MrsMears

Mouseketeer
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
For those that say they could never go without the kids because the magic isn't the same without them - how will that translate when the kids have their own lives and it's just you and your spouse? Will you pick Disney vacations back up if/when you have grandchildren or will Disney visits no longer be part of your planning?

For MY life, I feel it is way too short to introduce guilt for victim-less actions. I don't even feel guilty for taking a solo trip to DLR in March without my husband. I'm already half packed and dreaming of my train trip to Anaheim :wave2: :coffee:
 
  • All American

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2006
    My friend and I are having these same emotions, so it's normal. In my case, I will be tagging along with my husband on a business trip to Orlando. While he's in meetings all day, I'll be heading to Disney all.by.myself. We're also tacking on a few extra days to spend at Universal to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- a double-whammy guilt trip.

    I feel really, really guilty leaving them behind because I know how much fun they would have and feels so selfish to cut them out of that equation. That's what I struggle with the most. I have lots of friends and family who do leave their kids behind, and I asked them (via facebook) how they do it. A lot of the responses were similar to the ones here.

    At the end of the day it boiled down to a few things:
    1. The kids need to see you and your husband do fun things together and spend quality time together.

    2. When I was a kid, I remember reading in a newspaper: The best thing a kid can hear their parents say is, "Your mom and I are going on vacation!" When I was younger, I loved it when my parents left town. Sure I missed them, but they brought back fun things, and we could relax a little bit. We always had fun babysitters and got to stay up late watching movies.

    3. With technology it is so much easier to keep in contact with them if you do miss them so much or feel guilty. I plan on taking lots of pictures in the souvenir stores, texting them, and shopping together via the iPhone. You can facetime in the park, video the parade and send it right away, or call as often as you need. Nowadays we really are just a call or click away.

    4. Finally, someone commented to my friend who is feeling the same that you were a wife/girlfriend before you were a mother, and that relationship needs to be nurtured as well. Your husband deserves some one-on-one time with you too. He needs his wife, best friend, and yes, lover just as much as your kids need their mom. 10 years of putting up with each other and making a marriage work is worth celebrating, and you TWO were the ones who did that. Enjoy that!

    There were more thoughts, but those are the ones most prominent in my mind at the moment. I know from first hand experience how agonizing it is, and I've only done it one other time when my husband and I went to Hawaii several years ago. To help with that, I left a prize for every day we were going to be gone for our daughter. It gave her something to look forward to, reminded her that we loved and were thinking of her, and acted as a countdown to when we'd be back.

    Good luck and have fun planning your trip. It's a win-win all around.
     

    sherilaine

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 22, 2013
    For those that say they could never go without the kids because the magic isn't the same without them - how will that translate when the kids have their own lives and it's just you and your spouse? Will you pick Disney vacations back up if/when you have grandchildren or will Disney visits no longer be part of your planning?

    For MY life, I feel it is way too short to introduce guilt for victim-less actions. I don't even feel guilty for taking a solo trip to DLR in March without my husband. I'm already half packed and dreaming of my train trip to Anaheim :wave2: :coffee:
    I would love to go to Disney when my kids are grown up and have their own lives, heck they already have their own lives, but at this age we still want Disney to be a family vacation - especially considering the distance we have to travel to get there.

    There is a big difference between feeling guilty and preferring to do Disney as a family - we do lots of stuff just the two of us, but for the next few years, that won't include Disney.
     

    MrsMears

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2012
    I would love to go to Disney when my kids are grown up and have their own lives, heck they already have their own lives, but at this age we still want Disney to be a family vacation - especially considering the distance we have to travel to get there.

    There is a big difference between feeling guilty and preferring to do Disney as a family - we do lots of stuff just the two of us, but for the next few years, that won't include Disney.
    That's very valid - I really hadn't thought about a few of those points you brought up!
     

    Cheshirecatty

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 23, 2013
    My friend and I are having these same emotions, so it's normal. In my case, I will be tagging along with my husband on a business trip to Orlando. While he's in meetings all day, I'll be heading to Disney all.by.myself. We're also tacking on a few extra days to spend at Universal to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter -- a double-whammy guilt trip.

    I feel really, really guilty leaving them behind because I know how much fun they would have and feels so selfish to cut them out of that equation. That's what I struggle with the most. I have lots of friends and family who do leave their kids behind, and I asked them (via facebook) how they do it. A lot of the responses were similar to the ones here.

    At the end of the day it boiled down to a few things:
    1. The kids need to see you and your husband do fun things together and spend quality time together.

    2. When I was a kid, I remember reading in a newspaper: The best thing a kid can hear their parents say is, "Your mom and I are going on vacation!" When I was younger, I loved it when my parents left town. Sure I missed them, but they brought back fun things, and we could relax a little bit. We always had fun babysitters and got to stay up late watching movies.

    3. With technology it is so much easier to keep in contact with them if you do miss them so much or feel guilty. I plan on taking lots of pictures in the souvenir stores, texting them, and shopping together via the iPhone. You can facetime in the park, video the parade and send it right away, or call as often as you need. Nowadays we really are just a call or click away.

    4. Finally, someone commented to my friend who is feeling the same that you were a wife/girlfriend before you were a mother, and that relationship needs to be nurtured as well. Your husband deserves some one-on-one time with you too. He needs his wife, best friend, and yes, lover just as much as your kids need their mom. 10 years of putting up with each other and making a marriage work is worth celebrating, and you TWO were the ones who did that. Enjoy that!

    There were more thoughts, but those are the ones most prominent in my mind at the moment. I know from first hand experience how agonizing it is, and I've only done it one other time when my husband and I went to Hawaii several years ago. To help with that, I left a prize for every day we were going to be gone for our daughter. It gave her something to look forward to, reminded her that we loved and were thinking of her, and acted as a countdown to when we'd be back.

    Good luck and have fun planning your trip. It's a win-win all around.
    Love. Love. Love this!!!

    We love going to Disneyland with our children, and we love going to Disneyland without them, as well.

    The first time we went without them, I was a bit worried--it just seemed wrong. Let me tell you that it was so. dang. much. fun!, and a completely different type of trip, than ever before!

    We simply couldn't believe the difference in being alone vs. with children! We were able to see and do things we'd just walked by/ignored for years. We were able to savor each moment and immerse ourselves in the atmosphere.(This is not to say that previous trips with our children weren't fantastic/memorable/special, because they were!)

    I get the feeling of reluctance, which others have in doing this---I experienced it myself(and quickly got over it;), once in the Parks).

    If you are not ready to try this type of trip(and you WILL know when you are), DON'T! It's not worth the misery of missing children!

    If you are game to give it a go--DO! You might just have the time of your life!

    Our kids were fascinated by the fact that we would go without them---and they love hearing about anything new that we find or try(they also love getting treats/surprises upon our return). This is just our family's experience though---I would never presume to say it would be this way for anyone else!
     
  • raidermatt

    Be water, my friend.
    Joined
    Sep 26, 2000
    Let me first say that my answer would be different if WDW were a more frequent desitination for you, or if you had a definite family trip in the works. But based on the info given there will not be another trip until at least the end of 2016, and possibly not even then.

    Based on that, I'd say there is likely a reason you are feeling guilty, your instincts are trying to tell you something.

    I understand the value of celebrating your anniversary (going on 19 years for us). No question about that. But making that a joyous celebration shouldn't be (and I'm sure isn't) so dependent on a single locale. You are celebrating your relationship, not the destination, right?

    It's fine to take a trip for yoursleves. That is important for you and it is something your kids will understand, if not now, later. But to take it to the one destination they would most like to go to, and one they cannot go to again for a long time, if at all? That's a bit much for them to handle, and that's what your instincts are telling you.

    I'm not judging you or anyone else. Everyone has to make their own decisions. But you asked. And you asked in a forum that definitely has a certain perspective when it comes to anything related to Disney, so of course you are getting answers based on that perspective. I love going to Disney too, but I'm just giving you a more balanced perspective.

    A lot of people have said it's important you show your kids you and your husband like to spend time together and have fun together. No argument there, but do you really need to show them you can only do that at Disney? Of course not, you will show them that no matter where you go.

    Good luck no matter what you decide.
     

    Amommy21

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 17, 2010
    I just heard the podcast featuring this thread. Incidentally, it's the first podcast from DIS Unplugged I have listened to. I was surprised at the snark about not wanting to go without the kids.

    It's all about perspective. DH and I have been married almost 20 years. Having children has been a struggle for us and we just have one little boy age 12. We are simply so excited to have a child to do family things with we just don't have the desire to leave him. And Disney especially is all about family to us.

    We are just so excited to share our Disney experiences. DH and I have been going annually since we were engaged and these last few years we have been buying AP's and coming even more frequently.

    I just don't have the desire to travel without DS. And he would feel terribly left out if we went without him. And especially Disney. I would so much rather have more childhood memories for DS to carry with him. DH and I will have years and years to travel alone when he is grown.. and even then I hope we have grandkids to take along.

    Further more, I think his first experience at Napa Rose he was about 6 and he did just fine. He is used to fine dining and it was not his first experience.

    But I understand that having two kids might mean a more hectic life and needing some time away. It's all about perspective.
     

    LucasandMickey

    Disney Obsessed
    Joined
    Apr 30, 2011
    We are parents to young kiddos too so I completely understand where you are coming from. My youngest is 16 months and I am just now feeling like I am in a place that I would be ok leaving the kids for a long weekend and am therefore DREAMING of a mini vacay with just DH and I.

    I completely agree that it is important to make time for your marriage and furthermore, important to show your children that you are making your marriage a priority.

    That said, while I would totally enjoy a Disney vacation without the kids, because, let's face it, it's a different experience, one without any limitations when you go without the kids and the stroller and the snacks and the naps and the whining etc etc etc....... It would not be my vacation destination for just DH and I. 1) Because as much fun as i know DH and I would have there without them, I just prefer to experience that magic with them. 2) If I am going somewhere without the kids, I am parking my butt in a lounge chair with a book and a beer and NOT MOVING. Because you can NEVER do that when you vacation with kids. LOL

    I'm sorry, I know what an impossible decision it is to make.
     


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