Family Vacations In Divorceland

Kind of insane just-us-three camping trip, Summer 2018

So here’s an odd little post-divorce conundrum that hadn’t occurred to me until just recently: How does one best go about having a “family vacation”? See, the kids have Spring Break coming up in April, and since they’ve gone on two trips with Kendrick recently I’d really like to take them somewhere special for the week (I know, that sounds competitive – and it is, a tiny bit, but also I’m finding myself craving that kind of magical time with them that seems to come with being out of your element).

But…what does one do, exactly? How do you vacation with kids when it’s just you and them, without…I don’t know…feeling like you’re just spending the whole time herding cats? Or without feeling weird, being in a place that’s very literally set up for the kind of family that you no longer technically are?

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As I see it, there are a handful of options:

Option 1: Hijack a friend’s family vacation. Except that most of my friends’ kids’ schools have a different Spring Break Week than ours. I have a couple who I think would be down to partner up and take our kids on a trip together, but I also suspect that their husbands would be sliiiightly less enthusiastic about this idea. And I’m also little wary of being the sad divorcee who tags along on another family’s special time. …You know?

Me + Little Love #1, Club Med, 2013

Option 2: Force Francesca to go to Club Med with me.

I floated this idea to her last week…and alas, this was how that conversation went:

Obviously I do not plan to let this one go because a) I don’t let things go and b) Excuse me, open bar and snacking?! How could she resist?!?! I feel like I can win this fight. (More thoughts on the joyful land of wonder and ice cream that is Club Med are here.)

But for the time being, let’s move on.

Option 3: Go to New York. I’m only kind of “meh” about this idea, because I want to do something new and exciting with them. And April in New York is cold and wet, and I also very, very much want a beach, a book, and a cocktail to be involved in this vacation at some point. But that would certainly be the easiest (and certainly cheapest) solution, so: worth considering.

Option 4: Bite the bullet and go somewhere tropical, just the three of us. It’s strange how intimidating this feels – it’s not like I don’t travel with them allll the time – but…I don’t know. I’ve just never really vacationed alone with them, other than that time we went camping, which was, while interesting, perhaps not exaaaaactly what I’m looking for this time around.

And is it totally weird for a single mom to take her kids to, say, a Club Med? Will I be a pariah? Will I erupt into tears at the breakfast buffet, when faced with the sight of hundreds of at least passably happy, legally unbroken families? Will I get uncomfortably hit on by a nineteen-year-old trapeze instructor because he assumes that I am Stella, and that I have gotten my groove back?

Help me locate the magical beach vacation to fulfill all my single mom fantasies, please?

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