As much as couples might need a vacation alone, doing so can be stressful, especially if our kids are very young and not used to being away from mom and dad. Here are 10 things that can help the process less stressful for everyone!

1. Make sure that the person keeping  your children have proper emergency information. If you are leaving them with non family members then make sure the babysitter has phone numbers for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Make sure to leave the name and number of important doctors, insurance information, and a letter of consent to treat.  Click here for help making a consent to treat document.

2. Look ahead to the week you will be gone and leave the babysitter details instructions on your children’s weekly routine. For example, if you always let your daughter stay up a little later on Monday nights to watch The Voice, make sure you let the babysitter know.  A day-by-day schedule is best so that gymnastics class on Tuesday and soccer on Wednesday isn’t forgotten.  The sitter will need to know that trash goes out to the curb on Monday nights and that your cleaning lady is coming on Thursday morning.

3. Have all the necessities for the week prepared.  Make sure the pantry contains all the lunch needs for the week, the kids know where their shin guards are, and field trip permission slips are prepared.

4. Have a talk with your kids before you go and explain that they will need to pull their wait while you are gone.  Asking someone to watch your kids for a week is a pretty big request, they shouldn’t have to pick up after your rugrats as well.

5. Plan some help for the help!  If your 70 year old mom is watching your kids while you’re away, trust us, she’s going to need a break. Try to arrange for a teammate to take your child to some of their practices or arrange a few playdates to give the babysitter a break.

6. You will obviously want to call and check in, but you also are on this trip to have some time away from the kids.  Set a time to talk to them each day, but don’t let them call you constantly.  A crying child calling you constantly can make your trip more stressful than relaxing.  If you anticipate this problem, leave them a small gift or note to open each night before bed.

7. Leave suggestions for things your kids like to do, especially if your caretaker doesn’t normally live in your city.

8. Make meals easy by leaving recipes and ingredients for things your children like.  You don’t want grandma slaving over a dinner that your kids are going to refuse to eat.

9. Don’t forget the pets! Make sure proper instructions and emergency information is left for them as well.

10.Remember to thank your caretaker in a big way!  Bring them back something spectacular!

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