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Familymoon…. (family friendly Honeymoon….)
When one or both of you have children from a previous relationship, you need to decide: Familymoon or Honeymoon?
A Familymoon is when you bring your children on your Honeymoon. Right now, those who do not have children are probably saying, “Why would I ever bring a child on my honeymoon?”, those who do are probably saying, “Hmm.”
Just as the Honeymoon is an important Rite of Passage for the Newlyweds, a Familymoon is an important step for the newly Blended. Its a chance for everyone to settle in to their new roles without the added pressures of daily stresses, outward forces and routine.
I have actually been on two Familymoons, one per parent.
The first was my Dad’s honeymoon when I was 11. My sister and I went to Muskoka with our Dad and new Stepmother. It wasn’t a big deal for us, as they had already been living together for 3 years, so it was only natural to us. In this case, I think they could have gone on their own, having us on their Honeymoon wouldn’t affect the family dynamic in any way.
Completely different ballgame for our Mom’s Honeymoon.
I was already in University, my sister had already graduated College and was working full-time, neither of us lived at home. Although my mum had dated our Stepfather off and on for 8 years, we had only gone out with them once. We were also introduced to our new stepbrother, who would be living with them, on the trip. Obviously, this was NOT the right way to start a new family, but alas, it was the situation. In this case, the Familymoon was very important so we could get to know our new stepfather free from the real world, and our new stepbrother too. As well, it was a chance to experience our mother’s new role and get used to not being the centre of her world.
Based on my experience with two very different Familymoons, here are my tips:
- Make sure the new spouse and the kids have met and interacted on several occasions, they shouldn’t be virtual strangers.
- Don’t go on a long driving trip, adults tend to be at their worst and kids get bored and act up. Take a one-stop, four hour or less flight, you’ll all be happier for it.
- Get adjoining rooms, or a suite with seperate bedrooms, you are still on a honeymoon and need your private time.
- Don’t be afraid to be affectionate in front of the kids, but don’t overdo it either. The kids are going to have strong emotions going on inside of them even if they don’t show it. Light affection is good, any more is hurting them and inappropriate.
- If it is your child/ren, make sure you show them lots of love and affection and reassure them that your love for them has not changed in any way.
- Be sensitive to the fact that these kids’ lives have been completely turned upside down and they really had no say about it. On the flip-side, if they are getting lots of reassurance and love, don’t let them ruin your honeymoon with drama.
- Get a hotel-approved babysitting service and have a date night. It can’t be all family, all of the time.
- Go somewhere relaxing, where you can share fun experiences and just hang out. This is not the time to go on an education tour.
- After the Familymoon, try to get away for a night or two alone as a couple.
Good luck and lighten up! It’s your honeymoon 😉