A trip to the supermarket isn’t a holiday

A trip to the supermarket isn’t a holiday.
A holiday is a holiday.

THIS is NOT a holiday destination!

I get the “joke” here. I totally understand the feeling of being so bound to your babies and role as their mother that any time out, even if it’s just a half hour trip to the supermarket, can feel like a holiday. But I feel like I need to say it: A trip to the supermarket by yourself is not a holiday. A holiday is a holiday! Mums deserve better standards of what we should consider a decent break.

Because going to the supermarket, even if it’s child free, is still a chore. It’s still unpaid domestic labour. And women are being told – mostly by ourselves – that it’s still the closest thing to a holiday we can get. (And are dads told they should consider a solo grocery shop a holiday? I don’t think so!)

Stuck At Home Mum

Before I start talking about actual holidays can I say again that I get it. I remember my first solo trip to the shops after having my daughter. She was maybe 3 months old. So for 3 months I’d been continuously within squawking distance of her. And squawk she did. As absolutely adorable as she was, she was also an intensely clingy and highly strung babe. That first half an hour without her I was somewhere between elated and panicked. I tried to casually stroll through the shopping centre, but really I was rushing just to get home to her.

I then spent pretty much two whole years tied to that little girl. And by tied I mean she was also often tied to my body with a baby carrier. Which made my life 1000% easier, because otherwise I’d have been holding her in my arms for that entire two years. At least with her in a carrier I could get stuff done! But still, it did feel a little overwhelming at times.

A Little Freedom Goes A Long Way

But when she was FINALLY old enough to be pried off my body I started going on yearly “girls weekends” with a group of friends. And they are AH-MAY-ZING. I highly recommend organising them! No kids, no partner, no family, no worries! Honestly knowing that I will get a break, a proper break, an actual holiday, just once a year, makes the whole rest of the year that much brighter. We actually start planning the next holiday before the current year’s holiday even happens. Just so it’s there to start looking forward to (and budgeting for!) the day after the holiday ends.

I’ll admit my standards for what makes a holiday amazing are still pretty low. Like the first time I went on a holiday by myself I accidentally walked 500 meters in the wrong direction after I came out of the train station a little disoriented. So then I had to then walk all the way back and then some to get to the hotel… With children that would have been an absolute disaster. Without children – it was a little adventure.

It’s All About Me

It’s not necessarily what actually happens on a family-free holiday that makes it so great. Though the little things are still pretty fabulous! Like getting dressed up (having a shower and putting on make up BY MYSELF), jumping in and out of taxis, having a few drinks (and having a few more), dancing most of the night, then getting to sleep in for as long as I want the next day. Then popping out for a late breakfast and only having to worry about and purchase ONE meal. That stuff is all great.

But the best thing about being child-free for just one weekend is I get to be me, without also being “mum”. I feel like myself. Just myself. 

Okay… I’m Still A Mum

Though I have to admit I do tend to “mother” people a little anyway. I like to be the water fairy. I drink tonnes of water when I’m drinking to try to avoid a hangover and every time I head to the bar to get myself water I come back with as many as I can carry to share among my friends. Because it’s easy to forget to keep up the fluids when you’re having a good time!

Also one year I woke up fresh and everyone else was pretty worse for wear so I did a Poweraid and carbs run to the supermarket. So, okay, sure, “a trip to the supermarket” can be PART of a holiday, but it’s certainly not a WHOLE holiday.

And then one of the best things about taking a holiday without the family is getting home again and realising that I actually missed them. So then II’m happy and excited to see them again. Even though I do come home physically weary, I’m emotionally recharged. And already looking forward to the next trip!

Do you take holidays without your family?! Where have you gone and who did you travel with!?


Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner. Rachel is obsessed prams, car seats, carriers and all things baby. She has worked in the baby industry for several years, for both suppliers and also in a retail setting and has developed a passion for connecting parents with the right products to make their lives easier. When Rachel isn't playing with prams she's enjoys crocheting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.


    1. Dawn – if you want a ‘holiday’ in hospital (and yes, I know – but I felt the same), don’t make my mistake and agree to your husband and son staying in the hospital / hotel. Lovely (yes – in lots of ways). Restful (after another Caesar, and a screaming baby arriving this time, along with an energetic toddler?) Less so …

    1. Nope, not at all, however it’s much less stressful when I don’t have to haul little miss screams-a-lot and sir selective-hearing with me. Still not a favour, a favour would be said favour-giver doing it!

  1. I am so grateful for quiet time, even if it’s hanging out the washing or going shopping. Although I must say my weekly body balance class is amazing!

  2. A few years back I was feeling thoroughly overwhelmed so hubby sent me on an overnight stay by myself in a city hotel while he minded the kids. It was just what i needed. So good!

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