This single mom went on her first post-divorce vacation with kids. This is what happened ….

 

From single mom Cara Grib, of Kalamazoo, Mich.
I’m on my first vacation with the kids post divorce sans their dad. We were married for 14 years and officially divorced in the past year. This trip to Anna Maria Island in Florida has been just my two kids, Jack (5) and Lily (3), along with my mom. It has been amazing. And eye opening. I’ve traveled the world and have weekly business trips so used to the travel thing. This has been the same — yet different:

single mom vacation cara gibb

  • I found myself taking on the roles my ex used to play. I retrieve our bags from baggage claim. I pick up the car rental and haul our suitcases in the back. I kiss the wounds as my kids scrape their toes.
  • I gave my children a vacation to remember. Me. Not their dad and me. Just me. My son hugged me tonight and told me I was the “bestest mom ever.”
  • I found the lessons for them I want them to cherish. My work is exploding and have to do at least 1 conference call per day. I tell my children: Momma can’t play with you in the pool because she has to work. This is how she pays for your vacation. Without her work, you can’t do this… And they are learning.
  • My mom is with me and gets to experience adventures I thought she would have had. I showed her how clams dig into the beach after a wave hits them. She had never seen it before and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that. I am amazed at both of us.
  • I used to shy away from playing with my kids, especially in the pool, because their dad was so good at it and I was not. Guess what: I am a great pool playmate for my kids. Outside of them nearly drowning me today with my daughter on my back who can’t swim and my son unexpectedly launching at me, getting water in my eyes while I was over my head, scared shitless I was going to die, I did it. They had a blast and never knew how much I was outside of my comfort zone.

Tonight’s beautiful sunset reminded me how amazing life is without the heaviness of an unrewarding marriage or partnership.

My new mantra for my life: I am Cara and I will not be afraid.

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4 thoughts on “This single mom went on her first post-divorce vacation with kids. This is what happened ….

  1. Congratulations Cara, on your trip! I know it can be a bit overwhelming trying to work out all the details – everything from flights, to connections to remembering what everyone needs with no partner to share the load. I’m a single Dad and I’ve taken my kids on a couple cruises and I’ve found that all the stress of planning can be worth it to get away from everything at home and bond as a new version of your family.
    One thing that I did notice, is that we should really take advantage of that time we have before kids reach teenage years. I had my kids (one son, one daughter) on a few trips when they were in the 9 to 12 range and we did everything from biking, snorkeling, zip lining, parks, exploring cities and had a blast together. But I took them on a cruise when they were about 15 and 12 and noticed a huge difference. By then, my son was old enough to go to the “teen club” and spent the majority of his days there. My daughter made friends and spent her days going from one activity to another with them. So I spent the week reading or wandering around by myself.
    Those years fly by so quick, that even if it’s an inexpensive close to home getaway, I highly recommend getting out and creating some memories while you still have the chance.
    Bill

  2. I love how you connected with your mom through this! What a treat for her to see up close what a capable daughter she raised.

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