Nooo, not those smalls, although to be fair I imagine holidaying entirely without pants could be remarkably liberating. I’m talking about jetting off without the small people you created. Just you, and maybe the person you made them with, or someone else for that matter. Not Same Sh*t, Different Postcode as my partner likes to call it – the point is that the small people and all of their demands are not going with you. It’s different, right? So, just in case you have forgotten how…

A is for allowing yourself to have fun. You will miss the smalls, and they will miss you (although perhaps not so much as you would think) but allow yourself the fun because you will be a better person, and parent, for the break. (Well, that’s what I told myself anyway to justify dropping the smalls on my parents for an entire week.)

B is for beer, books, and basically everything else that you will have time for without the small people demanding to be supervised in the swimming pool for 95% of their waking hours.

C is for catching some zzzzzs. Have a lie-in. Have an afternoon nap. Hell, have a lie-in AND an afternoon nap. The world is your bed, go lie in it.

D is for dancing. The last time you broke some shapes you were a dress size smaller and your knees were way less saggy. Don’t let that stop you – this might be your only chance for another few months, possibly years, once the grandparents realise they might not want to look after the small people for several consecutive days until they can dress, feed, and wipe their bottoms unassisted.

E is for excitement. Dance on the spot and clutch your crotch like a partly-potty-trained-toddler insisting they don’t need a wee, because without set meal, nap and bed times to accommodate you can go wild and actually get excited about something. No one small is there to throw up in your hands, or wee in their boots, and spoil the occasion. Feeling excited is safe in these circumstances.

F is for freedom! Get drunk (shouting FREEEDDOMM in impressively bad Braveheart style is advised but optional), don’t get drunk, sleep, don’t sleep, eat, don’t eat. The choice is YOURS. There is no one else to think about.

G is for going topless… yeeaah…maybe not.

H is for headache. Hangover induced only. Soft play does not exist in this world, your first name is not mummy, and you have certainly not had to respond to it 70 times in the last 7 seconds. The only excuse for a headache is way too much wine.

I is for ice cubes in your drink that small fingers don’t fish out, suck, then put back. J is for the joy that waking au naturale offers. No squalling baby or shouty toddler to rouse you from your blissful slumber? Waking up will be a joy.

K is for keeping up with the kids. Not THE kids obviously – you’ve left them elsewhere. I mean the single, child-free twenty-somethings that you are no different from. You’ve had children but essentially you’re the same person and you definitely haven’t changed… Until you talk to some. Yeah, you’ve changed.

L is for last minute shopping at the airport. That explosive poo that went up the baby’s back the last time you were at the airport, which necessitated a 45 minute clean-up operation? That’s not going to happen. You’ll have time to go and get your Euros, meander through Duty Free and maybe enjoy a cheeky glass of bubbles before you board your flight.

M is for the minibar. Now I’m not actually suggesting you eat any of it – have you seen the price they charge for a packet of crisps? But you can at least enjoy looking at it in peace without having to stash it all in the empty suitcase in the bottom of the wardrobe to stop the small people getting their sticky fingers on it.

N is for napping. See C.

O is for opening lines. Make a list of things that people without children talk about. Keep the list handy.

P is for packing aaallll of the clothes in aaallll of the suitcase. Don’t think you’ll need that seventh pair of shoes? Put it in anyway. Plus another pair. Ewan the (b*stard) Dream Sheep and the (sodding) Star Show are not getting within sniffing distance of this suitcase so pack pack pack away.

Q is for questions. Similar to O you may find that your ability to make conversation has diminished somewhat since having children. Found yourself starting to relay the detailed ins and outs of your daily routine with the baby? Refer to the list. Actual People like to be asked questions beyond “Are you hungry?” or “Do you need a poo?”

R is for realising that you still have it. With the support of your lists of Q and O, you CAN hold a conversation with your partner/ hubby. You CAN still chat to strangers and convince them you are way cooler than you actually are. You CAN still apply make-up and blow-dry your hair without someone attempting to die in the meantime.

S is for sleeping. See N and C. Your partner will insist S is for sex. I’ll leave that one with you…

T is for talking. Actually talking in full sentences. There will be no pauses or hesitations to dutifully congratulate your small person on doing something that Actual People take a bit for granted… “Well done, you’re eating your food… oh look, you’ve drank your drink… no dear, it isn’t really necessary to share that Grandad has a willy with the whole restaurant…”. Be careful though – when the small people are not there the social crutch they provide to hide the fact that your brain has leaked out of your pelvic floor will also be absent. Unused to actually finishing sentences you may find you run out of things to say. In these circumstances refer to O and Q.

U is for undoing the damage that has been done to your relationship since having children. After a couple of hours of childfree time, and several days stretching out ahead of you, you will (hopefully) remember that you actually quite like this person with whom you have procreated. The thought of those little piles of pocket fluff, coins and random receipts that he leaves scattered around the place will no longer seem like justification for going all ISIS on their ass. Unless he has gone and got sh*t-faced in the airport bar that is, in which case you will probably want to just leave him there.

V is for virginity. If this is your first night away since giving birth you may well feel like you are losing your V-Bomb all over again. Sod it, if you have children you may well feel like you are losing your V-bomb all over again.

W is for white clothes. You get to choose the colour of your food and drink this holiday. There is no danger of being smeared in sweet potato, carrot flavoured rice cakes, or spaghetti bolognese. Orange foods are banned. Wear white.

X is for eXtreme sleeping (yes, I know I’m reaching there) like snoozing on a sun-lounger, or hanging in a hammock. Sleeping anywhere in the open, in fact. I’m wild, I know.

Y is for your arms. Having left the child(ren) somewhere else you’ll feel like you’ve lost your right one. If you have more than one child you’ll probably feel like you’ve lost both arms and will be worrying about how to drink your punch by the pool. You’ll imagine resorting to biting the edge of the cup and tipping your head back in a bad rendition of a university drinking game. Then you’ll realise that it’s not your arms you’ve lost, it’s just the small people. Don’t panic though, they are hopefully with someone you trust. Go and enjoy yourself with both arms.

Z is for, you guessed it, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… aannnd sleeeeeepp…

Hope that helps 😉