PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES – GOING ON A FAMILY HOLIDAY WITH MY EX

Yes you read it right. In a very Jeremy Kyle headline way ‘I went on holiday with my ex’. Not just once, but a couple of times. One time even for a whole month around Europe!

One of the things that has baffled many people; friends, family and colleagues – is my relationship with Evie’s dad. We broke up, we separated our things, we stopped sharing a car, we got new places to live, we even got new partners – and yet we have still kept a strong parental friendship for the sake of our daughter.

Many times we have pushed the boundaries over what is ‘publicly’ acceptable after a break up. We have hung out together, we’ve gone for dinners together, family days out, staycations and even holidays abroad. Why? Because we want our daughter to feel that she is part of a strong family unit and personally, I really don’t think that is such a bad thing.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

Family Holiday After Separation

Co-parenting after separation is never an easy thing to do. Just like everyone we have had our ups, downs and disagreements. But, in the last 18 months we have formed a ‘parental’ friendship for Evie and I think that we have finally got it nailed.

You may be thinking that a friendship is great, but why on earth would you go on a family holiday together?

In all honesty, neither of us wanted to miss out on seeing Evie go abroad for the first time and neither of us wanted to go alone.

Just like with any separation, there are things that you have to accept you’ll eventually start to miss out on; such as Christmas, family holidays and special events.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

When I decided I wanted to go abroad with Evie, I knew how gutted Jamie would feel. He knew that one of my dreams for a long time was to travel around Europe. I knew that one of his dreams was to take Evie abroad for the first time.

I started to plan my travels regardless and when it came down to me booking my holiday and asking permission to take her, we ended up having a huge discussion on whether or not it would be crazy for us to go together. If we both had the ability to push aside our feelings and differences, maybe, just maybe it could work.

Now I’m not saying that everyone should or could go on holiday with their ex partner, or that it is even necessarily a good idea. But, if it is something that could work out for you then there are actually loads of benefits.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

Benefits Of Travelling With Your Ex

For me, some of the benefits of travelling with Evie’s dad have been:

  • Shared travel costs
  • Shared childcare
  • Not having to travel alone with my daughter
  • Showing our daughter we can still co-operate

After all, holidays can be so expensive! Splitting the cost of flights and accommodation with someone else was so helpful. Traveling with company was also really welcome. I have to admit that I was a little terrified and overwhelmed at the prospect of travelling alone with Evie, especially for our first time abroad.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

The Biggest Benefit? 

For me, the biggest benefit of all has been helping our daughter to make family memories and I’m so happy that neither of us had to miss out.

We all got to experience new cultures and we both got to see Evie enjoying her first holiday, trying new foods, flying for the first time, meeting people who spoke different languages and having fun in new environments.

I feel so lucky and I am so grateful that I still get on with Jamie and that we were friendly enough to be able to do something major, like fly in an enclosed space together and navigate a foreign country, despite no longer being together.

I know some couples who are actually still together, who probably wouldn’t even survive a family holiday abroad. To be separated and to manage it is definitely an achievement.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

Boundaries

I will admit that holidays abroad with your ex are not always easy. There can be arguments, old niggles can come to the surface and spending in depth time with someone you are no longer with can be tricky. After all…you guys did break up for a reason.

If you are ever in the position where you are going on holiday with your ex partner, then I really advise you set some boundaries before your butt sits on that plane. Here are some things you should probably think about:

  • Booking separate bedrooms
  • Trying not to argue (sometimes easier said then done)
  • Remembering why you are there
  • Making the most of it
  • Being upfront about what you want to do on the holiday – clashing itineraries isn’t fun!

Our Experience

Even though we had the occasional disagreement, the most amazing thing for both of us was that we got to take our daughter on holiday. We both shared her first plane ride, her first moment in a foreign city and her first stay abroad.

Both of us watched her eat vongole in Venice and heard her say bonjour everywhere we went in France. We got to take her on a bike ride around Barcelona and saw her throw coins in the iconic Trevi fountain in Rome. Just that in itself was worth it.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

It was also really nice to just have another person around. We didn’t need to take the dreaded selfie stick as each of us was happy to snap pictures of the other standing beside famous landmarks with our daughter.

It was great to have help from each other, to lug around the suitcases and to entertain Evie when she was fed up. We also had someone else to rely on if we needed to make a shop run or if we wanted a couple of hours child free. The list of positives could go on.

One thing we tried so hard not to do on holiday, was argue. Although we did have our down days and a couple of moments of regret about taking the holiday (did I mention that we went for a month?), I can name many families who are still together who would probably experience these moments too.

In the end, the positives really outweighed the negatives for us. I loved getting to watch my child have fun with her dad on holiday and we both appreciated that each of us had the capacity to spend that time together for her sake.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With Your Ex

Will going on holiday with my ex upset my child when we get back and go our separate ways again?

One of my biggest worries was that Evie would suffer when we got back from holiday and we went our separate ways again. We know that Evie has grieved our relationship ending and we know that she sometimes has a tough time going from one parents house to the other every week.

Luckily we have spent a lot of family days together post separation, so Evie was already used to us being around each other out of a relationship.

After we came back from holiday, we slipped straight back into our normal house routines and surprisingly Evie didn’t mind at all. Older children of course might react very differently and it does depend on your situation.

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

Will I go on holiday with my ex again? 

If it is good for Evie and it benefits both of us then I would definitely go on holiday with Jamie again. People do judge and question why you are doing it, but at the end of the day you know what is best for your situation and your child.

I love going on holiday with Evie and I know that both Jamie and I hate missing out on big moments like this in our daughters life. In the future things may be different. We both might expand our families or our partners may protest about our decisions. But in the meantime, doing things as a family is important to us and until the day comes where it might have to stop, we’ll both be making the most. Just remember:

Pushing The Boundaries - Going On Holiday With My Ex

There is nothing wrong with going on holiday with your ex. 

Every breakup situation is unique. If you are in the mind space where you can hang out as a family, maybe you could survive a holiday together? It if can benefit both of you and your child/children, then do it!

Just remember to set boundaries, remember why you are doing it and switch off your ears because I can assure you, other people will have an opinion.

Would you ever go on a family holiday with your ex? Or is it something that is completely out of the question? Let me know in the comments below.

19 Comments

  • Emma FARLEY says:

    You guys are doing such a great job! Evie’s lucky to have such loving parents who work well together.

  • Mum in Brum says:

    I think this is a really brave decision and definitely something that a lot of separated couples can learn from. I think it depends upon the circumstances in which you broke up, but if things have remained amicable and you can still get on as mates I don’t see any reason why not! As you say, there may come a time when it’s no longer appropriate as it will upset new partners etc, but as long as it works I think it’s an admirable thing to do. Sounds like you’re both doing such a great job – and Evie’s so lucky to have such rich life experiences! xx

  • I think this is wonderful.You are both doing a great job in raising Evie. She is very lucky. 🙂 x
    #twinklytuesday

  • I think it totally depends on the relationship you have with your ex & it sounds like you have both worked hard to have such a great one for the sake of your little girl 😀 xx

  • Helen says:

    This is such a lovely thing to do and making memories together is so special 🙂

  • Talya says:

    Wow I think it is amazing that you did this and how wonderful for your boy that you set your differences aside and created this memory for him. Seriously….bravo!

  • Cathy Glynn says:

    I so agree with everything you have said, sometimes we just have to let go of the past and enjoy the present and do what is right for you and your daughter x

  • I loved this post. It must have been hard to do as two adults, but as parents it sounds great! My parents divorced when I was 3 and they had a great relationship. To this day we still spend Christmas days together when us kids are around so that no one misses out, Step-parents, half sisters, all of us. Together. It’s great for family bonding.
    #twinklytuesday

  • Debbie says:

    You’re both doing a great job and are amazing parents. You’ve just got to do whatever works for you and what’s best for Evie.

    My parent’s divorced when I was 8 and I saw my Dad for the odd weekend and felt so guilty always wanting to spend Christmas with my mum.

  • I loved this post, and what amazing selfless people you both are. My ex husband and I split when our son was 4 after 11 years together, but we went on holiday together the following year to Disneyland Paris so that our son had those memories of the three of us. I think it’s amazing to be able to do that together.

  • Kara says:

    What an amazing thing to do for your daughter , certainly one I could not do so you have my admiration

  • Laura Clark says:

    This is absolutely fantastic! A really refreshing perspective on co-parenting, I applaud you and your ex for being mature enough to do something so lovely for your daughter x

  • What a fab plan and how brilliant of you to show your daughter than relationships don’t have to be toxic when they breakdown. She will be stronger for it with a balanced view of life. Way to go You! Elinor x

  • Good you guys came together to do this for your daughter. I doubt I would be able to.

  • Anosa says:

    Personally I wouldn’t go with my current ex not because we dislike each other or anything I just wouldn’t wish to but also if there was a child involved I know we would be in the same position as you and would do it together. Everything that makes your baby happy is worth it

  • My ex (the older 2 kids are his) hasn’t had any contact with me or them in almost 3 years. Before I got with my new partner I invited my ex on a holiday but he didn’t show up. It all depends on the person involved.

  • Rishi Malar says:

    It’s definitely a very brave decision and might have involved a lot of planning well ahead. Happy to see the little girl who enjoyed her holidays.

  • Good for you guys! I think it’s fab that you can still remain friends and stay amicable for Evie x

  • Crummy Mummy says:

    This is such an interesting read! I don’t think I could hack it but I guess it depends on the circumstances – hats off to you, if it works for you then great! #twinklytuesday

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