I'm a bit worried about the family together 24/7, how do other families cope?

The family together 24-7 in a small space - of course it's an adjustment! Lets face it, what with work and living in a house, sometimes the only time a family might all be together is at the dinner table.  Even then with the pressures of work and life, that might not even be possible. 

Even though this trip is something you really want and are excited about, the thought that all of a sudden, the family are together 24-7 in caravan, camper trailer or what ever mode of accommodation you choose, can be daunting and may need some planning and adjustments. 

Here our TAWKers, tell you how they have managed this as their journey panned out.

The following are answers and thoughts from other TAWKers to help you (names omitted to protect privacy) .....

  • We work really hard on making sure we communicate and I have been known to send hubby away if he's getting unreasonably short with the kids (or with me). It is a huge adjustment, the family together 24/7, so having 'me' time for everyone is really important...roster it in if you need to. It took us at least 6 weeks to really settle into things. We've always said it would make or break us...three years on and life is good.
  • We certainly have this issue, some days are honestly not very much fun. Taking time apart is useful as are those hard conversations about how the family is progressing. Most people want to be good parents (don't we?!?) time in a caravan can force you to confront things in your family that's easier to ignore when there's more space. Think of it as flooding family therapy.
  • We found it tough initially. It's a huge adjustment, being together as a family 24/7. When I found other people to talk to - and hubby did too - that helped. In the end though (travelled for 9 months) we were great and he was great with the kids too.
  • If hubby was not home a lot before travelling, it can be a big adjustment with the whole family together 24/7. Give yourselves both time for yourself. Talk about when and how would work for you all. 
  • We do a working trip so that one of us is always working and the kids go to school where possible. I find this keeps everyone sane and it also prolongs your trip. You also make external contacts which I find is essential for traveling sanity.
  • My husband did the Australian tour of Bunning's stores. It was his time out. A break from everyone and time for him to wander around in peace. I think he thought that his fishing time might be that, but the kids always wanted to join him then.

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I'm a bit worried about the family together 24/7, how do other families cope?

  • We had a routine e.g. I showered the girls whilst he did the dishes . Kids stuff in the afternoon and adult stuff in the morning. It's OK to do something's by yourself - I went for a run from time to time and my husband did something's by himself also! We all have bad days sometimes that's what makes us appreciate the good one. Remember we have good days and bad days back home too.
  • Talk and just make sure you are both on the same page. Make sure you are not a family together 24/7. Set up camp earlier and take turns in taking the kids for a walk after. When our kids were really little and we were travelling we would go on a solo expedition. i.e. I would visit whatever attraction we wanted to see one day and he would visit the next. It gave us both time out, a chance to interact with other people and less stress. 
  • Everyone does need space and time too - you really need to sit down and have a conversation about how you both see the trip working for everyone.
  • We all need a break sometimes. We are human after all & we do have different interests so nice to do own thing. Also good to split kids between you, so you have quality one on one time with each child, teaching new things, learning more about the individual personalities, delving into personal interests etc.
  • Everyone thought we'd end up divorced choosing to live on the road, but it was the best we've ever got along. Now been back home for 2 years and the cracks are showing. We wish we were once again a family together 24/7! We all hate it being back in the house.
  • We went from hubby working away on a roster of 26/9 then together everyday. He and I were fine but kids were killing us. Laid down the ground rules real fast. Now in our 5th month and all going well.
  • We chose to hit the road as my hubby worked away all week, so he was in for a shock being with the family together 24 /7. We had a routine most days, except for driving days. Morning was school time, he took the older child for one on one.
    I had the youngest we occasionally swapped depending on the work. In the afternoon, kids would watch a DVD or chill and hubby had his own couple of hours too. Our kids always went to bed early and still do giving us one on one time round the fire or under the stars.  My man has no tolerance or patience but we seem to get along better together than apart. 
  • Daddy alone time every day is what saves us. He has a kayak and he goes for a fish, or a bike ride if we aren't near the water.  It took a good 8-12 weeks to unwind from our previous life of working every day.
  • Have a day each! One day kids choose what they want. Then a mums day, no hubby no kids and the same with dad's day, let him have a day with no one also.
  • The best thing is both to have some time alone. Guys really struggle sometimes with the adjustment of always being around the family together 24/7.  Just take it a day at a time.
  • Take it in turns with doing stuff with the kids. Let her take kids for an afternoon one day and leave him at home (maybe a Saturday afternoon footy match on the radio with a few beers, go fishing or biking or walking). Then he returns the favour and takes the kids out for the afternoon another day (or lets Her do something by herself). We did this a LOT when we were away.
  • Find stuff that you both enjoy doing. We had no issue with this because we both enjoy the same stuff. But I know a lot of super blokey blokes have real issues with this sort of thing. I found that I could spend a few hours at the end of each leg going over the whole rig and finding things to fix, tighten, adjust, clean, change or prod. This is essential anyway, and it made sure we had no surprises and I got a bit of time to myself.

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