After twenty plus years of having your life revolve around one or other of your beloved brood, it can be quite a shock when the final chick eventually flies the nest to start a course at one of the UK’s numerous seats of learning.
Suddenly, mums and dads, who have devoted much of their time to ferrying wannabe ballerinas to and from shows or braving the biting wind on the sidelines of a rugby pitch, are left wondering what to do with their time.
And whilst many parents yearn for that amazing day when they will once again have the house back to themselves, the reality is not always quite as blissful as it’s cracked up to be.
As a couple, you may have had little time to spend together over the past two decades – you may even find that you’ve nothing to say to each other over the dinner table now that there are no tales of daily derring-do being recounted over a heaped plate of shepherd’s pie.
So why not ease your way gently into your new lifestyle by heading off for an indulgent weekend break – just the two of you. And romantic weekends away don’t come much more indulgent than spending a couple of days being pampered and cosseted in a luxurious spa environment.
A quick Google search will bring up a list of the UK’s leading spas and health hydros – each offering a distinctive blend of relaxation, exercise and beauty therapies. You can then have great fun discussing and planning which spa treatments or activities you’d each like to try during your spa break.
If years of wondering what your party animal son or daughter is going to get up to next have taken their toll, leaving your face tired and drawn, then a reviving facial would be an excellent first step on your spa journey. To continue the theme of ultimate relaxation, you could book a de-stressing massage as well.
Bringing up kids inevitably involves a lot of hard work, and – depending on your style of parenting – it can be an extremely time-consuming (if not all-consuming) occupation. But once your day-to-day parental responsibilities have reduced overnight, you’ll have far more time to spend together as a couple.
Perhaps you’ll decide to take up a new hobby together – such as photography or tennis or even mountain biking! Or maybe you’d prefer to see a bit of the world. Making decisions about your future life together requires you both to be relaxed and not interrupted by phone calls from clients, colleagues or family and friends.
Romantic weekends away offer a perfect opportunity to escape from your everyday domestic and work environment, and to talk about your hopes and plans for the future. And if you opt for a spa break, you’ll be at your most relaxed thanks to the range of therapeutic, stress-beating treatments on offer.
By the end of your indulgent spa experience à deux, those mad searches for lost ballet shoes and “gone astray” gum guards will seem but a distant memory.