I Recommend Only Having One Child

On vacation, I mean. I really believe in the beauty of the one-at-a-time vacation.

2 years ago, I was able to take Kendall with me (and my mom joined us) to Disney World for a few days while I was speaking at a conference there. It made me fall in love with Disney, and I couldn’t wait to bring my ENTIRE FAMILY back. And I did. Last October all 5 of us, my sister, my brother, my sister in law, my mom, my step brother, my dad, and my step mom all went back to Disney World for 7 days.

Don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. We loved it. It was also an incredible ass kicking.

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Of course, family vacations serve a great purpose of experiencing things as, well, a family. But sometimes it’s really nice to experience them as only part of the family, too.

That solo trip with Kendall wasn’t just great because I didn’t have to keep him from pinching his sister while in line for Splash Mountain. I got to do exactly what he wanted to do most, and we didn’t have to mess with the rest. We had a Disney trip that went beyond Princesses, and he loved it.

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Last weekend I had the joy (and privilege- I get that this isn’t something a lot of people get to do), of doing a solo Disney (land) trip with Leyna. I kept my expectations really low, and then we blew them out of the water. We had an incredible time.

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Just like my solo trip with Kendall, I was able to do exactly what she was interested in doing. We were there with a friend (Morgan of The818 & Buzzfeed) and her daughter, who is Leyna’s age. They both, mostly, were interested in and wanted to do the same things. It made the day 99% less stressful.

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No rollercoasters? No problem. We met fairies and watched parades instead. (Kendall couldn’t stand sitting still for parades.)

IMG_0393IMG_0388We rode the tea cups TWICE (yes, it made me sick, but since my body refuses to throw up it was fine for all those around me).

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And we even got to relax at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique with no boys trying to hurry us along.

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Try not to feel too bad for the boys we left at home. Scott and Kendall finally got the rest of the mulch spread. (That’s the part that was really exciting for Scott.) And then they went to Six Flags together and rode all the scary rides a little sister would never try.

Lowell? He’s living his best life on my mom’s ranch this week. A week of tractors and bulldozers is much more fun to him than anything Disney has to offer right now.

A photo posted by Jill Krause (@babyrabies) on

Scott and I talked about how this one-on-one vacation approach – even with him taking Kendall to Six Flags just here in Dallas – makes so much more sense for us right now. Sure, he and I don’t get to enjoy these places together, but then again I sort of feel like there should be a Marriage Counseling ride at Disney because I would not classify it as romantic when you are there with 3 children.

Considering we’ll have 4 kids by this time next year, and taking 4 kids and two adults on vacation is insanely expensive, I think we’ll do more of these individualized trips over the coming years. It can be fun to spend 1-2 days at Disney (and other places, I imagine) with one child at a time instead of bringing the whole crew for a week.

I’d love to hear if you’ve had success with this and some of your favorite places to visit! If not, tell me where you’d like to go with just one of your children.

  • Julie - I freaking love this post! I have a nine year old son and a two year old daughter. Last summer, we left our daughter with Grandma and took our son to Disney World for four days. It was the first Disney trip for both my son AND my husband. It was SO awesome–just running from one ride to the next, blowing past all the strollers. All three of us were like little kids. We’ll go back again with our daughter in the future, but it was so nice to have that one on one time with our son, since he hasn’t gotten much of it since his sister came along.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - My husband and I took our 6 year old on a 17 hour road trip to ski in February. It was awesome to spend time time with just her. I took her 5 year old sister on a work trip to Florida the week before and hit up the beaches. I completely agree that this one on one time is SO extremely valuable and perhaps even more so than a full family vacation. I’m already scoping opportunities to do it again! I can’t wait to hear any tips and tricks for Disneyland as my mom and I are taking the girls there this fall.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - I’m hoping to write up another post soon! It’s SUCH a different vibe than DW, but in a good. way.ReplyCancel

  • Emily And - This gives me lots of feels!! I am considering taking my two oldest, both girls, on a “girls Disney trip” in the fall. We have four now too, split girls, and then boys. Any time I tell others what I’m thinking of, they immediately feel bad for my oldest son who is Lowell’s age. Gotta ask if Lowell had any idea what you were up to with Leyna?ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Do you mean Kendall? He’s our 8 year old. He knew before she did. I talked to him about how he got to go with me a couple years before, and how it was only fair that I get to take Leyna now. If you mean our youngest- Lowell – nope, he has no idea. I don’t know that he’d really understand. Down the road, I hope to do the same thing with him, too.ReplyCancel

  • Emily And - Yes, I meant Lowell! My daughters are 7 and 5, my two sons are almost 3 and 8 months. So just wondering if you even broached the subject with Lowell at all. I guess him being away would mean he wasn’t wondering where you were!ReplyCancel

  • Megan Eversole - I took my daughter to south haven Michigan when she was 3 years old, solo. We had a blast! We picnicked on the beach, watched the sunset, swam in the hotel pool and got dressed up for dinner out. We spent three days without the boys and had a blast.ReplyCancel

  • Ashleigh - Omg! I sooo needed to read this today. In two weeks my husband and I are taking our four year old daughter to Disneyworld for the first time and leaving our 13 month old home with grandma. The guilt I feel about leaving him is killing me. I know he would not appreciate Disney yet, but I can’t help but wonder how I’ll make it up to him in the future. I love he idea of individual kid trips in the future. I can totally see a boys surfing trip while my girl and I hit up Broadway. Or a trip with my boy to Legoland while daddy and sister camp (something I full on refuse to do). Thanks for writing this!ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - I took my daughter to Disneyland here in Tokyo last year when she was 4 and I totally agree…it was SO much better than when we went the year before with her and her little brother, and me trying to find a place to pump since I was still breastfeeding my youngest who we left with her aunt. Super stressful. But the one on one trip was a blast.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Yeah, that sounds like two totally different experiences! Ha!ReplyCancel

  • Jamie Winters Morgan - I just did the exact same thing a week and a half ago! My husband had a work conference in Anaheim, so we just took my oldest and he & I were able to hang out in the parks alone in the mornings before my husband joined us in the afternoon/evening. It was great to get that one-on-one time with him. I felt like I was able to hear him and his little personality so much better when it was just the two of us. I’ll definetly take my younger son on a one-on-one trip sometime, too.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Cannon Frick - My husband and I are taking our 6 yo on a week-long trip to a lake in Tennessee (with a large group of our friends and their older kids) and we’re leaving our 2 yo daughter behind with grandparents. I feel a little guilty but looking forward to the fun I know we’ll have with him!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - I totally needed to read this tonight! My husband and 6 year old son are going to Tokyo Disney in two weeks and my son could not be more excited! As it gets closer though the guilt gets stronger and stronger that my 3 year old son won’t be there too. We live close to Disneyland, and visit semi frequently. I thought I’d take my 3 year old and do as you did. Let him choose what he wanted to see and do. Make this trip just about him. Make it special for just him and I and our time together. After all, we’ve never done seperate trips. But, they’ll be having fun and we should have fun too! After reading your post though it was just what I needed to really be okay with the thought of separate trips. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - Last time we were in Disney, we split the group up into 1-kid-per-grownup pairs for a few hours each day. It was awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Baby Rabies | Gender Reveal! And Puppy Promises - […] I scooped her onto my lap, we sat at the bottom of the stairs, and I told her it was okay to be sad. I reminded her how special it will be to be the only girls in the family, how we’ll get to take more mommy & Leyna trips, like when we went to Disneyland.Β  […]ReplyCancel

  • Baby Rabies | That Time I Got A Swimsuit Makeover By BuzzFeed - […] flew out to LA this summer, not just to take Leyna to Disneyland, but to work with a couple amazing women and friends on a Buzzfeed video where I got a swimsuit […]ReplyCancel

  • Kristin Wintle Gagnon - My twins get so little one on one time that this is something I am looking forward to doing in the future.ReplyCancel

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