It's hard not to envy the idyllic Instagram life of Jarrad and Michael (aka The Real Dads of Melbourne), and their recent nuptials/honeymoon is no exception. (For context, they're currently staying in a five-star resort in the Maldives, after a brief stint at the Ritz in Singapore.)
However, the couple's decision to take their adopted son, Reid, with them on honeymoon - or perhaps more aptly, their 'family-moon' - has received mixed responses.
We can imagine many weary parents out there exclaiming, "Why on EARTH would you jeapardize a rare chance for some precious one-on-one time?!?! And the prolonged stint of sleep-ins?!?! And the fancy adult dinners?!?!"
"We wanted to be parents for longer than the 18 years it took us to be married"
For Jarrad and Michael, not taking Reid didn't even cross their mind - and they were surprised by how many people found this odd.
As the couple put it, "We wanted to be parents for longer than the 18 years it took us to be married. So there was no way in hell we would ever do such a trip without Reid."
"Seeing his big excited eyes light up as we boarded our first flight today fills our hearts with an unexplainable overwhelming sense of joy."
FYI: This caption was shared alongside an image of a young Reid, dressed to the nines, sitting in his Business Class seat with a huge smile on his face - and, just saying, our eyes would light up with excitement too if that was the type of free holiday we were about to embark on!
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✈️ WE ARE OFF 🎉 Surprising to us when people asked “Are you really taking your child on your honeymoon?” 😳 We wanted to be parents for longer than the 18 years it took us to be married, (I wanted a cabbage patch kid as a child 🤦🏻♂️🤣) so there was no way in hell we would ever do such a trip without Reid. 🥰 Seeing his big excited eyes light up as we boarded our first flight today fills our hearts with an unexplainable overwhelming sense of joy 💓#proudestdadsintheworld
Each relationship has different needs
If you're now beating yourself up and feeling like the worst parent alive because you can't think of anything worse than taking your children on a romantic getaway ... DON'T.
After all, every relationship has different needs - and these should be catered for when planning a holiday. Some couples have waited years to welcome their child into the world. Others have battled through tricky adoption or IVF procedures. Others hate the thought of multiple days spent away from their child, and the stress that this separation would cause simply isn't worth the hassle.
Other couples might be stressed and frantic and constantly feeling like they're being torn in 20 directions at once. They might work long hours to cover bills. They might have experienced postnatal depression. They might have fought through tricky relationship issues. They might not have much family around, meaning alone time is particularly scarce and precious. Some simply see a 'honeymoon' as an important holiday for partners to take on their own.
The nuances of every relationship will no doubt impact a couple's feeling about family-mooning. And at the end of the day, there's no wrong or right answer.
And let's face it, Reid is not your average kid ...
Reading the comments on Jarrad and Michael's holiday posts, how well-behaved your child is also seems to be an important thing to consider when planning a holiday - and by all accounts, Reid is the polar opposite of a ratbag.
"Let’s be honest, Reid’s a pretty amazing kid," reads one comment. "It’s not like he’s a wild trouble maker! Some kids are easy to travel with and some... are not 😆 You three are going to have the best time."
Another said, "I'd probably prefer to go on holidays with Reid over my own kids!"
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