Why taking a family break is so important

Family breaks help to strengthen bonds and give working parents some much-needed time out. Christine Armstrong, author of The Mother of all Jobs: How to have Children and a Career and Stay Sane(ish), tells us why taking a break to simply be ‘you’ and enjoy your family is so vital

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As many parents with full- and part-time jobs know, it can be hard to find a moment to relax and soak up quality time with your children and your partner, as well as balancing every other demanding aspect of life. “In the early years of having children, it can be a shock to suddenly feel like there is just no space for adult life. Weekends are lost to children’s activities and the weeks fill with ‘must-dos’. It’s difficult to find mental and physical space to relax and do what interests you,” says Christine (pictured). “Organising family time well, doing your job to the standard you want and keeping a house running can all be pretty tough.”

The pressure to ‘do it all’

The weight we feel to keep up with the Joneses is rife these days. “It is a social pressure,” Christine explains. “Modern life feels competitive and we all want the best for our children. We see images on social media of what appear to be super-mums living our dreams, children in forest schools and perfectly presented angels who always seem happy. When you interview those people, though, they have just as many struggles and tantrums (theirs and the children!) as the rest of us.”

Time to take a break

While stepping away from your everyday routine and taking a refreshing family break may seem like an indulgence, it’s actually something that’s essential for every parent’s wellbeing. “All working parents need to take breaks because an exhausted, frazzled parent isn’t going to be happy or a great role model for their children,” advises Christine. “We all have to take the time to take care of ourselves for the sakes of our children, our relationships and so that we thrive at work.”

As Center Parcs offers so many memorable family experiences and activities, organising a short break that suits your family is easy. It’s a chance to bond over experiences, slow down and bask in some pure quality time with each other. “There is no joy like watching your children play happily while you feel calm, knowing they are safe. Anything that gives you some moments to be ‘you’ again is precious. I call them ‘islands of sanity’ and I try to build them into our schedule,” says Christine.

Making the most of your trip, switching off from the outside world, and being fully present in the moment, is invaluable. This headspace, as well as setting aside time to have fun and relax, will have a positive impact on both you and your family – not only for the duration of your stay at Center Parcs but long after you return home too.

Book your next Center Parcs break today

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Hannah Parker

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Hannah Parker

As Marketing Assistant at Center Parcs, I’m here to give you an insight into all that is new and exciting across our villages. For me, there is no better family time than a short break in the forest and I’m lucky enough to be able to share everything I know, from lovely guests stories to top tips, so you can make the most out of your stay with us.