People will often say to me that they won’t go away without their kids because they feel guilty leaving them. I have to admit that I, one the other hand, feel no guilt leaving my kids when my husband and I go away. In fact, since we had kids almost 13 years ago, we have never gone more than six months without taking a breather from home-life and being away even for just a night alone.
For us and our marriage, we know that this is invaluable. Maybe not all marriages need it, but we do. It’s worth the money. It’s worth the logicstics of figuring out how to get three children who are back home where they need to be with their crazy schedules. It’s worth missing some time with my kids even though “it all goes so quickly” and we’re not supposed to want to miss a moment. I truly feel that life is better for everyone in our family because we take these getaways. Here are some of the reasons I completely justify it all.
One day it will just be my husband and me again.
Just like anything else, relationships take practice. One day my kids will (hopefully) leave us and we’ll need to remember what it’s like to be together, just the two of us. I want it to feel natural, not forced, when we eventually are on our own and only have one another with whom to talk and share, and on whom to rely. Ultimately, I don’t want to feel like we have to re-learn how to be alone. I want to look forward to it because I know how easy it will be, because we’re already used to just counting on each other for great company.
My kids know that their parents like to be together.
When my kids start to ask, “why are you and dad going away without us?” my husband and I always answer, “because mommy and daddy need time alone and really love to be together. We love to be with you, too, but sometimes need some time just for us.” Even if it doesn’t seem like they appreciate the idea now, I truly think that there’s a comfort and security in them knowing that their parents aren’t just married, but also in love. They see that their parents are friends, and we’re doing what we need to in order to stay happy. We’re showing them that marriage takes work and that it’s worth it to take the initiative and keep it all fresh and healthy.
Our kids gain something from being around people besides us.
My husband and I are fortunate to have our parents close by to help us. There’s a special bond that forms between our children and our parents when they get to be alone without us. But because we go away rather often, we’ve had to seek out other sitters as well who are not related to us. We’ve come to trust them, and sometimes it’s just as important for our kids to be around someone who won’t make decisions based on any long-term goals; someone who is there simply to keep them safe in the moment and have fun. There’s a freedom and ease associated with having a few days without the rules, concerns, and strictness that constantly being with your parents presents. I think they really enjoy the benefits of having a guardian once in a while who just lets them be a kid.
I want us to be in love, not just partners.
Life is so busy. Life gets complicated. Our marriage can get lost in a sea of responsibilities, family issues, work hardships, and social agendas. It’s much too easy to fall into a pattern of becoming “ships passing in the night.” Getting away alone means reconnecting in a way physically and emotionally that is almost impossible at home. Honestly, the feeling lasts long after the getaway is over, because we can look at one another or even be away from one another and think about the secrets we share from our time alone that belong to only us. There’s something so special and incredible about that feeling.
I’m a nicer mom when I come home.
Leaving a trip to come home is always bittersweet. I can’t wait to see my babies, but I’m also sad that this break has come to an end. But one thing seems consistant each time I return from these little getaways. It’s that I feel like I had a chance to take care of myself and my marriage, and to do things like laugh while completely carefree, and I’m utterly grateful for that. For the first few weeks when I come home, I don’t go through the day like a robot who is on auto-pilot, which honestly is something I’ve often felt after a long week of momming and adulting without a break. I’m refreshed, happier, and recharged even if I’m tired from staying up too late and having too much fun while away. I feel like I’ve shown everyone that I matter, too, and that I need to be given the opportunity to take care of me. I feel proud of myself, even, for making my own self-care and my marriage a priority.
I love my life with my kids. Make no mistake about that. They’re the center of my world. But the second I make them my entire world, then I’m forgetting that I have individual needs as a person, too. I need to feel romance with my husband. I need to foster my friendships. I need to sleep sometimes without interruption. I need to feel like a woman. I need to know that I can still thrive in the world when the title of “mom” transforms because my kids are out of the house on their own and that’s taking care of their daily needs is no longer my first obligation. I need to know myself. I will be with myself for the rest of my life. Sometimes, I just need to be put first.
Introducing bloggers Farrah & Danielle from wheretheeffismyhandbook.com.
Who are we?
Farrah: Simply put, I am a 30-something mom of two amazing children, ages one and five. I am a wife to an extremely supportive, wonderful husband. I am a full-time mom, a full-time business owner, a part-time employee, and a lover of all things creative. I sometimes obsess about and overanalyze the smaller details of life, because they are often easier to think about than the larger and more important issues. I have a love/hate relationship with people. I love my family, my friends and my coworkers. However, I equally crave time to be completely by myself. I am constantly amazed by how many incredible things that people can do, while equally horrified by how many terrible acts people commit. I love to talk but I hate to hear myself talk. I am full of useless, random knowledge, and always thrive on learning more. I look forward to this virtual conversation about all of it!
Danielle: I live in NJ with my husband, three kids, (ages 11, 9, and 5) and two rescue dogs. I'll admit that I always feel like I'm one bad decision away from being the mom version of Lindsay Lohan, I'm trying hard to keep life somewhat exciting and entertaining despite the monotony stay-at-home life can present. I love laughing at myself and at the expectations placed on us moms who are trying to play the role of 40 people in our one little body. I'm a legit OCD sufferer (the diagnosed kind, not the clean house kind), travel fanatic, and lover of all things vodka based. Please come join me and Farrah on this effed up, incredible journey of motherhood. We, too, have the daily battle of wanting to hug our kids to death while also wanting them to leave us the hell alone.