If you’ve followed Raise Them Well for a while, you may have noticed that we enjoy time away from our kids. We love those little boys to pieces, but experience and wisdom from generations before us proves that it’s really important to spend time away from them. In addition to an (almost) weekly date night, we do our best to get away for a weekend once per quarter.
I know that might sound frivolous or impossible for many, but it’s incredibly important. Our ultimate goal as parents is to be out of a job in about 18 to 20 years. That means that kids leave our homes. They are no longer our primary responsibility and we will (God willing) live with our spouses for years to come. Marriage is important. Marriage comes first. If we don’t have dedicated time to spend nurturing that relationship, how can we expect it to flourish? In addition to “couple time” these set apart times are necessary for self-care. You need rest. You need unstructured time. You need to realize that you do actually still have a functioning brain, it’s just been working on over-drive.
Parents- it’s ok to have needs. It’s imperative to have time to fulfill those needs. I realize that it sometimes takes moving mountains to actually LEAVE, but once you do it will be worth it. 100% worth it.
Before you write this off as something that “must be nice” and decide that you don’t have childcare/money/time/etc. to make it happen, I want to delicately remind you that just about anything that is prioritized can become reality. Perhaps your family vacations for a long weekend rather than a week next Summer. Perhaps you trade weekends with a friend rather than a family member. We have ZERO family in town which makes the day to day quite difficult at times, BUT the perk is that they are more than willing to enjoy weekends with their grandsons each year.
Yes other people can care for your kids. Yes your parents are capable. Yes your friend with 3 kids of her own is capable. Yes your nanny can keep your kids alive for a weekend. Please don’t assume that you can’t make it work. Leaving can be really challenging, but once you do it’s worth it. I promise.
Want to make it affordable? Me too!
A few tips on saving some $:
- Use Air B&B and VRBO. Rent a loft or one bedroom apartment. You don’t need a luxurious hotel to have fun.
- Find an acquaintance with a beach or mountain house. Inquire about renting at off-peak times. They will likely offer you a great deal.
- Cook your own meals.
- Bring your own coffee, Wine, water, breakfast etc.
- Do free things. Browse stores. Go Hiking. Sit and talk. Stay in Bed until 11…. It’s not about excursions, just quality time.
21 Favorite Things to Do While Away From Kids:
- Look your spouse in the eyes as you converse without disruption, distraction or interruption
- No alarms allowed- sleep until you wake up
- Take time to wake up. Lay in bed.
- Drink coffee hot and exactly the way you want it
- Spend 15 extra minutes reading your Bible and talk about application with your spouse
- Discuss a current event and enjoy each person’s perspective
- Exercise together and then stretch afterward because you aren’t on a timeline
- Take a long shower and carry on adult conversation while doing so
- Forfeit plans and just do whatever you feel like in the moment
- Go for a hike because it's really fun without a backpack or complaining preschooler
- Read a real newspaper and discuss an interesting story
- Read a book, a real paper book.
- Make plans for your next getaway, family vacation, etc.
- Enjoy silence. You don’t have to talk the whole time. Silence is golden.
- Eat wherever you want at any time you desire. Don’t worry about wait times because you get to hang out with your guy/girl. The less kid-friendly the better
- Dream. Talk about where you think you’ll be 5 years down the road.
- Hang out naked. Enough said
- Think Clearly. Your brain actually works when you’re not responsible for fulfilling every single need of little people
- Go wherever you desire. There are no strollers, nap times, or meal times to worry about. Fly. Drive. Train?
- Browse. Go check out the specialty grocery store or that adorable boutique. There are no distractions. Try on clothes. Enjoy samples. Savor.
- Remember that you love each other for who you are. You’re still the same guy/girl, you’re still a rock star. You’re still cool too!