Have you ever wished that your kids would just disappear for a few minutes…instead of fighting with each other during play time, pounding on the bathroom door when you’re trying to take care of business or avoiding school work by sharpening the pencils, picking up toys and asking for snacks?
Especially for the stay-at-home parent, taking a break from your kids is a necessity for mental health and wellbeing. Every parent needs an occasional break from the busyness of life. We need time to pursue adult conversations, activities and toy-free space. Time off from parenthood makes us better parents with more patience, peace and joy.
Kids also benefit from breaks from their parents. They spend time with other caring adults who love them, and the kids get to have fun and maybe be spoiled.
I, for one, need occasional breaks from my lovely children. While I love them to pieces, I miss luxuries like time alone with my husband, a quiet house and being able to sleep in. I would NOT trade my children and return to a child-free life, but I love when my parents offer to take their grandchildren for a few days.
This past weekend, we all enjoyed a mini vacation. My parents spent four days with the lights of their lives, I slept in, my husband watched his favorite show from start to finish without interruption and my children enjoyed time playing at Pappy and Grammy’s house. We are home now, refreshed and ready to start a new school and work week.
While most marriage specialists suggest parents invest in a regular date night, this advice might not work for you. Babysitters like overnight hotel stays can be expensive. Maybe you do not live near family or friends who willingly watch your children. I even have a friend who’s husband does not want to be away from their children for longer than a few hours.
When I recently polled other moms about their date night activities, I heard several creative options for carving mini kid-free vacations. One drops her children off at AWANA on Wednesday night at church then rushes home to spend an hour alone with her husband. Another swaps kids with a neighbor for a few hours once a month. A third mom sends the kids to bed early then cuddles with her hubby. A teacher wakes up early and enjoys coffee in bed with her hubby before work.
However it works for you, take time to be alone with your husband regularly. You and your children benefit from your healthy, happy marriage, and everyone returns to normal, family life with renewed energy and vigor. You won’t find me arguing with that!