We had an outing this past week without the kids — my husband kidnapped me for my birthday and we went to a city a few hours away for a concert and an overnight stay. It was really amazing.
One thought that kept going through my head was, “Oh…so this is why they advise married couples to take time to get away from their kids!” I’ve heard various pieces of marital advice like “plan a weekend alone 2 times a year no matter what” or “take a vacation with just your spouse every year.” It always sounded great, but since I became a mom I’ve also chaffed at that advice a bit. It’s hard to leave your kids for a weekend (or longer) and I’ve also felt like I want us to spend time together as much as we can. I have done enough traveling for work that I don’t like leaving the kids at other times as well.
But the time away really did a world of good for me. The change of scene, the break from routine, and the attentional avoidance of mental to-do-lists helped me recharge my batteries and settle back into being the real me.
When I returned home, I was much more patient, energized, appreciative, hopeful, committed, and connected to God. And this wasn’t the result of intense prayer and worship or some other amazing “spiritual” experience — it was just taking time to have fun with my best friend (my husband), to relax a bit, and to get my brain out of the little world of worry that sometimes over takes me.
Though I still don’t plan to adopt a marriage philosophy of regularly ditching the kids for long trips, I do hope to take short snippets of time away with my husband more often.
How about you? Do you take trips without your children? Have you had similarly recharging experiences?
(I’ve posted this in the “family fun” category b/c the time away has led to family fun — I came back a much better mom with a big ‘ole smile on my face!)