My mother is always complaining about not having enough time with her grand-daughters. So when the hubs & I had a concert & a gig within 24 hours of each other, and discovered that my mother had the surrounding days OFF — I practically threw my children across the state to her.
Ok, only for fake. I love my kids, really, I do… but I’m sooooo ready for school to begin. The hubs & I needed a break. Big time.
At first, I had these mad goals that went something like…
- We could finally take down those 2 obtrusive cupboards in the kitchen and open the whole room up!
- We could paint our bedroom!
- We could tear down the wallpaper in our master-bathroom and finally get that project rolling.
- Garage shelving! We could at least put that up and organize that mess!
- Maybe I could get a week’s worth of blogs written and scheduled… etc.
Alas… every one of my dreamy-adult-like-responsible-goals were shot to hell.
Without the children home to make sure the hubs & I acted like responsible role-models…. we reverted to our formerly child-free-twenty-something-selves. Eating out, bar-hopping, playing music (with explicit lyrics!) at all hours, and enjoying very loud (occasionally drunken) sex… anytime we felt like it.
That’s right. I said it. We’ve been together for 17 years and still have mind-blowing sex. It isn’t a myth! It actually happens!!
Responsibility did come into play at some point — I got an oil change and we did spend a healthy $40 in cab-fees this weekend. I think the hubs managed to take the recycling & trash out on his way to work before I had to pick up the kids yesterday. See? We aren’t animals.
Thing is, the hubs & I don’t have many opportunities to act like we’re 25 anymore. Even if we get a sitter for date night, we still have to return home at a decent hour and act like responsible adults when we pay & chat with the sitter… not to mention getting up with 2 kids around 7am in the morning. Heck, when we left the kiddos for a week last year, we both had conferences to attend. Responsibility just doesn’t take a vacation, dammit!
So, the hubs & I embraced the moment. We savored every second we had together this past kid-free weekend. Instead of the above “responsible” list, we…
- Slept in & napped (somehow resisting the urge to sleep the weekend away!)
- Went to a bar after a concert… where we enjoyed chatting with the bartender & tasting new beers… after 10pm! Shout out to Rob @ Big Bobs!! You rock!
- Finally uncovered a new(er) brewery we’ve been wanting to try for 2 years!
- Drank a variety of Michigan craft beer from Founders, Harmony, The Hideout, Dark Horse, Shorts, Bells, etc. I’m fatter today, but… YUM!
- Enjoyed the bloody mary bar & free taco-special at a bar we used to live up the street from.
- Watched a un-kid-friendly movie in the middle of the day. Hunger Games FTW!
- Went out… went out… went out!! With friends, as a couple… just went OUT whenever the hell we felt like it.
- Barely watched the clock until our last kid-free night, when we actually left the house to go out at… get this, 9pm! I know, I KNOW! Crazy, isn’t it??
I realize it isn’t easy to find a solitary night off, especially if you are in a two-working-parent home, and the challenge grows if you have more than one offspring. There are a slew of other excuses not to, of course. However, if you uncover an opportunity to take at least 24 hours or more off from parenthood, do it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, GO!
|Scored excellent seats for Bonnie Raitt!!!
I didn’t understand the complete benefit of parental-time-off until my oldest was 14 months old. She hadn’t slept more than 3-hour stretches since birth, and the hubs & I? Our marriage was on shaky ground at best. Then… we decided to take a trip to Tucson, while our oldest spent 5 nights with Nana. I freaked out; worried she wouldn’t sleep, worried she’d give Nana a hard time, etc. Our oldest has been sleeping through the night ever since that very first night with Nana!!! Well, mostly. If you have kids, you’ll understand — sickness & bad dreams happen. That time away was like some magic formula we never thought to test. That trip saved our marriage & hit the reset button on our sanity. Now we try to take at least a couple days “off” at least once a year… while still attempting to schedule a once/month date night.
I challenge you to do the same.
Time away from your kids is so good for your relationship with your partner… Good for your kids to have to listen to someone other than you for a change — while understanding that Mom & Dad love each other & have a life too… Good for the grand-parent(s) or other relative/friend(s) who adore them and may appreciate all you do in a given day! See that? Win-win-win! No losers here, folks.
Whether your kids are 6 months or 10 years old… investing in time with your partner is so vital. Kids are temporary residents in our homes. What happens when your kids move out and you are left alone with a partner you’ve practically ignored for 18+ years? I’ll give you a hint… just ask my parents.