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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

When is it ok to leave the kids?


Way back when, before the invention of the wheel, circa we-just-started-having-kids, Papa and I got the memo that it's good and important to have "couple time."  Time for just husband and wife to be together separate from the children.  We love them to pieces, but if left up to mama instincts we'd spend every hour and ounce of energy on raising up our children and put our marriage on the back burner. It's too easy to do.  But we gotta fight that urge sometimes and put our marriage first, and parenting responsibilities second.
***insert record scratch here***
I hope I didn't shock you with that last statement. Yep. My marriage comes before my children. Because if my marriage isn't strong, the foundation that we raise children on is weak. Let's face it, children as time and energy suckers, and we all know that the act of raising children has a way of rocking one's foundation.  So marriage comes first here in the crazy house.

Maybe it's just 'cause we're really self-centered people at heart, but Papa and I have always done a pretty good job of "dating" even as the children have come.  We still go out about twice a week with just the lovely two of us.  Sometimes it's just a trip to the grocery store.  Or Costco.  Sometimes we talk.  Sometimes we don't say much at all.  Often it's going to the movies which is one of my favorite things to do ever.  (ps-did anyone see an off Hollywood movie called What We Do in the Shadows?  We are still laughing so hard!  If you did see it, I have just one thing to say.  Ya, some of our clothes are from our victims. You might bite someone, and then you think, "Oh those are some nice pants.") And these little experiences and time alone that we share, come together to bring us closer together in the midst of a crazy loud chaotic life raising 7 children.  It's so important, and we try our best to make it happen.

But there's this one thing that Papa and I do not do, that we know we should. I'm using too broad a paint brush again.  It's actually something I constantly resist, where as Papa totally encourages it, and I find 10 reasons I can't.  Overnighters together. 'Cause a couple hours to get away with your husband all to yourself is great, but folks, a marriage needs more time than that.  It needs overnighters, a whole weekend away at a minimum every so often!

Our goal as a married couple is to be alone together for at least one weekend per year. Well, that's my goal, but it honestly doesn't come close to that.  He tries to plan something, and I remember an IEP meeting or a little league game that shouldn't be missed. I want to go, but sometimes going is just more work than not going. You know what I mean? The scheduling of caregivers and carpool.  The packing and unpacking. And who's gonna study that ridiculously hard 1st grade spelling kist with Tess and Jude?  (And do not get me started on Common Core and how inappropriate it is for Kindergartners an 1st graders to be pushed to the point that they want to give up and have so little time to play!)

So all this to say that Papa and I are heading out of town. Leaving is something that I just do not do well. I'm really looking forward to it, and I'm not at the same time.  We're headed to an adoption conference in Pennsylvania, and we're gonna get there a day early to meet up with a friend and do a little exploring around Amish country. I'll feel better about it as soon as we're on the plane, 'cause I know there are plenty of wonderful folks that are here to watch and shuttle the kiddos around.  That ridiculously hard spelling test is not going to get a very good grade this week, and I hope Jude will be okay with that. Chances are better than not that some of the children may not wear underwear every day, cause they think it's just too hard to put on on a regular basis. We're going to miss Patch's track meet, and I'm not sure if anyone will cheer him on. I'm gonna have to be okay with that. But I have to tell you myself, that this getting away to be husband and wife alone is really really important to do anyway.

I have a couple awesome guests post that will be coming while I'm gone.  Including one that has a recipe that made me want to drop everything in my life, run to the store, buy the ingredients, and make it.  I didn't do that because I'm trying to pack, but your better believe that I wanted to!

So I have a question for you. How do you keep your marriages strong in the midst of Little League games, science projects, cell phone drama and all things relating to kids and parenting? Do you get away regularly? Is it easy for you to do?

And because you know that I can not have a post without a photo, here's one I call Timeout at the Park. It was day #296/365

2 comments:

  1. Enjoy your trip! They will be OK and eventually Tess is going to learn to trust that when you go away you come back. Avery has a hard time with me going away as well. Two weeks ago when we went away she gave me the cold shulder when I came home.

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  2. My husband and I have to find our time together after kids go to bed or a short time together while the toddler naps. It is not easy to find time alone together when you have 4 kids so we improvise. I hope you have a blast with the hubby this weekend!

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