Go somewhere without your kids

This past weekend, Ben and I dropped the kids off with his parents and went away for three days. We haven’t spent any time away from them since January 2020, and it was marvelous.

I found that as I told friends about our plan, every single parent I talked to said something like, “Wow, we haven’t done that in three/seven/ten years!”.

Maybe I’m still riding high on sleeping in until 7:30am each day (yes, that’s the extent I’m able to “sleep in” anymore), but I want to pump up my parent friends and say, it is time! Go somewhere without your kids!

In case you need more convincing, here is a list of things we did in these short days away that we haven’t done in years:

  • Showered every day;
  • Slept in (well, attempted to, anyway);
  • Played a board game — one with tiny, choking-hazard pieces — totally carefree;
  • Had whole, complete conversations with uninterrupted thoughts and real words;
  • Read two and a half library books, with nary a peanut butter smudge;
  • Did activities together, like kayaking, shopping, and seeing a movie;
  • and, we did it all without endlessly scrolling on our phones (thanks to the lack of cell service in our cabin location).

The freedom of getting out of the car without unbuckling carseats is reason enough to take a little vacation from your little ones. But really, it was so refreshing to enjoy simple things together.

We love our kids, so much, but we loved each other first. Our capacity to love our kids well grows when we love each other well.

When you’re parenting, love often looks like working together to care for the family. You take turns with gross diapers and sleepless nights and errands and discipline. You love each other in the midst of a lot of chaos.

When you take time to get away — and I want to acknowledge, we are very lucky and grateful to have grandparents nearby who are willing and able to take the kids for a few days for us — loving each other looks different. You can have rich conversations, do adult things, or do nothing, in a way that’s difficult in a busy home environment.

So don’t wait two years to do it, and don’t wait ten years to do it — go somewhere with the person you love (and without the kids you love, too).

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