Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Read a Book! And, Thankfully, it wasn't a Board Book.

Actually, make that two books. That’s more books than I read in 2013 altogether. 

The husband and I just returned from one week of vacation – away from the kids, work, trying to find work, and all that lies in between.  Before you come to any conclusions on our escape, please understand a few things.  This was our first time away from both kids, by ourselves and together, for even one night, let alone seven.  We do not live near any family so this is definitely a privilege and also an event that likely will not soon be repeated. 

We definitely enjoyed our time away from playing cook, cleaner, laundress, butt wiper, errand runner, employee…and enjoyed all of the adult activities we rarely have the time for.  You know, drinking coffee while it’s hot, eating your meal while it’s hot, enjoying too many adult beverages, lounging by the pool instead of entertaining (read: chasing) children.  (If you were thinking of other adult activities, shame on you, this is a family blog!)  Let’s just say: it was a glorious time.  
Can't you just feel the relaxation?
Time away from the kids in any amount is something to be appreciated, valued, and most importantly, a routine occurrence.  As a parent, it is so easy to lose focus on who you really are, what you want in life, your goals, ambitions, etc.  I have found this to be especially true once we added the second child to our family– this has brought a whole new meaning to the word “busy” or even “crazy.”  And, if I am being honest, I do feel I have lost touch with much of who I was (pre-kids) during the past few years.  However, I also am totally aware that this time is temporary and I will one day again, soon-ish, have more time for myself and we will have more time my adult relationships. 

I realize none of what I am saying is new information, but, what is new is for me to recognize these feelings and to finally understand what parents of older children have been saying all along.  You just don’t really get it until you are IN it. 

So.  While I would love to be able to say: we will take more vacations alone! We will go on date nights every week! We will take time for ourselves every day!  I also know that trying to achieve these lofty ambitions would be setting us up to fail.  It’s just not currently realistic on a daily basis and I don’t want the disappointment when we fail the first week in. 

BUT, and there is a but here, I have now truly realized and internalized how valuable time away from the kids is.  And not the time away you experience on a dinner and a movie date-night.  With that scenario, you barely have time to decompress; in addition, the prep-work needed to prepare the babysitter for an evening is sometimes more stress than its worth (in my experience). 

Time away, like far away, is valuable in many other ways, especially for Type-A personalities like myself.  I can truly unplug, detach, and not worry because I have no other choice due to distance, lack of cell service and remoteness. And then guess what happens: I can finally relax, enjoy our time together, and continue to build a more solid foundation for our family to grow upon.  One that will hopefully get us through all that life throws at us until our next escape.  Speaking of which, I'm sure there's something I must be doing right now...

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