Let me start by saying that I don’t feel I’m the best parent ever. I’ve made mistakes. I’ll continue to make mistakes. Parenting is one of those on the job type of learning things.
This weekend I realized one of the parenting mistakes my wife and I have been making for nearly 14 years. That mistake? Not taking a break from our kids and spending enough time alone together to recharge our batteries.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of devoting 100 percent of your effort and energy into your kids. When the first one arrives parenting is new and exciting and the feeling of unconditional love you have for them is overwhelming.
Then, for us, the second one arrived. The same feelings of immediate love ensue… plus, you don’t want to feel like you’re giving this child any less attention than the first one.
So you go about your days, weeks, month, and years pouring all your energy into your kids. By doing this your marriage can take a back seat. Ours has. We haven’t taken nearly enough time for ourselves.
My wife and I rarely take date nights. We rarely get a moment alone without a kid there or wanting to know what we’re talking about. That’s starting to change.
The shift started earlier this Summer. Our oldest is staying up later. She used to go to bed at 9. That gave my wife and I roughly an hour before bed to catch up and maybe watch a Netflix show that isn’t suited to family watching.
My wife and I noticed that our oldest’s later bed time was cutting into “our time” so we’ve been sending her to her room to read before bed so we could still have our hour alone together.
Then, this weekend, our girls went to spend some time with their Grandma and Grandpa. That’s given my wife and I a day and a half to spend alone together!
We could do what we wanted without having to account for our kids. Let me say that it has been refreshing! We haven’t gone totally crazy but we have had a good time!
We got Chinese take out… a meal that one of my daughters would have complained about. We started watching season 3 of Orange Is The New Black on Netflix, a show that is certainly not family friendly.
Today we were able to sleep in and enjoy the right balance of getting things done and getting a break. My wife paid the bills and registered the girls for school and I cleaned the shower.
Then we were able to enjoy grocery shopping without kids and get a treat at Dairy Queen. This is a rarity as we’d never go there with the family because of my youngest’s peanut/tree nut allergy.
Through it all it all we have enjoyed some really great conversations! It made me realize that spending time away from your kids can actually make you a better parent! I believe that time away can take you from a good parent to a great parent. It is very important to invest into our children’s futures, but at the same time it is very important to invest in our own future too! If you are looking for information on how you can save money for the future, you could visit Key for information on how you could start doing so.
I’m seeing a few more and frequent date nights in our future!
What about you? Have you noticed something similar in you life?
**Full disclosure… We both do miss our kids and can’t wait to see them… in a day or so! Lol!The unconditional love for your child, it's truly amazing.-Jourdan Dunn Click To Tweet