When you become a parent I truly believe it is important to leave your kids, especially when they’re young. If you’re married, then I believe it is completely crucial to leave your kids. I’m not talking about abandoning your children to run a food truck in Mexico or anything; I mean to take a vacation. Young children are a whole lot of work. I’m sure older children are too, in a very different way, but I’m not quite there yet so I can’t really speak to that with much accuracy. I, however, know very well the energy and effort it takes to get through everyday with little ones around, and here’s why I think you and your spouse should leave.
The most obvious reason to leave your kids behind and get away is simply to rest. To go to bed whenever you want without worrying about what time you have to be up in the morning. To sleep without wondering if you will wake up to a child three inches from your nose and have a mild heart attack, which is my least favorite way to wake up. I take that back- my least favorite way to wake up is to the sound or smell of vomit. Nothing feels quite as luxurious as waking up when you’re on a vacation and realizing you can turn over and go back to sleep without guilt. Or counting the seconds before tiny feet are heard padding into your bedroom or a cry from the monitor.
Who needs a five star hotel? I just need to sleep in dang it; although a five star hotel might be nice too. Rest is also found in doing the things that used to be simple before kids in that simple way again, like getting in the car. No diaper bags to carry, no strollers to load, no buckling car seats, no opening of snacks or finding of toys, just walking to the car and getting in. Bliss. When you go away you also get to enjoy multiple kid-free meals each day you’re gone. I cannot express how much I love having a meal with my husband where the only person who interrupts us there is to take our order. I feel more relaxed just thinking about it.
On a more serious note, it’s important to get away with your husband to build your marriage. Nothing is more important in a family unit than keeping the core of the family strong and that means a strong marriage. Husband and wife are a team and are raising children together, but you also married that person because you loved them. Sometimes we might forget that we chose that person because we loved so many things about them. Those things can get buried in the hustle and bustle of busy lives and getting away together is usually a wonderful reminder of those things. Nothing makes me feel closer to my husband than getting away with him when we can just remember how much we enjoy each other’s company. It’s wonderful to laugh and talk and adventure together like we did before the responsibility of children came into play. It is strengthening and refreshing.
I think it’s also important to leave so we can show our children an example of what a healthy marriage looks like. Children need to see that mom and dad love each other first and are focused on their marriage with one another. Most of our time at home is spent focusing on our children. When we actively plan time away we show them that our marriage is an important part of keeping our whole family healthy.
Hopefully when you return from your vacation you feel relaxed. For me it feels like pressing the reset button. When you get back you have a little more patience. It’s true what they say, “distance make the heart grow fonder.” It’s nice to come home to your babies when you’ve had time to breathe and can appreciate those faces and tiny hugs a little more because you’ve missed them for a few days.
If you struggle with feeling like you need a break and have guilt of taking a break, realize that short time away makes you better and therefore your whole family healthier.