A little over a month ago, the husband and I took a mini lake vacation to celebrate our friend’s 30th birthday and it really got me thinking about how necessary it is to take some time away from your kids as parents. Now, hear me out, I don’t mean ALL the time, but it is so important to continue to take time for yourselves once you become parent, for both you as a couple, and your kids.
If you’ve been here for a minute, you know how much I’ve talked about the importance of taking time for yourself to make sure you are filled to pour into those around you. Well, it’s much the same with parents and children! There are also some other great things that come out of spending time away from your kids either as a couple or with friends.
You can talk about adult things. You know, like politics, religion, sports, academia – not just colors, shapes & animals. I’m talking real life conversations. Feed your soul friends.
You can let go of some responsibility. It is a HUGE responsibility to raise a tiny human. You literally have someone’s life in your hands depending on your every decision. Take a moment and think about that. It’s nice sometimes to only have to worry about what dessert you’re going to order off the menu at dinner.
You can remember how much you love being with your kids. Inevitably, 5 minutes into any trip away from little miss, our conversation reverts to how adorable she is or something funny she did. Having some time away from someone really does show you just how much you love having them in your life in the first place.
You can recharge your patience and energy. Again, back to the raising tiny humans gig – it’s not for the faint hearted. In the middle of a tantrum it’s easy to lose your cool when you’ve had exactly 3 hours of sleep due to said fussy little one. Everyone needs a little time to boost that energy and recharge their patience.
They can learn to be more independent. While of course your little ones will depend on your for all the things for quite some time, spending time away from them allows for them to learn important independent skills like self-soothing and exploration.
They can experience new things & tolerate changes. While routines are good, we all know that life sometimes throws us a curve ball and change is the only constant. By spending some time away from your kids, you’re changing up their schedule, and introducing that change in more expected ways to prepare them for the future.
They can spend time with other family members. You might have family visitors over all the time or spend a lot of time with family, but it’s very different when you’re still there. Having family keep your kids allows special bonding time for them as well! Especially with grandparents, those will be the sweetest memories.
They can remember how much they love being with you. Just like we can get frustrated with our little ones, they can get frustrated with us! But man is it the best feeling in the world when they come running to you with those little outstretched arms squealing “mama” or “dada”.
So take some time to plan our time away from your kids – a night out with friends, a weekend away, even a long lunch and walk together. Spend some time every so often being a couple again. Recharge. Because sometimes, being the best parents you can be for your kids means spending time away from them so that the time when you’re together is that much more sweet!