Let’s face it, kids take a lot of time…and even more energy. That reality means that we can get ourselves in to a serious mode of depletion.
Just think about your typical week.
On top of working, there’s sports practice and games. Maybe even church events and dance lessons.
Then you add in school activities, homework, family outings…and you begin to see the potential for a nervous breakdown.
Are you there?
If you’re not sure then take this little test.
Think about the last time that you and your wife (or friends if you’re single) had an uninterrupted meal. Was it weeks ago? Months? Years?
If you have small children you are probably on the verge of tears having just contemplated the previous question. If your kids are grown, then you need to wipe that evil grin off of your face…right now!
A Little Advice in Action
Having just come down from a 5-day, kid-free, just me and the wife, vacation high…I know a little something about “parental vacationing.”
At the significant sacrifice of Grandma and Papa, my wife and I attended a marriage conference in a small city about an hour and a half from our home.
Let’s just say that on this side of heaven, it was the closest thing to perfection you can get.
Even with a scorching sunburn on my ghostly white legs, it’s hard to communicate just how restorative it was.
We lounged by the pool and had food brought to us. We slept in as long as we wanted. We even got some really great advice that will help us in our marriage.
I actually unplugged from the digital part of my life…no Twitter, no Facebook, and no blogging. And all this without any heroin-style withdraws!
But most of all, we had some time to talk about our relationship…and the one with our kids.
Now, in order to avoid any hateful emails, let me clarify a few things.
I realize that not everyone has the ability to get away for five days. This is especially true for those of you that don’t have family just around the corner.
However, you still need to make time away a priority. Even if it means sending the kids to a friend’s house overnight…or a nice evening away for dinner and a movie.
The Rest Effect
So you think time away sounds nice…and maybe you have even put some plans in place to get away.
But what can you expect from your time of freedom? Better yet, what can your kids expect?
I would say that with all likelihood the expectation would be:
- A chance to slow down and actually reflect on your marriage, friendships, and kids.
- The opportunity to assess your effectiveness as a dad and a husband.
- The chance to talk with your spouse (if you’re married) and weed out activities that push you apart instead of bringing you together.
- To actually get some sleep.
- For your kids to appreciate the stability and support you bring to the family.
- A chance to create, tweak, or overhaul your parenting strategy.
- To regain the calm, collected, patient, non-vein popping, non-red faced persona you used to have.
- To appreciate the joy and satisfaction that kids have added to your life.
- A chance to eat a meal without kids perched next to you with their mouths gaping wide…like little scavengers awaiting their next bite.
- A chance to put it all in perspective.
This may sound like a lot to contemplate. And it probably is if you’re simply heading out for a nice dinner.
But at times, even a nice dinner can allow you to regain your composure.
Save the headier topics for your next over-night trip or weekend excursion.
Just make sure that you are purposeful about your time away.
Your kids will love the person you become when you’re willing to take a “time-out” for yourself now and then.