As a dad and husband, I think it is immensely important for me to have quality time with my wife. My relationship with her, and her relationship with me, needs to come before the relationships we have with our children.
Now this is a very delicate balance. It’s not as if we feel like we need to put the kids on the backburner, we just need to create intentional relationship times with each other or we won’t be able to be proper examples and parents for our children.
We were able to do this 2 weeks ago by taking a quick, but very relaxing trip to Puerto Rico. Here are a few pictures:
A trip like this, with 4 kids at home, would never have been possible without the help of my amazing parents! We drove to Maryland from our home in Indiana to leave our kids with my parents, and then flew back and forth to Puerto Rico from Baltimore.
Not only do I think this time away is incredibly important for the husband/wife relationship, I also believe it can be incredibly impactful for the children. Our kids got to spend a full week with just their grandparents that live over 500 miles away! While I realize it was no walk in the park for my parents, I believe they may have created some long-lasting memories. On the other side, I think it is extremely valuable to create within our children opportunities to miss us. And in other terms–to have a break from us. 🙂
My case can be exemplified in a short interaction I had with Christian after we returned: We were spending the night at my parent’s house before driving back to Indiana, and it was time for him to go to bed. He desperately wanted me to lay down with him. Then he said, “I want you to lay down because I still have a lot of ‘I miss you’ in me!” (Cue the melting heart) I smiled, kissed him, and told him he could wake me up as soon as he got up in the morning.
Time away WITH your spouse is important. Do you remember the last time you and your wife or husband just talked about random things in life? Not about the kids, work, to-do lists, bills, etc. Just randomness. We did that sitting by a pool in Puerto Rico! And we loved it!
Time away FROM your kids is important–for you and for your children. Working in the college setting with young college kids on an everyday basis that have issues making their own decisions in life has helped me realize how much I desire to build independence and self-assurance in my children. How can we do that if we never leave them? It might sound strange–but let’s be intentional about leaving our children! (For a few days.)