20 Apr
Posted in: parenting, travel
By    Comments Off on Time Away from Parenting

Time Away from Parenting

View of the Colorado Front Range

A date night for my husband and I consists of eating takeout in the living room while we watch a movie after putting kids to bed. We rarely spend time together without one or more of our children.

I enjoy the kids, most of the time. We do have a tween who tests my annoyance levels (on purpose). Still, they’re good people. The kids are at ages where we can all go do just about everything I want to do as a family….road trips, museums, movie theaters, restaurants, hiking, camping…without scheduling around nap times or having to lug a giant bag of children supplies. Plus, we all like each other and most importantly, they still want to do things with their parents.

When Craig and I do have the option, once or twice a year, to sneak away, we will rearrange schedules to make it happen. My parents visited this weekend and stayed with the youngest three, and we traveled a few hours south to watch our oldest perform at a jazz festival. Craig and I left Friday night leaving my parents to get B to the bus for the band trip at 5 a.m. It took heavy convincing for me to let them be in charge. Letting go is not easy for me. I didn’t sleep well Friday night. I was too busy worrying about alarm clocks not working and contact solution being left at home. Multiple text messages before 5 a.m. helped to ease my worry. No one was late and nothing was forgotten.

Craig and I were only away from home for 30 hours, and technically, we spent a few of those hours with one of our kids. It was enough time to recharge and have several meaningful conversations without anyone interrupting us.

We settled on some summer plans and worked through details of an impending epic road trip. We didn’t bother to eat lunch on Saturday which can’t happen with children involved. We wandered the aisles of a Trader Joe’s store. Are you familiar? We’ve heard friends rave about the franchise but hadn’t stepped foot in one. I liked what we saw. We brought back a a random assortment of items to try. The matcha green tea I just consumed was tasty. We were able to wander through a specialty food store without worrying about people eating all the samples while we weren’t looking, and I spent an hour in a clothing store and didn’t have to bribe anyone to make that happen.

We probably won’t have the option for an overnight getaway for at least six more months. Part of me wishes we could take the time more often, but a bigger part would rather make memories with all six of us together. We’ll settle for more dinners for two in the living room.

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