Time Away from the Kids

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Time Away from the Kids

I don’t know about you, but there are definitely days when I long for a girls’ weekend away, or I’d even be happy with a night alone watching Netflix! The demands of life just get totally overwhelming sometimes. It’s not that I don’t love my kids…I do! But I need a break away from them. Have you ever felt that way, too? Please say I’m not alone!

In today’s busy culture, the demands of work, immediate family, and extended family are very real! If you are involved in community activities outside of your work, then you may have extra demands, like boy scout or girl scout leader, or maybe with your place of worship, or in your community. Every organization needs people like you, who are giving of your spirit and time, and are committed to the mission of the organization.

Once you arrive back at home, your family needs you. The backpacks and schools need you, and there are phone calls to make, and emails to send. There are also piles of laundry piling up, dishes in the sink, dinners to plan, shopping to complete, and a lawn to care for. Someone is bound to need a diaper change.

When? When do you get to take time away for yourself? What about your marriage?

When a tree is planted, the water must reach the roots in order for strength in the trunk and branches, and to ensure growth. Similarly, if we take care of ourselves as caregivers, and our relationships with our significant others, then we can offer love and strength to the products of our relationship- our children, our workplace, and the commitments that we have made to our community.

So, how can we do this? We are the caregiver, we are the roots of the family…we need to be watered and cared for. How does this happen with young children, family, and demands? So, here are some ideas I’ve come up with:

  • Reach out to your extended family and your community family. Find out if there is a matinee or an inexpensive night at the community movie theatre that a nearby teen could babysit for.
  • Ask around to nearby couples, or other families at your school. How do they get a night off? Who do they call? The best referrals are word-of-mouth!
  • Schedule your time together or time to be alone. Put it on the calendar, in your planner, in your mobile device. Set an alert for it. Take turns lining up care for the children. Always having to do so can be exhausting. Reach out to your “village”: this may be your neighbors, other parents at school or in your child’s extracurricular activity, offer to do the same for them!
  • We have to make it a regular occurrence in order for it to become part of the routine, the norm!
  • Exercise alone or together, or with a friend. Take a yoga class. Try running. Just a walk in the fresh air is good for the mind, body, and soul.Side plank yoga pose by three women
  • And most of all…put down your phone! Put away your computer! Even for just a half hour. Allow yourself a break from it all. The world demands that we respond immediately, but I promise you that you that it will all still be there when you come back! And you will be refreshed, full of life, and ready to tackle the next challenge!

Now, let’s see if I can try at least one of these techniques this week! You try, too, and comment how it goes for you. Maybe you have another way of getting time alone. Share with us!