It’s the elephant in the room for every parent. In fact, Guilt and his buddy Worry are the little devils constantly sitting on one of our shoulders heckling us as we make decisions. Should I have done that? If I make this decision what could happen? I should have been there for that. They need more of my time.
You can only imagine how loud my hecklers were when we made the decision over a year ago to spend an entire week of our two week 2013 summer vacation on a trip with five other couples…childless.
I’ve written before about my struggles with time as a working Mom of three young kids. My days are long and my husband’s schedule is even more demanding – we’ve never done anything with our summer vacation other than spending some very solid quality time with our kids.
After a week of fun together this year though, we said our goodbyes and jetted off to Bermuda for a week to celebrate a close friend’s 40th birthday. And now that we’re back, I can honestly say that I think it was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
I realized this week that sometimes you lose yourselves in the day-to-day. Our lives lately have been more about who is dropping who off where, how we’re going to fit groceries into the schedule as well as what sports and events the kids have and how we’re going to arrange to get them where they need to go. It seems like every two weeks my husband and I are discussing where he can take the kids on the weekend so that I can have a few hours alone in the house to clean and organize things.
And when we’re not managing the family schedule and running all over the place, we’re spending time as a family. We’re enjoying the lake together, heading to playground, biking outside, chasing each other around the house, having dance parties in the TV room and hopefully creating fun, goofy lifelong memories with the kids.
So where does that leave us? And by “us” I mean my husband and I – you know, the two people who fell in love and decided to take on this wonderful crazy life as a team? Our non-exhausted, non-work-related, non-kid-related, not-on-a-timeline social life is virtually non-existent right now.
Fast-forward to last week. Seven days of leisurely wake-ups, quiet coffees, great chats, tons of laughs and absolutely no schedule. We were surrounded by awesome people who were all, like us, living responsibility-free for a few days. We relaxed, we changed plans on a dime, we went out for dinners at 730 and we let loose and had fun. We had some drinks, we danced and we laughed until our bellies hurt.
I loved being with my husband only this week. I loved watching him and being reminded of the gazillion reasons I fell in love with him. That made it easy to brush Guilt and Worry off of my shoulders in Bermuda and leave them roasting in the sun beach-side. Our family is only as strong as we are and I realized this week that even a few days away every year – like an extra-long weekend – is the right decision for us and will actually have nothing but positive effects on the kids in the long run.
To quote Nike, “Just do it.”
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller