Time Away from the children
Tony and I are leaving for some well deserved rest. This is the first time we are leaving the children behind for a prolonged period of time. Two weeks to be exact. Tj who is now a big boy is not too upset, of course given a choice he would have loved to miss school for a couple of days but he can live with it. Toriah on the other hand is not too pleased and he has been throwing a tantrum. As much as I long for the next couple of days where I can be free to finish a book or do something without interruptions, I am also feeling some guilt. I feel selfish for taking this time out and even looking forward from a break from being mommy.
Yet I know that this is important for all of us because as the adage goes 'if mommy ain't happy, ain't nobody happy’. This reminds me of the first time we went for a date after Tj was born. We had read and heard that couples needed time away from the children to reconnect. Being first time parents and afraid of letting the spark in our relationship fizzle, we took the bait and went for a date.
That was the longest date of both our lives and it took less than two hours. When we arrived at the restaurant we tried to talk about other things but the conversation kept going back to the baby, what was he doing now and was the help coping. After a while we gave up and went home. We realised that we were too stressed out to have a good time. So we ordered take away, and went and had the date in the confines of our room. Guess what, it was great.
We quickly learnt that some things work better in a book than in real life and that time alone could happen as easily in our house as it would outside the house. Ingenuity was the key. As the boys grow and occupy more space, however, we have realised that what worked well when they were younger does not work now that they are older.
To be away, we need to be away … away from the house and its environs. Yet, the guilt seems to linger. I guess that is part and parcel of being a parent. This tag at the heart that makes you keep second guessing yourself; this nagging concern over your child that never really leaves. I know this for a fact because my own parents have been calling me every other day for the last week just to find out how everything is going.
Back to the boys. While this may be new for them, not having mom and dad underfoot, I believe it is good for them. It will give them a chance at freedom and responsibility. It will also hopefully teach them the importance of taking time out to ‘sharpen the saw’. By taking time to exhale, we are letting them realise the value of investing in your primary relationship. We are also hopefully communicating that in the larger scheme of things, the family unit begins with mom and dad and so those two principles must make time to ensure that the family holds together.