The Gift of Time Away From the Kids

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Yes, I said it. Spending time away from your kids is a gift. I recently experienced my latest gift in the form of a vacation to New Orleans with my husband, Jake of nearly 17 years. We had not been away from our kids for more than a night or a day in quite some time. And it was WAY overdue. In the past, we have gone on a couple short trips (3-4 days) with friends. Prior to that, it had been 3 years since we had done anything, just the two of us.

What it comes down to it:

Take care of you and your relationship with your significant other. Getting away, even if it’s just for one overnight, a weekend, or heck getting a room at a nearby hotel for a “staycation,” is worth it. You’ll thank me and yourself for this.

Jake and I do a pretty good job at balancing parenting and getting away from it all. We also have a great support system in the form of a live-in Nana (my mom). However, it wasn’t always this way, so I know how hard it can be to get help. And we also realize, we can’t just expect her to watch our kids all the time either. So we are thoughtful and don’t overstep asking too often.

No matter what your situation is though, it takes a village. Use your village, and don’t feel bad about it either. We all need to get away for some “me time” if you are a solo parent or just to spend some quality time with your spouse or partner.

Group of cheerful women learning to take care of their babies during parenting class for young mothers in a contemporary club for moms

The “Mom Guilt” Feeling

Us moms, want to ask our friends or family members to watch our kids, but have guilt doing it. Guilt that it’s too much of a burden. Let’s get over this already. We all want it. We all need it. So make a pact with your support system to give each other the gift of time away from the kids. We all have busy lives between soccer tournaments, swim meets, dance performances and well, just life. So be considerate of those you are making this pact with, and hopefully they’ll do the same, by planning ahead.

Whether you can only afford to get away for a night, or you can plan a more extravagant vacation, just do it. For us here in Northern AZ, it’s so easy to take a quick jaunt down the hill to Sedona, Jerome, or Phoenix for a weekend trip to recharge. We may even get some one-on-one time with your special someone, sleep in, eat wherever you want (moms, you know what I’m talking about), and most importantly have fun!

Being away for 6 days with Jake, was just what the therapist ordered. Of course we missed the kids, but we didn’t let it overwhelm our thoughts. Of course we were already coming up with plans to get back to New Orleans, but with the kids next time. Of course.

So figure out who your village is, make a pact, make a plan, and get out there and enjoy the gift of time away from the kiddos. Make this one of your new year’s resolutions. I know I am.

 

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Heather Pierce
Born and raised in NJ, Heather left with fire on her heels to attend ASU in Tempe, AZ in 1995, where she obtained a degree in art history, while minoring in both anthropology and French. While at ASU she met her husband Jake and began their loud, crazy, fun filled life together. She’s a full time corporate marketing consultant, freelance writer, is on the board for and chairs the fundraising and marketing committee for Flagstaff Arts & Leadership ACademy, and most importantly, a very hands on and fun mom to two wild boys Zane, age 9, and Van, age 4. They’ve made Flagstaff their forever home since 2010 and Is actively involved in our mountain community, lives for live music, good food and wine, reading books about real life people, and a lover of the outdoors.