As parents and grandparents we often get asked, ‘What would you do differently if you had your time again as a new parent?‘ And one of the ‘biggies’ has to do with realising it is actually okay to take time out for ourselves as a couple. We are still good parents if occasionally we feel the need to get in a babysitter and have a few child-free hours!
Now that might sound selfish to some, but believe me when I say, those little breaks away from your kids – who you love dearly and would die for – are absolutely essential for your sanity, and the sake of your relationship with your partner.
Keep reading to find out more.
1,128 words – approx reading time 9 minutes (the time it takes to unload the dishwasher)
Life as a new parent can feel a little like waking up to find yourself on Mars.
Everything is new and different to what you are accustomed to, and comfortable with. You find you don’t speak the same language as this new little inhabitant, you have no idea what their body language is trying to tell you, they seem to cry for no reason at all, and they can poop and throw up all over you almost simultaneously at times!
No matter how many books you have read or videos watched, parenting can be an enormously stressful time. And as those little ones grow, it doesn’t get any easier.
Just when you work out this whole ‘baby thing’, they become a bellowing two-year old.
You just get your head around screaming tantrums on the supermarket floor, only to find out you are the ‘homework queen’ when they start school, and you suddenly have to remember everything you never knew about Adjectives, Art, Algebra, and Africa!
And then, before you know it, they become teens.
O.M.G. Don’t even get me started on teenagers!
Now somewhere in amongst all this mayhem, you suddenly begin to realise that you are putting so much time into loving, washing, guiding, feeding, correcting, refereeing, and teaching your child, that the relationship with the other special person in your life – your partner – is being affected.
And it is not your fault. Really. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything for your child / children that needs to be done. Especially if you are also working.
So what do you do? Well, if your relationship with your partner is important, and we hope it is, then you need to talk about it and make plans to have time out without the kids. Just the two of you, doing something you love to do. And without worrying or talking about the kids!
And maybe even getting a little romantic without the fear of little Freddie running in to catch you ‘at it’!
It’s not easy, and initially you might even fight against the idea. You wonder what’s wrong with you that you need time out. And to even think about must make you a bad parent!
Well, let us set your mind at ease. You are perfectly normal. And if anything, you are to be congratulated for wanting to put in the extra effort to manage this very complex time of your life.
In fact, let us give you our top 5 reasons why you MUST take time out occasionally just for yourselves:
Your children need strong, supportive, loving parents
If you commit every waking hour to your kids, it won’t be long before you begin to notice tension in the relationship with your partner. Do you really want your kids witnessing angry, withdrawn or abusive parents? Of course not. Far better to make plans now to build a strong relationship so that your children can benefit from it.
You need to expand your world beyond nappies, track pants, homework and Sesame Street
New parents can very easily fall into the trap of living and breathing kids. They forget to call their friends, they stop going out for yoga, they stop dressing up, and they even seem to have trouble with conversations consisting of more than four two-syllable words in a sentence! You need to remember that you had a life before kids, and you will have one afterwards, so it is vitally important that you maintain a life now.
You begin to appreciate your children for who they are
When you are surrounded by screaming, yelling, unhappy kids 24/7, life can often seem like hell on earth. Of course there are good days, when not all your children will be upset at the same time (well, maybe sometime!). When you take time out, it actually helps you to remember that you love your kids and that each of them are wonderful little individuals growing into beautiful adults.
You might just fall in love all over again with your partner
That’s right. Time out on a ‘date night’ with the special person in your life might just rekindle that flame and reignite your relationship. It is very easy to take each other for granted as time goes by, and this time out could just be what your relationship desperately needed. And as the kids grow, you might even be able to have a night away or a weekend somewhere special together.
You need to be an example to your kids
One day your little ones will grow up and have their own relationships. And what better example of loving parents can they have than that of their own mum and dad making their own relationship a priority, so they can be better and more loving parents themselves? In case you haven’t figured it out yet, your kids watch you all the time, and they often copy what you do or say (for good or bad). Do you want them growing up thinking all relationship suck, or would you like them copying your example and become better parents themselves?
At the end of the day it is your choice. Our hope is that after reading this short post that you might realise the importance of loving your partner as much as you love your kids, and making sure the love is spread around so all can benefit. And you become a glowing example of a happy, healthy relationship.
Maybe it just takes you to bring it up over a glass of wine one evening after the kids are in bed!
If you enjoyed today’s post ‘5 Reasons Every Couple Needs Time Away From The Kids‘, why not also check out ‘Why you need to turn the TV off and spend time with your kids!’ And don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already, so we can keep you updated in the future with more great parenting posts.
Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
ONLINE FASHION STORE
Empowering people to live a healthy, authentic and fulfilling, personal and business life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
If you haven’t yet subscribed to the LiveEachAdventure.com blog, pop over to the side of the page and drop us your email address so we can keep you informed. Please leave a comment below, and do check out our social media channels on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest so you can be kept up to date as we share this great journey of life with you.
DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine or adopting any new procedure. We provide relevant links in each post to services or products of relevance to that topic. Many are unpaid links, while others may be affiliate links. They are included because of their relevance above all else.