By: Jennifer Murray

Everybody Needs A Little Time Away…

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…Even lover’s need a holiday far away from each other their children.

So I totally just butchered a Chicago classic, but hear me out for a few minutes.

I believe taking a break from parenting once in a while benefits not only you as the parent, but your entire family. Spending a short time away with your mate alone – all the better. Perhaps this comes across as completely selfish, or even uncompassionate towards my young, however, I think the benefits are completely contrary.  

During the last few years, Brad and I at times have experienced trying, uncertain, troublesome, surprising, consuming, and dramatic circumstances in our 7 years of marriage. I know we are not alone in this journey, nor have we been given a load that we cannot bear. We have MUCH to be grateful for daily. We have grown together through many of these trials, and we’re thankful for how God has used them in our lives to draw us closer not only to one another, but to Him.  It has caused us to not rely solely on one another, but to focus on the One who controls every minute detail of our lives. 

However, sometimes the details in life distract us from the purpose in the difficulty.  We too often have missed the mark as a couple. Instead of allowing trials strengthen our faith, we’ve fallen into patterns of discontentment, discouragement, complacency, and impatience.  It’s humbling to admit, and I am responsible for well over half of the blame.

All of this to say, I’ve never felt more secure in our marriage.  We are blessed with a solid foundation, and a cherish our lifelong covenant relationship.  We love with a love that is deeper than the ocean and I am pleased to still be married to my best friend on earth. However…

Marriage can be intense. 

Parenting is intense. 

Parenting can make marriage even more intense.

We consume ourselves in caring for our children, meeting their needs, sacrificing our own desires around the clock.  365 days a year.  If we’re not careful our marriage gets the “leftovers” if there’s anything “left over” to give at the end of a long day.   

Not only does this deliver the message to our husbands that he’s last on the list, it communicates to our children that they are the utmost important. The pedestal is reserved for their occupancy.

Where does this place our marriage?  More importantly, where does this rank our relationship with Jesus? 

I heard a staggering statistic today that marriage lasts an average of 7 years, and 200,000 marriages are dissolved within the first 2 years of marriage.  Sobering.  Shocking. Sorrowing.

So will taking a break away for a couple of days guarantee a blissful marriage?  Maybe not. 

Does it demonstrate that your marriage is valuable, delicate, a priority, and worth fighting for?  Quite Possibly.

I know that getting away takes financial means, and it’s simply not always feasible.  What about an extended date?  24 hours away?  It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive.  (We used our already paid for airline tickets that were about to expire and got a family rate from my brother at a hotel, but you don’t even have to leave your home state.) In addition, it doesn’t require an insane amount of planning (minus finding childcare for four 3 year old boys). There is no price tag on the opportunity to spending uninterrupted time relaxing, refreshing, and renewing. 

Trust me, I’m still coming down off the mountain with the man who still has my heart.

QuatroMama

(A sincere thank you to Ryan, Emily, Melissa, and Kara for supporting our marriage and loving our kids by caring for them while we were away. We couldn’t have done this without you!)

Photo Credit

This post is linked to No Time For Flashcards Link-up

25 Responses to “Everybody Needs A Little Time Away…”

  1. Becky
    September 22, 2010 at 3:42 am #

    Thanks for this perspective!! Important things to remember. Glad you had some time to refresh your marriage!

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 11:02 am #

      We are too! Fresh perspectives are worth their weight in gold.

  2. Samantha Brewer
    September 22, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    I’m so glad that you believe parents should be allowed time away from their children without feeling guilty about it. My husband and I are going away for two whole days (hopefully a little longer after that – depends on the kids) 5 weeks today and we can not wait to get away and be just a ‘couple’ for a few days. We are excited about not having a routine, being able to lie-in and just to be able to go for a walk and hold hands. I of course will miss my kids however I know that they will be safe and that my family will take great care of them.

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 11:06 am #

      I still struggle with guilt….LOTS. However, I know that it grew our marriage and allowed us to have a much needed couple time that will benefit my children.
      I hope you have a wonderful time away. Soak up the time to hold hands lots, and have quiet conversations!

  3. Angie @ Just Like The Number
    September 22, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    When I was pregnant with my first, I remembering sitting in my supervisor’s office and asking him if he had any parenting advice. He and his wife had been married nearly 30 years and had raised two terrific boys. I expected him to pass along some sage advice about firmness or consistency or some other aspect of discipline. Instead he told me to make sure that no matter what, my husband and I find time to slip away without the children at least once a year. Even if it was just overnight down the road. I thought he was confused, that he thought I was asking for marriage advice, not parenting advice.

    By golly, he was right, though. We’ve snuck away together every year since our oldest one born. Some years it’s been lengthy and extravagant, other years it’s been a quick, cheap getaway. It gives us the energy to come back and parent with purpose. More importantly, it helps us remember why we fell in love in the first place, and why we wouldn’t want anything to ever destroy that love.

    So glad you had a good time!

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 11:12 am #

      Oh, Angie…it’s so good to hear from someone else who “gets it”. Parenting with purpose – so right. And reminding ourselves of who we are (sans kids) as a couple is soooooo valuable. Thanks so much for sharing your heart on this, Angie!

  4. Amy @ Finer Things
    September 22, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    We pick a different bed and breakfast every year, for a 2-night getaway. Some years we have to take a nursing baby with us, but that’s okay! Still worth it. :)

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 11:13 am #

      2 nights is perfect! I think we might have to make this a yearly goal as well. Especially when things at home are demanding…it becomes even more important.

  5. Saidah @ AProverbswife.com
    September 22, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    I completely agree with time away from the children. Once the children are adults, if a couple has not taken the time to build a friendship and love relationship they end up strangers once the kids move out.

    My husband and I go driving alone most Saturday afternoons and take 1-2 vacations without the kids each year.

    The health of my marriage is what will help me be a better parent to my children.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. Stacey McCastlain
    September 22, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    For most marriages I doubt there is when getting away is more important than when our children are little. One of the best gifts we can give our children is a healthy marriage, if that is possible. I remember one of our first times getting away, soon after we were out the door I looked at my husband and thought “Oh, I do still like you.” Of course I always loved him, but we had gotten so wrapped up in the mommy and daddy roles we forgot about husband and wife.
    Glad you managed to make it happen. Good for you!

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

      Totally agree, Stacey. You (almost) read my mind. =)

  7. KS Dallas
    September 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm #

    I have always supported your belief in this and I will go further in saying I believe it is important for people to breaks from all aspects of daily life (work, kids, etc.). It totally refreshes you as a person. Often we get so consumed with daily life, we lose ourselves in the process. We become stressed, bitter, angry, resentful and we lose perspective. It isn’t healthy for us or the people around us.

    I am glad you got your break and had a good time. I try to take mine twice a year – June and over x-mas. I am starting to feel the pressure building and am already looking forward to the next break!

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

      Thanks for understanding and encouraging our time away. It helps to have the support of people who understand how much there is to gain from a break away from the routine. Life is busy and demanding for all of us…it’s so soooooo nice to step away now and then.

  8. Amanda
    September 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    My hubby and I just got back from a week away to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. IT.WAS.HEAVEN! I love my boys (ages 2 & 6) but I KNOW I am a better mommy to them when I have some alone time with my hubby. We try to do something every year but it gets harder and harder to leave them as my boys get older. This time we went on a cruise and loved every moment of it. We even got a compliment on the airplane b/c we talked to each other the whole ride (2+hours). The lady that complimented us said you just don’t see couples talk like that very often anymore. :) I commend you and Brad for making your relationship a priority. We do the same but not many couples do. Glad you enjoyed your time away!

    • QuatroMama
      September 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

      Sooooo good to hear, Amanda. Congratulations on 10 years – what an amazing accomplishment…and what an example you are living for your boys! So glad you enjoyed your time away as well.

  9. punkinmama
    September 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more!

    Glad you had the opportunity to get some time away together!

  10. Sioby
    September 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Ohh Jen! It is MOST important that you and your husband get away!!! My parents ALWAYS went on trips away from us kids when we were growing up. It is VERY important and it does benefit your children!! NEVER feel guilty for getting-away for a little while with your husband!! So happy you two were able to enjoy each other and refresh. If only we lived closer, I would offer you that opportunity and take your boys ALL THE TIME!! Sioby

  11. Jen
    September 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    COMPLETELY and ABSOLUTELY agree with your post! I come back a better wife, mommy and even friend after my husband and I go on a vacation together. Heck, even just getting a night off makes me a better mommy. It’s time to focus on your self and not everyone and everything else going on at home. God knows exactly what we need!!!

  12. Jennifer
    September 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Agree 110%. I find that it takes about 48 hours for me to start missing my kids. Then I’m able to come home and be such a better mom.

  13. Brandy
    September 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    I think all parents need to get away for a few days sometimes to recoup and I know even when I’m gone to town by myself for 2 hours, I always feel so rejuvenated when I return! So glad you have wonderful friends to help you out. Enjoy your time together! I’m getting a couple of days this weekend to myself and I can’t wait!!

  14. LoveFeast Table
    September 22, 2010 at 8:00 pm #

    I have been so upset by the reality of suffering, ending marriages the past two weeks! It seems that all around us, our friends, people we meet, are going through bad, hard issues. It seems all of a sudden. What hurts is usually the answer to fixing it seems so apparent. And, I can’t for the life of me, figure out why people would choose to make it worse, give up, not go to counseling, ruin relationships, instead of working hard toward healing. Ugh! Sorry, venting…my mind has so been here lately!
    Good for you getting away! It is SOOO Worth the investment and the financial sacrifice to spend time alone with one another! My husband and I are in our 17th year and we tell the kids, our marriage is a priority. All else rolls from that. We invest in each other as individuals and together! In fact, we’re headed to Cancun this weekend! It took a lot of maneuvering…with five kids and schedules and car pooling…but, once I’m on the beach with my guy, it will all fade!
    Enjoy your trip!
    Kristin
    p.s…we would love to come to Indy for a BlogLove…we’ll have to see! :)

  15. melissa @ the inspired room
    September 22, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Ahhh, my husband and I are due for a romantic getaway!!! We got away for a “day date” this week but we’d love to get away for a couple of days!

    How inspiring! Many blessings on your marriage for making it such a priority in your life.

    Melissa

  16. The Diaper Diaries
    September 23, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    Heading away this weekend for a night. This is a HUGE priority for us. So crazy important!!

  17. designHer Momma
    September 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm #

    since we’ve had kids, it’s only happened once. And oh golly me, it’s so overdue.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Everybody Needs A Little Time Away… | 4tunate -- Topsy.com - September 24, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jen -BeautyandBedlam, punkinmama, Amy, 4tunate, mandi and others. mandi said: RT @QuatroMama: Perhaps ths comes across as selfish, or even uncompassionate towards my young, however.. http://bit.ly/b9CDIf // not at all! [...]

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