As I prepare for our kid free weekend away I realise that it has been far too long since our last ‘adults only’ escape. I can’t even remember our last opportunity to have some time to ourselves. I think we might have gone out for Thai about 6 or 7 months ago.
Here I am, preaching ‘Put Your Marriage First’, and then I realise it has been months since we have taken some real extended, more-than-2-hours-after-kids-bed-time, time for each other.
I guess time moves faster than I thought. In addition to time, the arrangement of caretakers for four kids over 3 days is a significant exercise in logistics.
We have 3 sitters, 4 locations, a roster, and multiple points of exchange.
Thank God for our wonderful family support, if we didn’t have them…
…Well, we’d probably just stock the fridge, leave some cash on the kitchen counter and sneak out in the middle of the night anyway.
I doubt the kids would even notice. That’s the down side of raising independent kids; they really don’t need you for anything. I tell myself they still need me to cook them decent food, but we all know that I don’t cook decent food. They can, and do, happily survive on grilled cheese and two minute noodles.
They might start to become suspicious when there’s no barometer for noise though. (That would be me, noise barometer extraordinaire.)
So the kid logistics start today with Captain Clumsy going off to visit family with my Sister in Law, and her adorable little crew.
Tomorrow my sister will take the other 3, and then there will be an exchange at some point with my Mother-in-Law. By the time that exchange occurs, I’ll be in the airport lounge drinking cocktails, flirting with my husband, and not giving a toss whom is where.
Oh, and my phone will be switched off.
I am absolutely not lying when I say I don’t feel guilty.
Eternally grateful to our team of caregivers? Yes, absolutely.
Guilty for needing them? No, not one little bit.
Guilty for not feeling guilty? Maybe a little.
It’s a magical thing; the thing that happens the minute you realise it’s just the two of you. For me, the moment of realisation is always when parking in the long-term car park at the airport. I almost start skipping to the terminal. I’m easily excited like that.
I’m already giddy at the thought of no heads to count, no ‘activity backpacks’ to keep track of, no requirement to carry a small truckload of snacks in my purse, and most of all – no noise.
It’s amazing how the lack of those small little things (the tasks not the children) can make me so very happy.
Our hopes for this little getaway are humble indeed.
A good long sleep. Perhaps a sleep in! Maybe even a Saturday arvo nap. A bubble bath (me.) A read of the paper from cover to cover (him.) A stroll around the market, hand in hand, without CC and Princess squabbling over Hubbys’ other free hand. (hello-o? I have a spare hand too…anyone?) Late leisurely breakfasts. Long candlelit dinners including non-child related (and non business related!) conversation. And the other obvious stuff that defines the adults’ only weekend (sorry Mum ;-))
For us it’s like going back in time. If only for two days, we get to remember what it’s like to relate to each other in a way that doesn’t involve ‘eye spy’ at the dinner table and fights over the Wii.
Our goal for our children is to equip them with all the tools they need to be independent and self-sufficient in the big bad world. In which case it’s our parental duty to give them this time, to allow them to fend for themselves (within the limits of a small pit crew of caregivers, of course.)
So really it’s for them.
The fact that we get to nurture our marriage is really just the icing on the cake.