Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Why being away from your kids is so important sometimes

There is just something special about having alone time with your spouse.  Since having kids, Loyal and I have done date nights here and there but I can't say that there have been many.  One of the main reasons for this is because we pretty much had our 3 kids back to back.  I am very hands on during the first year and that is mainly due to nursing but also because it's just simply hard for me to leave a baby that is under a year old.  Maybe it's a control thing but I'm also tired during that first year without much energy to spare.  We are the type that really enjoys our family time.  We like weekends with the kids and sometimes it makes it hard to leave them for a night.  Needless to say, my undivided time with my husband has been rather limited the past few years and I find myself missing us and the way we used to be before we had kids.  Don't get me wrong here, I love my kids, love my family and wouldn't trade any of it!  But over the years, I have come to realize how important it is to have balance in your life and in your marriage. 

Loyal and I had a very unique start to our marriage.  Less than 6 months after we got married, his job sent him to Dallas, TX and I stayed in Atlanta to finish my last year of college.  Spending a year apart definitely wasn't ideal but in the end it made us so strong and so much closer than ever before.  I moved to Dallas the day after I graduated college and that summer was a true "honeymoon phase" for us.  We went on dates several times a week, I went to work with him often and we pretty much spent all of our time together! Some of fondest memories are from our time in Dallas and ones that I will always miss.  I got pregnant right at the end of that summer and our life changed forever, in the best way.  Bringing a baby into our lives was the best decision we could have ever made.  Our little family is everything to us.  Every minute, every day and every weekend are memories that we are making together as a family.  We have all become so close-knit and truly love spending all of our time together.  But even though I see my husband every day, I was not prepared for how much I would miss him and having him to myself.  

While having babies and watching your children grow up is absolutely amazing, it is also one of the hardest things I have ever done.  By the end of most days, I am exhausted, grouchy, irritable and just slap worn out.  Motherhood can be so rewarding yet so challenging at the same time.  I think I can speak for most moms when I say that we all want, need and deserve a break every once and a while.  How one spends their much needed break comes down to personal preference but I most definitely like to spend my time away from my kids with my husband.  Getting out of the house and spending one on one time with Loyal is the perfect way for me to recharge.  It honestly takes me right back to those days before we had kids when life was so carefree.  Now that our kids are all out of the baby phase, we are trying to incorporate more date nights into our routine.  This is our way of pouring into each other and into our marriage.  It is important for me to fill that cup often and in return it keeps the flame lit!   Date nights give us anticipation that we look forward to and leave us on a high after it's over.  Our time together, undivided and completely focused on one another, is so cherished and necessary in our marriage.  It gives us a chance to miss the kids and we always come home feeling refreshed and so happy to see them!

I once read somewhere that putting your spouse before your kids is one of the best things you can do for your children.  I remember reading a bunch of backlash to this theory but I stood behind it 100%.  In my option, marriage is the root of our family.  It is what brought our children into this world and what we will have left when they grow up and move away.  I have seen a lot of people pour everything they have into their children, often neglecting their marriage in return.  Unfortunately, this can drive a couple apart rather quickly.  We have to remember that we are the first example our children will see of love, marriage, respect for each other, partnerships and relationships all around.  I remind myself of this often because I want their example of marriage to be one that is full of love for each other.  Actions resonate so much deeper than words and I want my kids to learn how to love from the love that they see between Loyal and I.  Children can sense tension and while it is natural and totally normal to have disagreements from time to time, love and happiness should always be prevail.  


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