Spending Alone Time With The Kids – At Home And Away
We are a family that spends most of our time together. We eat dinner at home every day, we go to grocery store together. We ski as a family and we travel as a family. But we don't have hobbies to go to, no soccer to play. If we are not traveling - we are home all the time, together. And I love it that way. However, I have noticed that some alone time without the kids is so important too and actually taking a break from being a fabulous five all the time has been good for our family.
When our children were babies and toddlers my husband was in the army, and he was gone a lot. Now the past few years it has been the other way around. I have been traveling a lot for my work, and my husband has been home with the kids. While I have always wanted to be the mom who is home with the kids, I have realized that I am a good mom, even if I am not home every day. And even if I am not the perfect homemaker that I used to be. Nowadays I care more about having fun with the kids than having a clean home for the kids!
It may sound weird, but it actually has been very good for our family that our roles have been slightly reversed. I have gotten to pursue my career dreams and do things outside the home that are very important to me. And at the same time my husband has gotten to spend some alone time with the kids. It's been great for their bonding, and it's been good for him to understand too what it was like for me to be home with the kids when they were young. I think they have all started to appreciate me much more after I've been gone and traveling for work. I'm also so proud of my husband, who can handle anything with the kids, and I think he feels good too - he can tackle anything without my help. I think that kind of self-confidence in parenting is so important to have. Even if you make parenting decisions together, it still is important that mom or dad can make some decisions alone and stand by them without the other one being there.
Yes, I'm happier when I get to do my things, and I'm happier when my family appreciates me more -- but of course it has been tough to travel as well. I miss my family on my trips, but I notice one additional perk - when I get home I have more patience! And for a person who is not blessed with much patience, this is a good thing. Our family life actuall got easier and better over all after I started pursuing my career and traveling for work. I'm a much more relaxed mom, and I think my family likes it better.
I have been trying to bring the entire family on some of my work trips, and a few weeks ago, I decided to take my children on a skiing trip alone without my husband. I haven't traveled alone with the kids for years, but I felt like they deserved a fun trip and I was looking forward to some time just with them. I have to say, everything went even better than I expected - it was easy and fun to travel alone with the kids, and just focus on hanging out.
I think it is so important to get out of your element and try new things as a family - or to spend some alone time with the kids, because you will do things differently than the way you are used to. To me, that's living life to the fullest.