Author: Karen Copeland
I’ve been quiet lately, and there is a reason for that. My husband and I took our first vacation together last week, leaving the kids behind (with support, of course!). This is our first time away since our honeymoon (we celebrate 16 years of marriage soon).
We have not been very good about making time for each other over the years. It is easy to get caught up in excuses for why we couldn’t do this. Not enough money, not enough time, too tired, too worried, too … [fill in the blank].
It has taken a number of years for us to also feel comfortable and confident in leaving our kids behind, especially our son. It is encouraging to me to see my son doing so well that I didn’t even feel a hesitancy in going. I wouldn’t have been able to say the same a year ago, so this is HUGE.
As soon as we stepped on the plane, I stepped into “Karen” mode. No longer was I “Mom”. I was very mindful of staying in that mode for our entire trip — it is very rare that I get to glimpse myself outside of my label of “mom” and I definitely wanted to take advantage of this.
We had such a great time. It was fun, it was relaxing, and most of all, it was restorative to our marriage.
And thank goodness, because today my husband had to leave unexpectedly for work away in Alberta. He wasn’t supposed to go until May, but has been sent out early. We don’t know when he will be back … it might not be until July that we see him again … but that is worst case scenario. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will be soon.
I write this because I want each and every one of you to know that it is important not to forget who YOU are outside of your role of “parent”. I know that circumstances, when complex and overwhelming make this really difficult to accomplish. But I want you to promise you will try. It doesn’t mean you have to go on a trip or be away for an extended period of time. Sometimes it can simply mean that you make time to go for coffee with a friend, or do your favorite hobby.
Our kids need us to do this, just as much as we need to do this for ourselves.
Do you promise to try?