Goals. Hopes. Dreams. There is something within us that always wants and wishes for more. We have an idea about what we want in our lives and think about this dream often. Sometimes it keeps us up at night as we make our plans and hope that one day we will reach our goal. So why do only a few of us follow our dreams while the rest of us sit on the bench and watch? Read more
Every day it seems there is so much that we want to accomplish. Whether is is work related or family activities, there’s plenty on our to do list. I am always asked, “How do you do it all?” I smile and try to find some response but the answer is simple. I find the time. Read more
I am surprised by the people who think it isn’t right for parents to leave their kids behind with their grandparents while their parents go on a vacation together. People are of the belief that once you have kids, you shouldn’t do anything away from your children, or at least don’t do anything big without them. But is that right?
We just went away on a 1 week vacation to Panama. It felt awkward for me to be away from my kids as we do pretty much everything with them, but we felt we needed some alone time as a couple. We had so much life change that has happened in our family in the last 2-5 years that we needed to take a timeout, create a vision for our family and then re-enter reality again. Because we knew we were going on a vacation without our kids, we wanted to make sure we did something that they wouldn’t necessarily want to do. A boring vacation for kids. That meant Disneyland was out, but that’s ok because we took them for a day at Disney this Summer (try affording more days with 6 kids) and we didn’t want to be around large crowds anyways.
On our trip we visited historical sites, went kayaking and hiking in the rainforest. Had we taken our children, then would have been whining about being bored or that the mosquitos were biting them. Rather than expose them to what they would perceive to be torture-like conditions, we let Grandma and Grandpa do what they do best with their Grandkids and the boys had a great time with them. The boys had fun spending quality time with their Grandparents and we had good quality connection time.
For us, we hadn’t been away without our kids on trips that weren’t work related for 12 years. This was our first child-free vacation where there wasn’t another agenda of fitting in free time between meetings. Anniversary weekends away were typically once every 5 years and that meant dropping the kids off with family late on a Friday evening and picking them up by noon on Sunday. One day to ourselves and it always felt rushed.
We need to take better care of ourselves as parents and if it means getting away with each other once in a while, then do it. As long as you also plan family trips, then why should people criticize you for spending time with your spouse? Make sure it’s balanced and that your kids are well cared for. You will be a better parent if you take care yourself and your other half.
For the longest time, we as parents just let our kids dictate their bedtime or would put them to bed when we were tired. This meant bedtime for kids around 10pm every night and we were exhausted. It was taking a toll on us and a friend finally challenged us on the whole late bedtime routine.
Regularly, my husband and I try to sneak away for a date night. With six little boys, it is often difficult to find the time to connect and talk without interruption and so we started to make an effort to a get out together a couple times a month. We don’t have a favourite place to go and usually end up some place different every time. While the location changes, one thing never does – we are always accompanied by my husband’s cell phone.
Throughout dinner, he’ll get a text message that will “only take a second” to read. Sometimes it’s an email that will “only take a second” to read. Other times it is an app where he needs to check in to tell the world where he will is at that exact moment and we all only that it will “only take a second”. Seconds add up into minutes and those are precious when we have a babysitter watching our six boys.
We went to a new restaurant tonight. The exterior of the building doesn’t look impressive as it is in an older area and one might not find the mis-matched chairs all that appealing but it had a lovely atmosphere with chandeliers, candles on the table, folded napkins and the Standards playing on internet radio. We were greeted by the owner/host/cook/waitress who took our coats and led us to our table. As we were about to sit down she asks, “Do either of you have cell phones?” After admitting that we were in possession of a cell phone she responds with, “I ask that there be no texting in the dining room. This is time for you to be together.” In that moment, she instantly became my best friend.
While some people might want to jump to the defence of their precious cell phone and announce, “I’m an adult and can text wherever I’d like,” we welcomed the idea with open arms – at least I did. My husband made one attempt to “check in” with an app… but I kicked him under the table and told him he lost some points. Two women came in to the restaurant and they too were given the request to not use their cell phones in the dining room. They giggled at their table as one would sneak in a text or two.
I want to applaud the owner for trying to create an environment where people can be together and truly focus on their present relationship without allowing others to intrude on that time. There are too many distractions that pull us away from really connecting with one another. We’re rushed, we’re stressed and we don’t protect the time we have.
So thank you for not allowing my husband to text in the dining room. We had a lovely evening.