One thing hubby and I have started doing for each other lately is planning intentional “time off” for one another. At least every other weekend we try to make sure we each get some time to ourselves. It has been so helpful for both of us, greatly reducing our stress levels. As any parent knows even a “day off” isn’t really as long as the kiddos are there. You are constantly “on call” with your kiddos and watching over them, helping them etc. “Restful” days involve work, it’s just a fact of parenthood ;)
After we figured this out we started watching out for each other a bit more and making sure we each got time to rest away from home, responsibilities and kiddos ;)
Hubby usually spends his time kayaking. He loves being outside, and since I got him a kayaking for his birthday he has been going out on the lake once or twice a month. It is a physically tiring way to spend his time, but it’s something he really enjoys. The hard part of this for me is that when he’s gone it makes the weekend feel like every other day of the week. Another day with me and Little Man at home by ourselves :/ bummer. But, it is is worth it to me. I know he needs that time away, and that it is important for him to be able to get out and rest too!
It is hard to keep in perspective that while I’m home with Little Man every day, (feeling trapped at home sometimes) he is working hard at work and is in need of a break free from responsibility as much as I am! Even though playing with and taking care of Little Man is a change of scenery from his normal job, it is still work, and it gets tiring work, work, working all the time!!! Like i said, it can be quite a sacrifice for me to let him go, but I try to have a good attitude about it. It’s no good if he comes home and I’m in a mood because he hasn’t been home all day. So as hard as it is, I know it is good for us.
The great thing is I get a turn too! I don’t choose to spend my time kayaking but instead I prefer to go to Starbucks, drink something yummy and write!!! Whenever I go I usually get 3 or 4 blog posts written and then I save them up and post them throughout the week when I don’t have as much time to write. It’s nice having posts ready to go so I don’t have to get frustrated when I don’t have as much time to write during the week as I would like to.
I know it’s a sacrifice for my hubby to let me go for a few hours while he takes over Little Man duties. but it is worth it to him because he knows I need it.
I remember once reading something about moms shouldn’t need time off. The author was saying that it is our God-given duty to work and care for our families and we shouldn’t need to take a break from that. I don’t agree. Maybe in a perfect world I wouldn’t need time away, but the fact of the matter is I do, and hubby does too! We both need time to ourselves, and time to totally relax. It’s true that I get some time to myself every day as little man naps, but it’s a different feeling knowing that he could wake up and need me any second. I love the feeling of freedom I get from being out of the house without my kiddo. I feel like I can truly relax, think and be creative because no one is depending on me for these few hours.
Giving each other time off has really helped our marriage. We are both more patient with each other and with Little Man when we have had time to rest and relax. We do date nights and take time to relax together too, which I think is essential to our marriage as well. But, individual rest time has been a true blessing and is a wonderful gift to give each other.
When I view it as a gift to my hubby it feels less like a sacrifice and more like something special for my man because I love him. I’m not sure if he views my rest time as the same, but I do know he always greets it with a good attitude, and he even suggests I go to Starbucks etc. when he knows I’ve had a rough day with Little Man.
What about you? Do you and your hubby give each other time off? Is it something you find yourself needing or not so much?
If you don’t currently have something like this in place I would encourage you to talk with your spouse about it and figure out how you can help each other have intentional “rest/fun” time. It’s a wonderful thing! It may look different for different people/personalities but I think resting is important and extremely helpful! I know I’m a better mommy when I’ve had my rest!