Early this morning, CBG, my girls and I took Rugrat to the airport to send her back home. This morning marks two things:
1. The official “end of summer”. (*sad face*)
2. The start of the first child-free weekend CBG and I have had in quite some time.
Now, I know that I shouldn’t really whine about the fact that we’ve had kids with us in some capacity all summer long. I know that there are plenty of couples out there who parent full time and get next to no breaks from their children. Heck, I was one of those parents once upon a time myself.
But judge if you must, I will admit here and now that one of the things I love about being a
single parent divorced parent is my child-free time. Although let’s be clear: I love being a mother and I love my daughters tremendously. I wouldn’t give up motherhood for anything. But I am more than a mother, and having time without my daughters (even though I miss them terribly when they’re gone) helps me to not only remember my other roles in life, but work on them and enjoy them. Could I still be a friend, wife and lover to CBG with my daughters around? You betcha. But I find it extremely beneficial to our relationship to have our dedicated alone time. Even though there’s a little voice inside of me that tells me that maybe he and I are more than just a little bit selfish.
This opinion of mine might not be popular, but I honestly believe that many of us parents do our children a huge disservice by making them the centre of the family. Maybe this is even why the divorce rate is what it is. It used to be that the parents were the centre of the family unit, but somehow along the way that’s changed. Now it seems like as soon as the children are born, they become the centre of the family. Parents deny their own wants and needs in order to cater to their children. They let themselves — and their relationship to each other — suffer in favour of “what’s best for the kids”. But really, isn’t what’s best for the kids to have two happy, stable parents who are engaged in life?
I really think that more parents need to remember who they are outside of their role as “mom” and “dad”. I’m not talking a date night once a month — that’s just not going to cut it, even though it’s a step in the right direction. There are plenty of ways to cultivate a relationship, we just have to ensure that we’re not lazy or complacent about it.
My commitment to CBG extends far beyond the relationship that he and I have with one another. It also extends to our children, and its for their own good as well that he and I work to have a healthy, loving, respectful relationship. Watching us and seeing us in love, growing and learning together and working hard to keep each other happy is how they will learn to have healthy adult relationships of their own.
So that “alone time” that he and I value so much? Really isn’t so selfish after all.
Happy long weekend, everyone. May yours be filled with much laughter and love as mine will be.