As I get ready to leave on vacation with my husband in the morning it’s got me to thinking how very very valuable I think vacations together are. I really do place a very high importance on vacations in my marriage, and in my family. Now, we are not a crazy family that vacations multiple times a year, or does some kind of massive Disney World extravaganza every year. Most years our vaca’s are pretty low key, but their importance is not diminished. Last year Matt and I just went and stayed at a friends 2nd home out in the middle of nowhere Az, and it was AMAZING. Early on in our marriage, we just went and stayed in a hotel in Dallas for a weekend. The where is less important than the why.
So, why is it so important? Because we need time as a couple to get away, time to sleep in, (have sex), time to spend more than 3 hours together that is uninterrupted. Seriously, once you have kids you hardly get time together, and more than 3 hours?…Forget it! We have to have some time to work on our marriages, laugh together, and remember why we like each other. And sometimes we need to remember! Mostly, we just don’t get to do this enough. Matt and I try to do a trip with the kids each year, but AT LEAST (sometimes more) on the big 5’s (anniversaries that is, you know..5yr, 10yr, 15yr, you get the idea) we forgo the family trip (if we must) and take a trip together, just the two of us. And I’m telling you, every time it’s like we fall in love again. It is so good for us, it is re-connection. And we have to do that, we must. We must stay connected, because the kids are temporary guests (I know you don’t want to think about it, but they are), and they will leave, and we will be the ones left together, so I better make sure it works and we like each other or the 2nd half of this life isn’t going to be near as fun. And I honestly hope that it’s even better than the first. Plus let’s face it, I’m probably going to need this man to take care of me one day, so I better be sure he really likes me. Oh, who am I kidding?…I’m so going to be the one taking care of him! But you get the idea.
The same is true for our family trips, something happens when you go away together. You are forced into the same room, the same space, forced to watch the same show on the hotel TV, you experience something things together, you laugh together, and it’s amazing. My sisters and my friends are always annoyed at me that I don’t want to do a sister trip or a best friend trip more often. It’s not that I don’t want to, oh my gosh, would I not love to do that more. But when I have limited funds and vacation time, I just can’t see forfeiting one of these meaningful moments. We have our kids for so little, we only get to be their primary family unit for a short period of time, and then it’s over. And I’m telling you, it’s not the same when you let your kids bring a friend along, you miss something, you miss the togetherness. And it doesn’t have to be an expensive vacation, stay-cations work as a great alternative, but you have to do them as if you weren’t home. Stay in the same room, watch the same things, do everything together just like you were away. We’ve done the stay-cation more than once. We only are allowed Tv if we are all watching it or playing a game on it together. Someone gets to pick what we have for dinner each night. We play board games together. We’ve even camped in the back yard together, or once, we pulled air mattresses into the living room and made a living room tent. So fun!
So, as I leave for vacation I leave you with this. Get away with your spouse, because it’s important that you like each other. And get away (or stay) with your family and enjoy some time connecting with one another.