It’s the most wonderful time of year. The stores are hopping, people are shopping, and everyone telling you to “be of good cheer” … Not! Nope, not really.
You see when the Thanksgiving meal is covered in saran wrap and shoved to the depths of the fridge, people hit the stores with madness in their eyes and credit cards blazing. Crazed on bargains and the social rush to have all gifts under the tree by December first, this season is not full of good cheer.
You see my husband works for a major retailer. With a new job role this holiday season, it brought even longer hours and more stress for my normally laid-back husband. I had seen the toll it had taken on him. I looked at the hallow shell, his blank daze as I tried to talk to him about my day. I knew in my heart this was not the man I married. I knew what my husband needed.
We had planned to take a family trip to see my in-laws for the last weekend he had off before the holiday season. I was looking forward to some adult conversation after long days at home alone with the kids. I had packed all week with delight, and was ready to head out of the house for the first time in weeks.
Looking at my husband that night, looking at the bags under his eyes, looking at the cold empty eyes that looked back at me… I knew. I knew what my husband needed. He needed a weekend off.
I started to laugh out loud minute the thought had come across my mind. A weekend off, I had not been away from the kids in seven weeks. A whole weekend off… hahaha! I would give my left leg for a shower without kids banging on the door.
I did not want to be home, alone, with two kids and two dogs. I did not want to take on the task. However, this is what my husbands needed.
So, with a deep breath, and gritting my teeth I called my brother in-law. I knew he was up for the task, to kidnap my husband. To help him turn off his brain for the weekend. To help him regroup, refresh, to recharge his batteries.
At times we need to do this, we need to walk away and refresh. We need to do what is best for the family not what we want to do. So many times, the “needs” over power the “wants” of adulthood. We ‘want’ to buy new bedding for our bedroom but we ‘need’ to pay for preschool. We ‘want’ to take a romantic vacation with the hubs but we ‘need’ new car tabs. Being an adult is so much of putting what we want or desire on the back burner for what our family needs to continue working.
To my surprise it was not only a great way for my husband to refresh but also for me! I could never have imagined that a weekend home with two young kids would be relaxing. Especially since I had chosen to sleep train the youngest this weekend also. The result was surprising… no tantrums, no fighting over toys, no meltdown all weekend!
I had unplugged for the weekend. Taken the weekend off writing, social media, Netflix, and everything in-between. I had tossed my to-do list out the window and focused on fulfilling the role of two parents. To my great surprise we got more done in a weekend then I had in weeks! I had hung Christmas lights, cleaned the garage, made countless memories of one on one play time with the kids, walks with lots of conversations, late night reading of Christmas books, snuggles, and hours of big belly laughs. On Sunday night the house was clean, the laundry was done, and it was all achieved melt down free!
What I realized was sometimes we all need to slow down, take a weekend off, kidnap our self and tune out the outside world. Don’t have expectations. Don’t worry about the stress, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Take a few days to enjoy the now, you will never get these days back with your kids!
I had wanted to get the heck out of town! I wanted to be around other adults. I wanted a reason to get out of my sweat pants and explore the world outside of Target runs and my laundry room. However, what my family needed was my husband to get some rest. To my great surprise… I need this weekend off too! It amazing how just tuning out the outside world and that to-do list will change your family!