The monsters have gone back to school and parents all over the country are breathing a sigh of relief. For those that have to arrange childcare, the state is now taking care of that once again. And those which are at home now have their few hours of respite returned.
I myself join you in these short-lived celebrations. Even though I adore spending time with the little ones, the past week and a bit has left me pulling my beard out.
It started on the first day. Our youngest two have taken to competing over who gets the prime position in the front room. That being the seat closest the plug socket. Meaning they can sit and fester watching other kids play with toys whist their devices charge. You just try convincing them that a battery level beneath 30 percent does not mean that the world will end.
But in all honesty, what got me about that, in particular, was that it’s my bloody seat. And I wanted it back.
It’s all fun
The day trips out were brilliant, some really great memories made. Even the normally cold and miserable February weather was kind to us. Although the walk back from the park on Sunday, somehow became to, the children at least. Part critique of mine and thunderti*s’s parenting skills but mostly a way of making a sunny fifteen-minute stroll seem like completing a marathon.
The best was saved till last, however. On the morning of the last day, I woke. It was a beautiful morning and I lay with my thoughts for a few seconds before. Until it went wrong when I decided to answer the call of the coffee pot and the bed sheet rose with me. There was chewing gum in my bed. This kinda sh*t is just never going to be cool.
The effect this had on me was somewhat compounded by the fact that it is winter. And due to the fact that we are now in the stage of our relationship that it sometimes is ok the let grooming habits slip a little. Well, let me just end on that topic by saying my lady’s bear now has a bald spot. On his back.
The youngest two kids are with their other parents for the evening. And yet despite the fact that half term breaks are lovely, apart from the children bit. I bloody miss them already. The moment the youngest was dropped off and she asked when she was coming home during our farewells I could have happily took her then and there. I must be some kind of sadist I tell you.
The decision was made for me, however. If we weren’t leaving them with their other parents it would have been a case of working down the pre-approved eco-vegan babysitter’s list. We are out for a meal this evening. The boy and his partner are going traveling for a few months. To the horror and emotional turmoil of my better half however, that is another story. So a midweek banquet and drinks are of course in order.
Even if that wasn’t the case, however, I would have refrained from bringing them home. There a few reasons I have for this, firstly being the fact that the children’s respective other parents are important and so is their time with them.
Secondly, our time as a couple is important too. Tonight and at other such times, we can be adults. We don’t have to have the kids bathed, fed and homeworked by eight. Then school clothes pressed and them in the land of nod thirty minutes later. All so that we can slump in a heap for an hour of solitude before we drag our carcasses up ourselves. Only to do groundhog day again tomorrow.
But most importantly we can act like kids, we can eat crap food, watch movies and stay up late. And we have also been known to get dressed up. Try and smell of perfume and aftershave instead of the faint aroma of play-doh, and hit the bars and pubs with a vehemency I hope my mother never sees.
I don’t even feel selfish about this. Not one iota in fact. Our kids are well cared for. They are well rounded intelligent individuals who are not afraid to express their thoughts and feelings. The most important Part for me though they are happy.
And although we both do find great happiness and comfort in their company. It is also necessary at times to remind ourselves that we are in fact more than just parents. I truly believe that the time we spend just recharging and reconnecting with each other leads us to become better parents.
By the time we pick them up, I’m not only a lot calmer and stress-free but really quite anxious to see the little monsters. I’m more engaged and more interactive with them because of this. I know the same can be said for Thunder too. It’s amazing what twenty-four hours in good company can do eh?
The juicy bit
My favourite part of a break from daddy duties however is. (of course after being a better parent and not losing my sanity utterly) the effect that time alone as two consenting adults will have on anyone’s personal life.
In short as seedy as it sounds, it keeps the romance in. Not only in our relationship but alive and kicking too. It helps us to feel valued and worthy.
Surprisingly not because we have gone out or stayed in with some nice music and a drink or three. But because we feel like individuals. We have lower levels of stress. And the sometimes many resentments that can build up over time when you barely have time to use the toilet in peace let alone take a bath, are washed away. As I’m sure it is to many its a way to hit the reset button every once in a while. So to answer the title of this post, if you’ve ticked all the boxes, not one bit.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.