Culture & Lifestyle / Leave The Kids At Home – Guilt Free

Leave The Kids At Home – Guilt Free

Culture & Lifestyle Jan 21, 2015

Everything Changes When You Become A Parent, But That Doesn't Mean Other Important Things Stop Mattering, Like Alone Time With Your Partner.

 

The joys of inherited family guilt. As Aneesa Shariff of the University of British Columbia writes, "The South Asian culture is one in which family obligation and loyalty, as well as self- sacrifice are paramount." So, maybe more old school parents may think a night out sans children is selfish or wrong, but we know it is healty and not only right, but needed.

Of course family is important, but so is keeping your sanity. And speaking of family, let your children spend some alone time from their grandparents, aunts, and uncles. They'll become more socially well rounded because of it. 

 
“A regular date night is critical for any marriage,” parenting expert and author Elizabeth Pantley tells Canadian Family. Date nights can be a dinner out or even a weekend away. However, the idea of leaving the kids behind leaves some parents anxious and guilt-ridden. So, understand the benefits for your children. “When young people have the opportunity to develop strong bonds with people other than their parents, they become more well rounded, better able to adapt, and they’re exposed to new ways of thinking and new ways of doing things,” writes Shelly Birger Phillips in Awake Parent.
 
Knowing these benefits, it can still be tricky. But practice makes perfect. My first extended time away from the little one, I went to New York City with my partner for a week. I cried the night before we left. When I returned home, not only was I refreshed, with some great memories, but my daughter had fun too! We both had time to miss each other, and we both had new things to talk about. And most importantly, I was recharged and able to properly take care of my daughter. I had more of a fun trip than a guilt trip.
 
It's true when people say you can’t properly care for anyone if you don’t properly care for yourself. Ease any worries ahead of time by planning and prepping caregivers with things like important phone numbers and bedtime routines.
 
If your child is feeling a little anxious away from you, play this little game. Get a jar, and every time you return from time away, put a coin in the jar. As the jar fills up, your young'un will see that you always come back, and this will create an even stronger bond.
 
As one Calgary’s Child article suggests, phone home wisely. Use your judgement. Will speaking with your child get them upset all over? Can you feel at ease by just speaking with the caregiver when checking in? Use your best judgement for the sake of not just your child, but also yourself. 
 
How do you feel when getting some couple’s time away from the kids? Or what are you planning for your first kid-free night out? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature image source LA First Dates

Hillary Di Menna

Hillary Di Menna

Author

Hillary Di Menna is a freelance journalist who manages to publish her scribblings while raising a six-year-old skateboarding ballerina and sharing her home with two snuggly black cats. Her parenting blog, Misfit Matriarch, follow her adventures in parenting. You can find all her work at

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