Friday, June 21, 2013

The best thing I've ever done for my kids

The best thing I've ever done for my kids is to get away from them a whole week.

My wife and I recently went on a week-long holiday—kid-free! Other than a weekend marriage encounter when we only had one child, this is the first time we've gotten away, just the two of us. Celebrating 15 years of marriage is a pretty good excuse to get away and recharge our parenting batteries.

Enjoying our Lighthouse Picnic in Ferryland, NL

We are truly blessed to have had the chance to focus on our marriage without the distractions of everyday life, without four fighting and screaming small people, without running to swimming lessons and soccer practices, without work, without grocery shopping, without mountains of laundry, without cooking and cleaning. It did our relationship a world of good.

We got to talk about something other than dirty diapers, homework struggles, frustrations at work, who didn't eat their peas—again, why someone had TV taken away—again, and all those other mundane things that consume parents. We even had the stamina to stay out past 10 pm. On more than one occasion!

It's no secret parenting is hard work and can be tiring. OK, exhausting at times. It's truly a 24/7 job, and it's one we do joyfully—in theory if not in practice all the time. So it makes sense that to do it well, to live one's vocation as spouse and parent, focusing on the marriage part is essential. And to be able to focus on that uninterrupted is a good thing. It's a great thing.

Jesus spoke about building on a solid foundation (cf Mat 7:24), and the solid foundation on which good parenting is built is marriage. We're refreshed and ready to help our little ones grow and reach their inherent God-given potential. We're ready to do it with renewed energy and enthusiasm. We're ready to  live our vocation and grow in holiness each and every day. We're ready for bed at 10 pm again.

What are some ways you focus on your marriage and recharge your parenting batteries?

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