Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Needing Breaks

We have a rich, full life. And on so many levels it is an intense life. Braydon and I are up at 6am and we are going, going, going until we drop into our bed, exhausted, around midnight. The sleep that we get is usually interrupted-sleep, with Meera's continued insistence on a bottle in the night (and our absolute insistence on not doing what we'd need to do to break this habit), Owen's regular appearance in our bed, Kyle's early-rising, and our crazy cat's determination to wake us up to go outside each and every single night. This all amounts to very little sleep. Our days are jam-packed with our work (we both work really hard at work), our kids (we both work really hard at parenting), our 'second shift' (we both work really hard at managing the household: cooking, cleaning, lunch-packing, laundry, home projects, errands, the list is endless as anyone who manages an active home/family well knows), our 'third shift' (we both work, on most nights, from about 9pm-11 or 12pm). What little is left is devoted to our semi-pathetic social life and this little bitty blog and whatever volunteer projects we can cram in (lately, a pretty big project we're both working on with our boys' school). Our days are long and involved. We feel it. Our kids feel it. It is a crazy pace that we keep. We have come to understand ourselves as needing breaks to bond. We need to be alone, just the five of us. We need to be away, from the craziness and intensity that is our regular life. We need to be adventurous, to remind ourselves of who we really are -- outside of the 'normalcy' (as wacky as our 'normal' often is) and the grinding routine that is at home. We need to explore, to see first-hand how big the whole world really is. We need to have fun, together, experiencing things as a unit, and re-grouping. And, perhaps most important of all, Braydon and I need these getaways for rejuvenation, each of us independently, and both of us together as a partnership. We need it to keep going. We need it in order to recuperate from time-to-time. And we need to have solid chunks of uninterrupted quality time with our kids. Time with no school and no childcare and no birthday parties to attend or errands to run. We have made our travels a very top priority in our family life. Not because we're into collecting experiences, but rather because we need breaks in the pressure in order to keep thriving. This is a formula that we know now. We're investing heavily in it. And we're heavily invested in continuing it as long as humanly possible. Going into this Chesapeake Bay trip we knew what we needed to get out of it. And driving home, we knew it was everything that we had hoped it would be. We came back refreshed and renewed and energized. And, most importantly, we came back re-cemented as a solid-rock family.


Chatter said...

So glad to hear that! You guys know what works for you and you make it happen. Perfect! And I honestly don't think there is anything better than family vacations for memories and good ole quality time.

lff said...

I so relate to that feeling of go-go-go and love that you are committed to taking real breaks from it all together. I aspire to bring more mini-vacations to our family life as well.