Taking a break
I went away with two of my brothers to visit my mother on Manitoulin Island this past weekend, just the brothers, no families.
We didn't do much, just watched some movies, played cards, had a few beers, spent some time with my mom, visited our family on the Island. I read and reviewed a book that I hadn't yet found time for, did some editing for a friend, spent some time editing my own book, but just in a casual way. Whatever got done would be fine. Whatever didn't would wait. A real weekend away.
My wife will be going away next weekend. Her trip will involve some work as well, but she'll be heading out to Nova Scotia for a few days without the family, just time to herself. She'll probably watch fewer movies than I did and drink less beer, but she'll bring her book, spend some time exploring a new city, and have a real weekend away.
Getting away like this, even just for an evening, even just for a cup of coffee, is important. It allows parents and spouses space to reflect and rejuvenate so that they can return better able to meet the needs of their families. The problem is that time and space for these things rarely just appear in our busy schedules, so if we don't sit down and plan them in advance, in the same way that we would plan a family vacation or a couple's getaway, they don't happen.
It's worth sitting down as a family and planning these things well in advance, making sure that everyone gets the time and space they need to contribute their best to the family as a whole.