It took me a while into my parenting life to realize how important it was to take a break from it all - to refuel and recharge on a regular basis. Now, I can't imagine parenting without those moments. I surely know that I couldn't parent the way I want/try to without the moments alone. I'm so grateful for the little breaks of time that I get/take throughout the week - sneaking in a moment of quiet before dinner, a night out with friends, a Saturday solo road trip. Whatever it may be, the benefits go all the way around the family, and we all return to each other happy to be together and full of contentment.
While the kids are still so young, and the ideal childcare situation hard to come by, it's more common that we take our breaks one at a time. Which makes it all the more of a treat when we actually do make it out alone - together. Such was the case last night when, in the middle of all that needs to be done, Steve and I skipped town for a dinner on Peaks Island. From the ferry, as we watched the small distance between us and the mainland grow, I could feel my breath slowing, and my energy returning. I was perfectly clear that these little breaks, and moments alone - despite the challenges of time, money, and logistics - are so essential to family life.
Everything about it feels good - feeling like a partner/lover/friend instead of just a co-parent, quiet moments (oh, the quiet!) to see/hear/say things there normally isn't an opportunity to do with three little hands to hold, and then at the end of it all...with all five of us feeling a little bit more 'full' in some way, coming back together in peace. Ah, perfectly small moments of Balance.