Plan Your Marriage Mini-moon

the northern

Every parent deserves some time away. Every child needs to know their parents are people too. It’s a win-win, so pack your bags. Or, if you have a preschooler, pack your bag. You probably won’t be gone long enough to need more than one.
 
Parents can have playdates too—and should. You probably spent a good bit of time planning your honeymoon. Now, it’s time to exert a little effort planning a marriage mini-moon. The planning will be an effort, but the effort is worth it.
 
No parent should attend every soccer game, football game, or every anything. It’s healthy for your child to know that Mom and Dad put one another first sometimes. We teach them that parents are an equal part of the family equation, and most children need to be taught that lesson. Thinking of Mom and Dad as people doesn’t typically come naturally.
 
So, where do you want to go? Maybe you are lucky and can afford a night or two at a fancy resort. But if money is tight, a mini-moon is still possible. It just takes a little planning.
 
First, what can you afford?
 
It won’t be very fun if you put the whole thing on a charge card and pay it off for the next year. That trip might have some marriage moments, but the overall impact will probably create some other moments too. Most hotels will give you a room when you arrive, so try checking in early. Most hotels will extend your stay if you ask them nicely, so try adding a few more hours to the one-time room charge.
 
One night is a great mini-moon, especially if you have littles. And if you can’t afford one night, then plan a mini-moon at home. Hide the toys, shut the doors to their rooms, bring food in, light some candles, and treat your home like it was a hotel. The point is time off more than time away.
 
Second, what about childcare?
 
Hopefully, Grandma and Grandpa can help, but if not, you can still find a way. Is there a friend who would love a mini-moon too? See if you can each pick a weekend, put it on the calendar, and give one another the chance to get away. Hint: don’t choose back-to-back weekends. The kids will probably do better with a little space in between. Kids will learn that other families do things a little differently and probably appreciate their own home a little more when they get back.
 
Third, plan the day(s) away.
 
Do things you would never do if the kids were with you. Enjoy a museum, a movie, or a meltdown-free trip to the mall. Sleep in or take a nap—enjoy the fact that you wake up in the morning with your spouse, not your spouse and your four-year-old. I’ll let all of you fill in the rest of the ideas for your time away.
 
Finally, plan to put your spouse first for the entire time.
 
Don’t worry, don’t check in with the kids, and don’t let them check in with you unless something is wrong. Put Mom and Dad first for a day or two and you will be happier putting the kids first until the next mini-moon rolls around. Your kids will ask, “Why did you leave us?” Without an ounce of remorse, look at them and say, “Because resting makes me a better mom and a better wife” or “Because I want to be a good dad and a good husband.”
 
A warning: Your older kids will catch on around the middle school years and might ask you some interesting questions about your time away. Those conversations need to happen anyway, so just think of it as a teaching time and keep taking those mini-moons. Truthfully, time off is always important, especially when the kids get older. The toughest years to get away are the years your children are just starting to drive. I suggest a hotel room about ten miles away for that period of your life!
 
Teaching your children to be happily married is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. You will have them for about twenty years. Their spouse will have them for seventy. What will matter most: Mom and Dad came to every soccer game? Or, Mom and Dad taught me how to build and maintain a happy marriage?
 
There… you now have permission, even encouragement, to abandon those kids for a day or two and enjoy the fact God gave you a spouse to love and cherish too. Start planning for your mini-moon. You deserve it!