Want to Get Away?

Taking time off, and specifically a vacation, is an important part of a happy home. I just came back from an amazing trip with my husband and children where we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Being away from home in a vacation mode for a couple of weeks gave us all a refreshing taste of life and enriched our relationships as a couple and a family. Before leaving, I was a little stressed with so many things on my mind. Now I feel so grateful I had some special time with my husband. Leon, my husband has always been a big advocate for trips, even if they were short or to a nearby location. He just loves spending time alone as a couple. Although our recent trips have been family trips, Leon and I have enjoyed getting away as a couple without the children. The first time I went on a romantic vacation with my husband, my son was around three years old. We asked my mom to come and stay with my son for a few days. I was a little nervous to leave him. We went to Boston to a work conference and had an amazing time! After that first trip, we’ve made a habit of planning trips for the two of us.

Sometimes, couples think they don’t have the time or the money for vacations. I encourage you to set aside time, save money, and get away. Vacations don’t have to be expensive. You can be very creative and make the best of it wherever you go. Here are a few reasons why you need to get away.

Vacations are about creating memories. Minimize your expectations, but make sure you plan activities that fit into your family's culture. There are people that love doing as much as possible and others that don’t want to do much at all. You have to learn to compromise and plan special activities that involve your spouse or the whole family. Do a little planning so that everyone is happy. My husband loves to relax when he vacations, whereas I love to see the sights. This means we have to compromise when it comes to activities. Planning family vacations can be tricky. Some kids are happy when watching TV and lounging by the pool, but others want to do constant activities.

Vacations help families rediscover each other. It's easy to become distant from those whom you live with on a daily basis. Part of the thrill of going on trips together involves the adventure of trying new and exciting activities. I cannot tell you how many times my husband and I have gotten lost on our vacations. When you’re in a foreign country it happens. Thank God for GPS! On the flip side, studies show that people get closer when they experience challenges together. It seems to me, we are always rediscovering ways to get along better on our trips.

Relax. Vacations give us the opportunity to rest, take naps together, read books, and eat out. Treat yourself--it’s okay. Some couples I know have chosen marriage conferences or retreats as vacation spots. Some think camping is a great vacation. Find out what works for you as a couple. Just make sure you get the rest you need so you’re not more stressed after your vacation than you were before you left.

Vacations allow you to realize that the world will go on without you. For moms, children are always on our minds. We need to know that our kids are going to be okay without us for a few days. For people that cannot stop thinking about work, they need to leave work behind for those days and truly enjoy the vacation. Turn off the cellphones. Leave the computer behind. Free yourself from the snares of the world that burden you. Your job will always be there when you return.