Take the Time

A Weekend Getaway Guide for Couples

by jan udlock

Sally heard the squeals of her young children as she entered her front door and was seized by her three-year-old and five-year-old. “Mommy, I mist you,” reported her daughter. Married seven years, Sally and her husband, Dean, had just returned from a night away from the kids, happier and closer as a couple.

Many couples get caught up in the day-to-day care of their family, outside chores, and a myriad of other commitments which frequently leaves no energy to give to one another. “A parenting team that is never given the chance to revitalize their relationship with get-away time is operating in an atmosphere of deprivation; deprivation is a spawning ground for resentment,” says Marty Babits, LCSW, BCD, author of The Power of the Middle Ground: A Couples Guide to Renewing Your Relationship.

Parents and partners need time away from their children to nurture their relationship. However, parents often give excuses why they cannot be apart from their family. “For some parents there always seems to be some crucial activity going on that prevents them from stepping away from their children; for these parents, it is never the right time for a getaway,” says Babits. As a couple, you and your spouse need to take the time to cultivate your relationship. What better idea to encourage your marriage than to get away for the weekend!

Arranging Childcare

See if Grandma and Grandpa can watch the kids for an overnight trip. This gives the children an opportunity to get closer to their grandparents, and a time for parents to get closer to one another. If you do not have any family members living near you, try to find a close family friend who could trade an overnight babysitting job. Adult older siblings work well as babysitters if the overnight date is arranged well in advance.

Deciding Where to Go

With childcare taken care of, you can discuss where you and your partner would like to go. Make this a fun, intimate time! Put the kids to bed and snuggle together while looking for get-away locations. Is the beach the destination or the mountains? If one parent wants one locale and the other one wants a different one, compromise and pick a place. For the next getaway, the other partner can pick.

A bed and breakfast inn is a romantic choice and can be easily checked out on the internet. An attractive benefit of B&Bs is that a full breakfast is included in the daily rate. You can view pictures of the rooms on the internet along with the other available amenities. Check into local motels and hotels in the area. The hotel and motel sites on the internet list the walking distance of shops and restaurants. Many of these sites offer travel tips too, to make your stay more comfortable and relaxing.

Review Details

After reservations are made, sit down and discuss with your in-laws or parents details about babysitting and make sure that the departure and arrival times are clear. Often confronting possible anxiety about being away helps clear up your concerns. Make a list of emergency phone numbers and your children’s schedules to give to grandparents. Talk with your children about how much fun it will be to have a sleep-over at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house.

With the current economy, the financial excuse is a reasonable concern but not all getaways have to be expensive. “Getaways and other ways of paying attention to the romantic and emotional side of a couple’s relationship are crucial to maintaining good communication,” says Babits. Couples can make a weekly date out for coffee or long walks or hikes. Make your date with your spouse a routine in your family’s life.

A baby-sitter can be hired to watch the children for a few hours for the cost of weekly lunches out. It is a matter of priority. “It is important for parents to have one-on-one time to look forward to, something on the horizon that is planned, if not every week, perhaps every other week,” says Babits. Modeling the importance of the parental relationship provides security to your children.

No matter where couples go, it is important for them to focus on one another and connect once again. It may surprise parents how happy their children can be spending time with grandparents or at a sleepover at a friend’s house. The benefits from a get-away, no matter how close or far, are immeasurable.  SFM

Jan Udlock, Mother of 5, is a freelance writer and just got back from a get-away with her hubby. She had to write this article to encourage couples to do the same.