Our family is on vacation this week so I’m featuring a guest post by Angie Reedy, a mom of two little ones.

Her post perfectly fits the summer challenge I made several weeks ago encouraging us all to do a getaway with our husband of at least 24 hours without the kids sometime this summer. I first posted about practical ideas for making a getaway happen HERE. Then I announced my summer giveaway of the Simply Romantic Nights (SRN) Package HERE. Anyone who does a getaway with their spouse this summer will be entered into the giveaway to win a Is There Really Sex After Kids? book, a package of marriage love notes, and a SRN box of 20 themed date nights! It’s a package meant to put the sizzle back in your marriage.

Enjoy Angie’s post today and then put a date on the calendar to do something with your husband…just the two of you!

We drove to the airport without car seats in the back. When we checked in, I bypassed the screen referring to kids. At boarding time, my husband and I stayed in our seats after the announcement for parents with small children to board the airplane.

At each reminder that we didn’t have kids traveling with us, I asked my husband to reassure me that I was not a terrible mother.

For this, our first extended time away from our kids we not only left them behind for a few days but traveled to the other side of the country for a week! Imagine my guilt in wondering if I was doing the right thing.

But I knew I did the right thing. For years, I’ve heard wise advice emphasizing the importance of carving space for my marriage even and especially during the early parenting years when it seems most counterintuitive.

I wondered if my “babies” would survive the week without their mama but they were in good hands so I sat on that airplane looking forward to time in the California sun celebrating my husband’s important career accomplishment.

Leaving kids behind is never easy, but here are some of the things that should make the time away a little more enjoyable for everyone.

• Begin talking with kids weeks ahead of time about the separation. When the day comes, nobody should be surprised.

• Finding a trusted care provider ranks at the top of the list of mind easing preparations.

• Equip the babysitter with more than enough information. Leave a medical release form, doctor contact information along with documentation of any special medical needs.

• Outline on paper a typical daily schedule so routines can continue as normally as possible. Include information about appropriate discipline measures the babysitter can apply if necessary.

• Don’t forget the stuffed animal or toy that will tangibly remind each child of home.

• Determine the amount of contact that will be best for your children. For some, hearing mommy’s voice everyday may be comforting but for others the constant reminder of who they are missing could be more upsetting.

Most importantly, relax and enjoy the time away. You are doing the right thing.

Angie Reedy lives in central Illinois with her husband and two children. She delights in finding evidences of God’s extraordinary greatness in the ordinary happenings of life and blogs about them at www.realreedy.blogspot.com.

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