My husband came home for 3 weeks after being away for 8 months. My kids had lists of things that they wanted to do with him that couldn’t humanly be accomplished in 21 days unless he chose not to sleep or eat. I was quickly reminded of a phrase that I live by – What is fair, isn’t always equal. I had spoken to my husband ahead of time to warn him that he and I would have little time together given the needs (and wants) of our kids on his time and that there was only three weeks. We also said no to a lot of other visits and family time – I am not sure we were overly popular with this but it was the right thing to do. I think it was helpful to talk about all of this ahead of time but it was still a 3 week long juggling act!
We decided to base our time decisions around three things:
* Is it important to our kids?
* Will it happen again at a later date when we have more time?
* Will it be time well spent together and fun?
Of course, there were things we couldn’t do and wanted to but in three weeks a lot of fun was had. In the end, it was three weeks of trying to do things the kids had been dreaming of doing with their Dad in 8 long months. Of course there was a list a mile long of things we needed to get down around the house, papers signed, bills, etc. but in the end we have no regrets as our kids got the only thing they ever really want – our time. Don’t get me wrong, now that he is gone again I can often be heard muttering around the house about the things that should have been done or feel frustrated that I didn’t ask about one thing or another. There is no perfect answer to these quick breaks but I think we came close as our kids were a lot happier for it.
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