Work Life Balance

Sex, Love, & Applesauce: Never Underestimate The Importance Of A ‘Hall Pass’

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Yet another benefit of getting out of dodge once in a while: the partner who stays home gets one-on-one time with the kids that is a world apart from the everyday, even for the primary caregiver.

When I headed out of town for 48 hours that first time I knew things would be different when I returned, but I had no idea how major the change would be. Our daughter had never been alone with her dad for that long and she frickin’ loved it! Their bond changed for the better and forever that weekend. I saw the very same thing happen a few months ago when I left both of our children with my husband for three days. Everyone was alive, fed, clothed, happy and sharing new inside jokes when I got back. It was as if our kids developed a deeper love for their dad when they realized that he could indeed provide them with everything they need. Provide for them in ways that mom never really does. They have always loved him just for being their dad, but now it’s like they love him for who he is, too, because they really got to know him.

It’s not that they didn’t know him before their solo-dad weekend, but the intensity of their time together was different for those few days. Kids are smart, man. They know the difference.

So then I get to see my husband through my children’s eyes and the circle of benefits from the hall pass just keeps on going. Even without offspring in the picture, there are lots of reasons that two people who love each other should spend some time apart. It may sound counterintuitive, but I promise you that getting away from each other is the best opportunity there is to remember just how much you want to be together.

It’s the whole absence, fond heart thing. If you’re off relaxing at a spa knowing that your partner is at home dealing with bath time and diapers and laundry, your love and gratitude for that person can only grow.

There just aren’t that many gifts we can give to one another as parents that will make as big an impact as the hall pass. Like it or not, a part of us stays in adolescence forever and that little punk will be so stoked to get out of jail for free – no matter how temporary the foray. And the adult in all of us could soooooo use a morning in bed.


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