… from the bungalow

Take Some Time


With all three of our boys out of the house for a little while (see Losing My Kids for the Summer and Once, Twice, Three Times a Douche-Bag), Karin and I have had some time to reconnect and do the things we want to do. We all need to find ways to recharge. But it wasn’t easy at first.

Isn’t it funny how we, as parents, long for time alone with our partner or just to ourselves, and as soon as we get it, we don’t know what in the hell to do with it? We spend all our time responding to the basic needs of our kids, and have long given up on the idea of being able to do anything that didn’t involve an hour-long, prepare-to-load-up-and-head-out trip to the grocery store or some similarly would-be routine expedition.

Last week we found ourselves staring blankly at each other, shrugging our shoulders with a “me no know” look on our faces. It really didn’t come to us until we agreed not to worry about any plans. There are some things we’d like to get done around the house while they’re away just because it’s so much easier: painting, landscaping, etc. We’re also planning a short trip to Chicago to visit friends and go to the Art Institute. (And yes, I’ll be listening to “Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want” while having my mind blown by Georges Seurat.)

Cameron-Georges Seurat

If people look at me deeply enough, will they see anything at all?

But once we let go of timelines and what we “should” be doing (I hate shoulding on myself, don’t you?), we were able to relax and think of some things to do. We’ve got a few days left, and we’ve had some amazing time together already. What we did isn’t really important. It’s the focused attention that matters. We’re not constantly being pulled in different directions. For example, whereas 90% of dinner time is usually spent getting a kid to not fall out of his chair long enough to actually eat something, this past week, we were able to just


Chris & Karin @ Houghton LakeI know it’s difficult. We rarely have a chance to go out. It’s only because our kids are all with their other parents that we’ve been able to relax to an appreciable extent. As much as we love our kids, we need this time. Disconnected partners make ineffective parents. So may this serve as a reminder to myself and to you to take some time for yourself. Take some time to relax and recharge. Take some time to be with your partner without expectation. Take some time to be.

Just be.

~ Chris

What are some of the ways you relax and recharge? Oh, and I’d love for you to join the discussion on Facebook, and don’t forget to vote for me on Blogger Idol every Wednesday and Thursday! Thanks.


Author: Chris

Introspection to a fault. College administrator, parent, soapmaker.

10 thoughts on “Take Some Time

  1. Love it, baby. One minor detail though, the Field Museum is the natural history museum. The painting you’re referring to is at the Art Institute of Chicago, I believe. 🙂

  2. To be or so often right now, not to be. I haven’t had alone time with my wife in at least six months. As much as you love your kids ENJOY this time

  3. Oh, goodness, do I ever need this reminder. I think I ought forward it to Ba.D. Sitting side-by-side lost in our own separate worlds (in the shape of laptops) doesn’t constitute the couple time we need to remember that we’re not just Li’l D’s parents but partners as well. I feel like that gets lost much . . . well, almost all the time.

    I’m glad you guys have gotten this time. I hope the remainder is sweet and sustaining!

  4. Yes….enjoy. I had the past 2 days just for me and. Was s productive and relaxed. My wife noticed when she came home from work too. But we haven’t had time without the peanut in ages.

    On a separate note…you look a little like Michael Madsen in that picture (I watched part of The Getaway one of these two days).

    • Haha, thanks, I think. Glad you got some time to yourself. At the beginning of this break, I had a few days of an empty house while Karin visited her parents. It was mostly awesome to have some “completely alone” time; the hard part was going to bed alone. But then I took the four-point position (hands and feet in corners) on the bed and it was awesome again.

  5. C is great about getting me out of my rut when I just want to stay home and sleep – we go out and just drive around, chatting a little. Sometimes we go to the mall and just walk around, sometimes it’s to WalMart. We also have a great morning conversation on the way to work after we drop CJ off – I don’t even know what we talk about… but yes, it’s hard for me to think of things to do – C says, “so whaddya wanna do?” Which really means “I want to do something but you have to guess” hehehe… worse than a woman, I tell ya. (grins)
    Ok that’s another subject…

    • It’s good to have a partner who understands what we need. And you get to ride to work together? I don’t know if that would be a blessing or a curse for us, but it sounds like you enjoy that time. Excellent!

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