We just returned from a family beach vacation. One night my kids, now 22, 19, and 16, asked if my husband and I planned to have a night alone without them. That's a natural question on our family vacations, because in the past, we always reserved one “alone night” for mom and dad. We would either hire a babysitter from the hotel when they were little, or as they got old enough to stay alone in the room together, we’d let them rent a movie.
I’ve been married 29 years, happily, and I think part of the reason is that my husband and I always made time together a priority. Whether it was date night once a week throughout our years together, or a night alone on the family vacation, we found time for each other.
I believe this has been a wonderful example for our children. They recognize the importance for us in maintaining a strong relationship, and frankly, I think they always enjoyed their time together without the parents. As more and more of our friends are separating and divorcing, I can reflect on the value of our time together.
On this particular trip, we opted out of our night alone. Now that the kids are older, we spend less time with them on a regular basis and treasure the time we have together as a family. They have grown into wonderful, enjoyable people and we are blessed that they still want to spend time with us.
Enjoy your family all the time, but don’t forget that you need to also nurture your relationship with your spouse.