Our lives are inseparable from our kids lives. We are all together all day, everyday. Devin visits friends on occasion now that he is older, but for the most part, if you dropped by our house, we'd all be here to greet you!
One day last week Joe and I were feeling like we would love to have a quiet, romantic dinner together.
Having 4 children, and meeting their needs as well as our own takes skill and balance. We normally have some alone time after Tiff, Ivy and Orion go to bed, but lately everyone has been staying up late.
Getting an hour to ourselves to connect sounded heavenly.
After talking to them about our need to have dinner alone, we asked them how they would feel about us going out while they stay with family. Devin was fine with it, the didn't want us to go.
I think that most people wouldn't think anything of it to drive away leaving crying kids begging them to stay. I've seen the normality of this portrayed on TV and with friends. Everyone always says, "They'll be alright... just go..." This has never felt right to us. If our kids don't want us to leave them, we respect that. We've never left them somewhere if they didn't want to be there.
So, we talked with the kids and told them that we really wanted to be alone for dinner. Tiff had the idea to watch a movie in the living room and keep an eye on Orion while we ate so we could have the time we wanted.
It worked out perfectly! We had such a nice romantic meal and because we respected the girls need for us not to leave them, they in turn respected our need to be alone for this one hour.
Respect Begets Respect
Joe and I were very grateful for the creative way that we all worked together to have our needs met. It was a very special dinner. We know that there will come a time when the kids are ready to be left alone with others joyfully. We also know that once they all move out we will have the rest of our lives for quiet dinners alone. In the meantime, we will continue respecting their needs as much as our own. This Trust between all of us is the basis of our Joyful, Connected life.