why getting away is okay (wedded wednesdays guest post)

{We need to get talking about what marriage really looks like. In that spirit, we chat about it here once a week, on Wedded Wednesdays.} 

There are many reasons why I like Courtney Buxton’s blog. Top of the list, though, is the title: A Work in Progress. It’s humbling and comforting and compelling, all at once . . . such an homage to where we were, where we are and where (through God’s grace) we are going.

Courtney writes about prioritizing marriage and getting away as a couple, without kiddos in tow. Whether we do or don’t have children of our own, this is relevant: we all face distractions and we all struggle in the face of putting first things first. But it’s a struggle well worth the fight.

wedded wednesdays image 2

I started this post at six o’clock on a Sunday morning, while my husband and two boys were still sleeping. At 6:27, my six year old appeared and asked me to read Good Night, Good Night Construction Site. I obliged, and now I’m back to this post. In the day ahead, I anticipate family breakfast, church, a trip to the grocery store, lunch, a rainy afternoon spent inside with boys bouncing off the walls, dinner, bedtime and then, maybe, a few words with my husband.

I wouldn’t change or trade any of those things, not even the inexplicably early request for a story. They simply serve to demonstrate an important point: it is hard to find alone time or couple time in a household with children.

For years, I resisted the notion that couples “should” spend time away from their children. Busy work schedules and the need for a babysitter made even the occasional date night feel like a victory when our children were small. When the boys were babies or toddlers, I didn’t want to be away from them for more than a few hours. As they got older, however, I became comfortable with the idea of an adults-only getaway. Still, the logistics seemed insurmountable.

Then one day last year my best friend called to tell me that she was engaged (not a surprise), that she wanted me to be her matron of honor (a thrill, since she was my maid of honor), and that they would be getting married in four months in Pairs. No need for parenthesis, that was a shock! A big, beautiful, scrambling, happy, panicking shock. My husband and I were “forced” to make plans to go to Paris for five days, alone. No surprise, it was one of the best things we’ve ever done.

courtney buxton paris photo

In case you are wondering (because I always wonder about the details), our boys were 3 and 5 at the time. It was the first time we’d been away from them for that long. We drove the boys to my parents’ house (5 hours away) and departed from there. We updated our wills, made sure everything important was in our safety deposit box, gave the neighbors keys, and temporarily changed our cell phone plans so that we could call or text home as much as we wanted. Everything was fine. The boys had a wonderful time with my parents, and we had a wonderful time in Paris.

This summer, my husband and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage. We will, once again, find a way to get away, just the two of us. It won’t be Paris, but it will build on what we learned in Paris: we like spending time together, we can talk about something other than work, home or parenthood, we remember how to have fun, and the children are fine. They really are fine. Also, we are fine. With practice, we can remember how to be together as people, talking, strolling, or exploring, and not just as parents co-managing busy boys. We won’t be able to get away every summer, but now I know that when we can, we should.

What do you think? Is it important to get away as a couple?

 courtney buxton headshot

Courtney is a Bible believer, a used-to-be lawyer, a Lego sorter and a mini-van driver.  She blogs about it all at A Work in Progress.

4 thoughts on “why getting away is okay (wedded wednesdays guest post)

    • Hi Lisa – Thanks for your comment. A simple date night is really magical. Often now when we do that, we say, “Remember that time in Paris?” – it was a huge treat.

  1. I don’t have children yet, but I find that it’s still important to go away with my husband. We make a point to go stay somewhere on our anniversary. It’s helpful to get away from our town, work, and every other distraction that gets in the way. Great post!

    • Thanks, Shannan! You are setting up good habits for later, if you do have children. There are so many distractions that can enter a marriage. Sometimes getting away is the best way to see them and remove them.

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