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Schedule a Time for Your Wife to Get Away

Jeremy:
We want to give you guys really practical tips and hacks and tools from time to time and one of the things that you might want to consider, that you probably would not volunteer to do if we didn’t encourage you, is to go ahead and give your wife a weekend away. There’s a double blessing you can get.

This is a good idea. There’s two things that you can get if you go ahead and schedule a time for your wife to get away. There’s the obvious benefit that she’s going to enjoy, which is she gets away, which if she bears a lot of the parenting responsibility, if you have really little kids and there’s a lot of stress during a season, then this could be really rejuvenating for her. The other thing though that you get is you get to spend a couple of days with your kids and dealing with a 100% of the complexity, a 100% of the work, and you can kind of really lean in and try to figure out, are there new systems? What’s really going on with your kids? You can get kind of creative.

I have seen a lot of dads be really surprised by when they actually knew they had 48 hours, they had to just alone care for the kids, what they would come up with, the kinds of things they would try. It usually had two really great impacts on the dad. One is that he tended to have a ton more empathy for his wife and really what it takes to run the household if she has these kinds of similar multiple days of parenting on her own. The second thing oftentimes is that he comes up with a lot of ideas about how to craft the family culture, things that he might want to try, things he might want encourage or say, “Hey, I tried this. Have you ever tried that?” His creative energies are really focused on the parenting scenario you guys are in during that 48 hours. I’d highly encourage you guys to really enjoy the double blessing of what it would look like to give your wife a whole weekend away. But what are your thoughts, Jeff?

Jeff:
Yeah, and I would say what me and Alyssa do a mini version of this every week where she, we try to give her at least a pretty significant chunk of one day a week to just get away, to go for a walk, to journal, to think, that’s not her trying to do it in the fringe time where she’d already have a break, like a nap or whatever. And not every person can do that or every family schedule can do that, but it’s a high priority. We try to move things around to do it. And the reason that there’s, I think, sacrificial reasons for that in the sense of me trying to be a good husband, hopefully, and lead and serve and sacrifice. But there is also selfish reasons where we’ve just noticed practically speaking, when she does that we do better.

It’s just like, it’s very simple. When she gets away and when she’s able to fill the tank because at the end of the day a lot of us don’t realize this, but post industrial revolution, you got about three or four pretty significant moments over the last 200 years that have kind of changed the dynamic of family just a smidge and taken a little bit more left turn or a little bit more right turn in some direction and each time that dynamic has changed over the last 150, 200 years in my opinion, it’s always compounded the work more on the mother. Meaning the mom has brunted the actual practical and just the burden of just raising and taking care of and leading the family. And so that’s that’s compound interest at this point of compounding the burden. And so I don’t think a lot of us realize in the American model, just the moms and wives are just getting pounded really of just with exhaustion, burnout, just it’s enormously difficult in our system to not have them just be running on empty the whole time.

I think you have to then try to escape that first of all, notice that, see the problem and then say, “Hey, we’re not going to buy into that lie or that that thing.” Whether that’s moving next to family for help, whether that’s the dad doing a little bit different system, whatever that is. But I think one of those things though that’s helpful for us is we’ve noticed that so then we stepped into her feeling like she can actually get away and have a little more of a break. And so yeah, so it’s selfish, but there actually, we’ve just realized I fight for that now in our schedule because it just actually comes back as better for me. She’s just, and she would say this, that, kinder and gentler and like all of us are, when we actually feel like we’re not running on empty.

And so I just think not only sacrificially, but be okay, even with the selfish reasons of your home will probably just go better and it’ll go well for you if everyone in the family is being their emotional levels of fullness and spiritual fullness are actually being watched, catered to, and administered to, and so that’s what I would say.

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