Life presented us with an opportunity to get away for a bit, and we jumped on it. My wonderful in-laws were able to come stay with the kids so my husband, mom and I decided to take a quick trip to Portugal and Spain! I’ve never left my babies for this long so the anticipation tugged on my heart with a bit of force.
A girlfriend was telling me about using pill cases to “hide” treats in during trips so I thought about using this idea in reverse. In order for them to see a visual of when mama and daddy will be back, they get to open one “day” each day and enjoy a little treat. Keener scored with Easter candy — chocolate eggs and Starburst jelly beans — while Grace got an adorable hedgehog butter cookie from Trader Joe’s. In general, I limit their sugar intake but mom and dad being away felt like an exception!
I’m all about visuals so I thought that by seeing how many days of candy they have left would serve as a concrete picture of when we will return. I also wanted to pair us being away with positive and delicious associations. As the woman next to me on the plane said, her 4 year old son now asks her to stay away longer because his grandparents spoil her son so much.
Since we’ve been gone every child I see genuinely makes my heart feel a bit heavy. But I also know my kids are in the best hands in my absence. The voices in my head between chaos and rigidity are present but I’m doing everything I can to keep myself floating down the center of the river and enjoy this gift of time away.
Next week I will resume sharing about how the brain impacts our parenting. I just started reading Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryon’s other book, The Yes Brain – “How to cultivate courage, curiosity, and resilience in your child.” Looking forward to sharing this as well. For now, a few pictures from our trip!