Quality Time

by Heligirl on September 3, 2010

in Beyond Mommyhood,Relationships

There’s a treat at the end of this post…

I’m a big believer in quality time for couples, especially when you have kids. A strong relationship and marriage is the foundation of the family, and without it, just like a house, everything will crumble. This has really been hitting home as some of my friends as well as blog buddies have recently announced their intentions to divorce. Suddenly I realized quality time with my hubby should never be optional. While that’s not the reason for all divorces, for us, I realized taking the time is something I could do to keep us strong.

It’s so very hard to make quality time when you have kids. Even harder when they’re young kids that demand every moment of your attention. Hubby and I will fall on our lips at the end of the day many times, with no energy to talk let alone focus.

But we’ve recognized that we’ve not been spending that time together as much as we used to and are taking steps to bring dates back into our lives, because, without it, we’re failing in a lot of places.

For instance, I talk a lot about positive discipline for the kids. This isn’t a discipline technique you can do shooting from the hip. It takes a lot of work, thought and training. When you’re tired, frustrated, disconnected from your spouse and feeling downright frazzled, the natural way to respond to your kids will, 99 percent of the time, be way outside the definition of positive discipline. I speak from experience. So as a part of our parenting we decided we were going to treat quality time together as just as important as family meals at table, encouraging rather than praising, teaching rather than punishing, and instilling significance and purpose in our children.

Our trip to Sedona last weekend was one of those quality times. I’ve had lots of people asking how it went, so here you go, most of the details. Some were left out because this is a G-rated blog, you know.

We rolled into Sedona at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday (after a 4 a.m. wakeup call, flight and 2.5 hour drive).

My coworkers suggested I hit the grocery store and stock up on the necessities (alcohol, snacks and breakfast stuff) since the resort was rather excluded and, as such, was not stingy on the exorbitance of their restaurant prices. Good advice, by the way.

Once we got to the resort, we were floored. We took a long road that turned into another long road and ended at a guard shack at the entrance to a red rock box canyon. Everything beyond that shack was the Enchantment Resort. I checked my phone – no cell service. We were on our own and after I got over the initial panic I couldn’t reach my kids, I was relieved.

We were a bit early so we waited for our room on the patio overlooking the stunning scenery and enjoying prickly pear margaritas. The property is set up with little casitas that house four rooms each. There is a lot of foliage and trees so looking out, even from the second story veranda, you can’t really tell how many casitas are out there. Peaceful and quiet.

The bellman came to get us and drove us in a golf cart out to our casita. Our room, on the end, was huge. More like a studio apartment with a bathroom the size of a dorm room, complete with jetted tub.

We got comfortable then headed out to explore. There were several pools, tennis courts, a croquet court, putting range and a full-service spa. We had access and use of it all. The spa was minimalistic in architecture, but very, very quiet with a warm indoor pool, cooler outdoor pool, hot tub, meditation room, and lounges complete with sauna, steam room, hot tub and all the toiletrees you’d ever need.

We had a nice wonder around the property, tasty dinner and then hit the hot tub at the spa to watch every star in the sky come out. Seriously, there was no ambient light and the Milky Way was so bright it almost cast a shadow.

During our stay we took a hike near the hotel, visited the local sites in town, did a little shopping (t-shirts for the kids), attended an evening star watch with an astronomer who brought a huge telescope (I saw a super nova, Jupiter and billions and billions of stars), and spent a lot of time by the pool. I read a whole book. We talked, laughed, fooled around, enjoyed quiet silence and slept in together. We talked about the kids a bit, but tried to stay more focused on us – future plans, expectations, dreams, you name it. There was a lot of “no, where do you want to go” as we tried to decide what to do next.

When we left on vacation Hubby was short tempered, cutting me off and snapping at me. As we were driving back to the airport the last day we were chatting away and he was 100 times more relaxed, as was I. Mission accomplished.

We had this vacation because we were given the two-night stay at this fantastic resort and we work for airlines were we can jump on a plane when there are open seats. If we didn’t have either, we’d have driven up into the mountains, or over to the peninsula, far enough to be away from home, but close enough to be affordable. The important thing is we took the time to be together. It’s not an option. It’s a requirement as important as paying the bills.

If you made it this far, here is a little treat. We were goofing off and made this comic tour of our room at the resort:


Audra September 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm

You are so right – that hubby/wifey time is of utmost importance. We’re struggling to get back on track in that area. We have 2 under 2 and the 3-month old will not take a bottle. Thank you for the reminder!

Twitter: Heligirl
September 7, 2010 at 7:48 am

Oh Audra, I’ve so been there. It really is hard at that stage. My hubby and I did things like game night when Mr. Man was young. The kids went down at 7 p.m. and we’d play a game together, laugh and talk. It might have only been two hours, but at least we had the time together.
Heligirl recently posted: How to Empower Your Kids with Life Skills

Making It Work Mom September 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I have older children 10, 8, and 4 and I find it is even harder to find time together now then when they were younger. We are seldom in the same place at the same time. One is driving to one practice and one is going to game. You get the picture it is crazy and talk about falling into bed exhausted! We also don’t have any family in the area so to pay a babysitter $15 an hour before we have even done anything seems crazy!
Our last “date” was a birthday party for friends in April! I know crazy! But you have inspired me and I am going to try to plan something for our anniversary in November (after football season ends!)

Twitter: Heligirl
September 7, 2010 at 7:50 am

Wow, great point. I hadn’t thought about how much crazier it can get when the kids are older. Yup, you’re not helping them eat and dress, but you’re now the taxi. Any chance one will go on a sleepover and you get a sitter to watch the other two while you go out to dinner? 🙂 I hope you’re anniversary plans are extra special!
Heligirl recently posted: How to Empower Your Kids with Life Skills

sexy legs and body September 3, 2010 at 8:35 pm

That sounds so wonderful, and the pics you posted are fabulous, what a beautiful country. I love westerns, and in particular Louis L’Amour’s, (I am a collector of his books) and your pictures demonstrates I guess some of the scenes he describes in his stories. Box canyons, red rocks, mesas, etc.

Great post, loved reading it. And quality time for parents is a must, as you say, it is relaxing and brings back the loving feeling you used to have when you first met and started going out.

Have a stunning weekend.
sexy legs and body recently posted: FASHION- SEXY LEGS- STOCKINGS AND BLOGGING

Twitter: solarchief
September 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Sounds like a great time… and thank you for the video… quality time is the answer and has to be found… I’m so sorry to hear about your friends… it’s so sad — BUT it’s not catching… keep working at your marriage and things will be fine… I say working because a good marriage is work and never done, because you both continue to change… come visit when you get out of the tub….
SharleneT recently posted: Solar Curry Frittata- Artisan Loaf Bread- and Chamomile Tea

Twitter: Heligirl
September 7, 2010 at 7:52 am

Thanks Sharlene. Yes, it sure is work, and I’m feeling like it’s much more when kids are involved. But we’re making it. When we make sure to take time to do stuff together it really helps.
Heligirl recently posted: How to Empower Your Kids with Life Skills

JP September 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm

All I can say is “do it”. JP…:)
JP recently posted: You Tell Me

Twitter: Heligirl
September 7, 2010 at 7:52 am

Done! 🙂
Heligirl recently posted: How to Empower Your Kids with Life Skills

Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) September 5, 2010 at 9:58 am

Yes, it is so important to have couple time and make it a priority. We are trying to get back on track too. Finally got ourselves a babysitter so hopefully date nights will become more routine:) So glad you two had a wonderful time!
Melissa (Confessions of a Dr.Mom) recently posted: Nurturing Your Childs Curiosity

Twitter: Heligirl
September 7, 2010 at 7:54 am

Way to go with the sitter Melissa! I’ve been given the advice by several people and experts that you must make a date night no less than once a month, more if you can. We’re trying to do that, scheduling it in fact. If we can’t afford a sitter, we plan to stay up after the kids go to bed and have a little wine and cheese picnic in the living room, play a game (Wii or board game, something where we interact), chase each other around the couch, you know, have a fun time together.

Kate Walton September 6, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Loved this post! But I can’t watch the movie (I get an error message), and now my curiosity is piqued! : ) Any tips?

Twitter: Heligirl
September 7, 2010 at 7:56 am

Hummm, I can see it. It’s YouTube so maybe if you just go to my YouTube account you can see it. Go to YouTube and search for HeligirlJen (someone else had Heligirl already). 🙂
Heligirl recently posted: How to Empower Your Kids with Life Skills

Booyah's Momma September 7, 2010 at 9:05 am

Well said! Away time for mom and dad is so important. And for us, we find that when we’re connecting in our marriage, parenting and everything else comes so much easier. Glad you guys had such a great time.
Booyah’s Momma recently posted: Fugazi- Its whats for dinner

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