It’s Time to Take a “Power” Break From Parenting

playIt has finally happened. Vivi has finally gotten to the age where she and Addie can go into a room and play together for a while. That “for a while” is the key part of that sentence.

Back in the day when Addie was just a toddler, and just Casey and I wandering the hallways of our small apartment, we used to dream of the time when Addie would be able to play by herself. When I wasn’t away at school or work, our time was spent passing Addie back and forth to make sure every moment was spent with one of us.

It was a noble goal and something I want to maintain with both Addie and Vivi, but man. Parents need a break every once in a while. Parents need to be able to sit back and relax for 20 to 30 minutes every now and then. I’m a firm believer that “power breaks” from parenting, think along the lines of a power naps, can help a parent be more efficient throughout the day.

It has been difficult the last two years to watch football for more than ten minutes at a time before I’m interrupted with a request to play food, wipe a nose, or get a cheese. In fact, most Sundays I lay out a 30 minute period of time where I get to watch football and then the TV is off for the rest of the day until the kids go to bed. My beloved Broncos only get viewed after everyone is in bed, the dishes are done, the laundry is ironed and folded, and all my other work is completed.

But now, now I can take some time for myself and sit back and relax. Maybe peruse the Twitter-verse a little bit. Maybe hammer out a few work emails that need some attention. Heck, maybe even grab 20 minutes with my eyes closed.

Is that selfish of me as a parent? I don’t think so.

I’ve been open about my past regrets as a parent. I didn’t spend nearly enough time with Addie when she was a toddler and I will never get that time back, and I’ve made it a point to not let that happen with Vivi and not to lose any more time with Addie. So far I think I’ve been able to keep good with that goal.

While I think I’m okay to grab a 20-30 minute break here and there while the kids play together — and those kids love playing together — I have to be careful. It is so easy to send Vivi and Addie into another room while I get lost in a football game that then turns into a basketball game, that turns into another football game. Four hours could fly by without a second thought. Four hours of time that Father Time won’t give me back to spend with my kids.

I’m excited about this new phase and the benefits it can bring, but I’m entering it with caution.

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