Last month I wrote about respite care. A couple of weeks ago, Dear Hubby and I finally headed out for our much-anticipated Alaskan cruise. I am so glad we did.

Since school started, I have been on a dead run. We home school the Bigs, and The Captain and Tinker go to the nearby elementary school. My oldest takes classes twice a week at the community college, and Sunshine is in softball, while the Captain plays T-ball. This means a lot of running around for me.

The minute we got on the plane, I relaxed. I knew our Littles were in the very capable hands of their godparents, temporarily raising the census in that house to eight kids. Both Bigs were excited about their plans with friends, and so my only job now was to enjoy my time away with my hubby and our folks.

We did enjoy it, too! He slept in several days, and I slept in once or twice. We sailed from Seattle, and I got to meet up with a long-lost friend in our short morning there– something I’d have never attempted with five kids! Once aboard, we went to shows, played trivia and bingo, took land excursions that would have bored the kids to tears, and simply sat on our balcony just watching the sea go by.

The most important part of the trip was reconnecting as a couple and as friends. Our day-to-day life involves some fun and a lot of work. A week of fun was balm to the soul. I think sometimes we forget how much we like each other!

When we started in foster care, the agency made a “big deal” about lining up sitters and respite care. I didn’t get it then. I was the organized mom of two kids. I lived in a clean house. Things were easy.

I get it now. A sibling group multiplies the responsibility. Sometimes we just need a break. I can’t tell you how luxurious it was to just read a book without constantly looking around to see who was doing what where! The best part was coming home refreshed, and suddenly it all seemed so easy and doable.

If it’s been a while since you got away, go for it! If you are just getting started, do take that advice to heart and line up some help for yourself. You will all benefit.



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