One of the big upsides of Navy life is the opportunity it presents to travel around the world and the United States. I know, without doubt, that if I wasn't in the Navy, I never would have visited some of the places that I have.
Over Thanksgiving, I had one such opportunity. J's ship was pulling into Marseilles, France and it happened to align with a 4 day break I had for school. So, we discussed our options and we went for it. I flew to France (sans kids) and enjoyed 2 days alone with the husband. AND IT WAS WONDERFUL. I know there are many parents who couldn't imagine leaving their children and going to another country, even for such a short time, but I am so unbelievably happy I did. Not only did I get to spend some much needed one on one time with a husband I hardly even get to see (9 days until he is home for deployment!), but I also got to spend some much needed time by myself while I was on the 15+ hours of flights.
I think it is sooooo easy for military parents (or really any parent) to give up time for themselves to spend it with the kids. There's always a million reasons not to step away, money, guilt, babysitters, etc. But, I really believe this time away is critical. I knew one mom who hadn't been away from her baby for more than 2 hours its whole first year of life. 2 hours!
I'm not saying that I want to spend all my time away from my kids, I actually love spending time with them (despite what gets said on this blog on occasion), but at the same time, I think is crucial that we as parents maintain our adulthoods and our sense of self. I know that I will look back at this time when my kids are young and wonder where the time went, I don't want to look back and wonder where I went.