Dear Tzippora,

My husband wants to get away without the kids for a few nights. He says we need a break from playing Mommy and Daddy for a few days. I don't understand why he thinks this is so important. Is it so bad to take the kids with us when we go away? When I try to suggest this, he just gets mad and says that I don't value our relationship. Please help. We can't talk about this, because it just leads to a fight.

Mom who loves having her kids around

Dear Mom,

I think it is great that you love being with your kids. It's clear that you don't feel that you need a break from them, yet it sounds like your husband feels differently, and is asking for a chance to reconnect with the person you were before you became Mommy. That's the person he fell in love with; the adult whom he chose as his life-long partner.

Being a Mommy is all encompassing, and often it involves the willing suppression of other non-relevant parts of us. Yet a few days without the kids gives these other aspects a chance to emerge.

Your husband is asking you to make your relationship a priority for a few days, and I suspect that he gets mad when you suggest bringing the kids because he feels rejected, and is uncomfortable expressing that vulnerability to you directly.

Your husband's request sounds reasonable. In general, it is important to honor our spouse's needs whenever possible, even if we don't share that need ourselves. Try to appreciate the fact that your husband is asking to spend time with you.

Healthy kids can withstand a few days of separation from their parents, and will probably even enjoy a few days on their own. If you have a baby under one-and-a-half years old, I would recommend bringing him or her along, since very young pre-verbal children have a much harder time with separation. If you are concerned that your children should also have a vacation, a separate family trip can be planned. If leaving the kids for too long makes you feel anxious, you can start with one night away, and make it longer the next time.

It is important to make your marriage a priority. Many marriages dissolve when the children grow up and leave home because the couple's relationship had been neglected and had become distant during their parenting years.

Furthermore, children benefit from any investment you make in your marital relationship because it strengthens the solid foundation of your home. The integral role of shalom bayit (marital harmony) in establishing a strong family is a common theme in Jewish sources. So consider your getaway an investment that benefits your whole family, and enjoy the opportunity to spend a few days being a couple.

Thanks for writing!