Bueller Day—A post-Covid Surprise With Your Kids

Spring is in the air and with life opening back up, a daddy-day trip with the kids not only strengthens bonds, it will also provide your wife with a well-deserved break.

A year ago we were scratching our heads in the supermarket aisle and wondering what we’d use to wipe our backsides.

Today, the temperature outside grows warmer and every family I speak to is giddy about the forthcoming summer. Normalcy is trending as the twitter of birds rings out in our backyards.

That calls for a celebration and also providing your better half a break from the kids. During a pandemic, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than giving your wife some free time to herself. I would normally advocate for a complete family outing, but let’s be honest—our wives took the brunt of Covid.

The past 13 months have been defined as the ‘she-cession’ given how many moms were forced to choose between taking care of their homebound children and work. Others were laid off, and in the chaos, moms not only concerned themselves with everyone’s health, they had to learn how to teach. Every parent got a taste of this, which is why I wrote an article noting that 2021 should have been designated the year of the teacher. They have a challenging job and we learned firsthand why.

Dads were of course challenged, but the best thing we can do for our families is extending the stronger bonds we have with our kids today. That’s a story itself—fathers today haven’t been around this much since the dawn of the industrial era.

Let’s give our wives a break and plan a day trip with our kids: Every dad in America—one day, the kids and us. It can be a day trip to the beach, an amusement park, a ballgame, it doesn’t matter as long as it equates to 10+ hours away from home.

Here are a few humble suggestions:

  1. Make it a surprise – Do you turn left out of your driveway to take the kids to school? If so, turn right… and then drive for a while. Tell them nothing. Let the wonder sink in, and ideally don’t tell them anything until you get to your destination. If you can get off during a weekday and school is in session, do it. We’ve just lived through a pandemic; a day of hooky will do everyone a world of good.
  2. Tell your wife to do the same – Live a little! Tell her to do anything she wants and give her some lead time to make plans. She’s likely earned a break, and sans any real support other than you, perhaps she needs a break from the kids… and you!
  3. Drive at least 30 miles from home – Break your kids out of their orbit. Their lives have evolved around zoom meetings, empty playgrounds (if at all), backyards, and basements. They need to see the world and 30 miles from home is the minimum one needs to get away from usual destinations. We all need a ‘whole lot less normal’ in our lives right now.

To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

After this pandemic, no truer words have ever been spoken.

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