Rachael Finch has been criticised for spending her weekends child-free (Photo: Instagram/rachael_finch)
It’s one of the biggest battles most parents face – finding a balance between parenthood and the demands of a busy career/relationship/life. But Rachael Finch, thinks she’s found the secret to modern motherhood. Child-free weekends!
While the 28-year-old Australian model and presenter and her husband, Michael Miziner, are hands-on parents to their two-year-old daughter, Violet, during the week, come Friday evening their little one heads off to spend time with her doting grandmother, Irena, until Sunday morning when the family are reunited. The couple say the extra ‘just us’ time has made all the difference to both their relationship and their parenting capabilities.
“Every weekend [Violet] goes to Mish’s mum’s house, and we get our weekend to ourselves. I think that’s incredibly healthy for the relationship,” Rachael gushed to The Sunday Telegraph.
“And on Sunday, when we pick her up, we have 100 per cent energy back.”
Juggling life with children is tricky for many parents (Photo: Rex Features)
Unsurprisingly, the unusual parenting style kicked off a debate on social media about how much time parents should spend with their children.
“Maybe she should adopt the child to someone who will love her unconditionally. Not just Monday afternoon to Friday morning. So sad,” said one angry comment.
Others questioned why the couple had a baby in the first place.
“Why did she have a child if she’s not going to be a full time parent? The odd night babysitting is great but every weekend, well that’s just selfish,” wrote another.
The backlash prompted Rachael to take to social media to defend her parenting choices. Posting a snapshot of her and her daughter to Instagram she wrote a heartfelt response to the haters.
“A Mother should never be made to feel they are not good enough for their child when they are doing everything they can to keep them safe, happy and loved,” she wrote.
“Only the parents of a child truly know what is best and should always have faith in their decisions. I value dearly the relationship Violet has with her Grandmother and I believe this is one of the most important and influential relationships growing up.
“I work hard so that I can provide the best future for the amazing soul we have created. I won’t ever stop believing in her or the strength of the family unit.”
Could child-free weekends be the secret to modern parenting? (Photo: Rex features)
The post was received by a wave of support from Rachael’s fans.
“People will always be so quick to judge. Especially envious people,” wrote one supporter.
“Don’t listen to the haters,” added another.
“You shouldn’t have too [sic] defend yourself, you have a beautiful family and you’re lucky to have that support! You go girl,” a further commentator wrote.
Child-free weekends might be possible or indeed right for every family, but there are plenty of other ways to help baby-proof your relationship. Psychologist Emma Kenny from Make Your Switch has put together some tips on helping your relationship survive the early childhood years.
“Making time for each other at least one evening per week ensures you will both feel valued and supported and also have time to check out how the other is feeling.”
“Don’t bottle up resentments, there is nothing more destructive than quietly seething because you seem to be the one always getting up in the middle of the night to change nappies and tend to sick kids. Instead when something is really bugging you and needs to change, just ask for it to change by calmly and rationally explaining why it affects you.”
“Create space for one another by encouraging each other to pursue interests and social experiences. Allowing a partner a night off being mum and dad once a fortnight can create breathing space for both partners and help each of you to remember who you were pre becoming mummy and daddy.”
“Great relationships survive in spite of conflict and not because they didn’t experience any. Remember it’s normal to fall out with your partners now and again. It’s making sure that you work through the conflict constructively that future proofs the relationship.”
“Sex is so important in healthy relationships, it’s adult play and it bonds and connects us. Making sure you have time for fun beneath the sheets really does help protect your relationship.”
“Whilst you may feel exhausted at the end of a busy day, if you neglect to take care of yourself or each other you are in danger of damaging your relationship. It’s a myth that we love our partners unconditionally and more importantly we shouldn’t. You get out what you put in, so keep your motivation in check.”
“Whether he looks fantastic in his new suit, or she has a new hairstyle, noticing matters and makes relationships feel safe, sexy and supportive. Couples who make it their business to remind their partners how gorgeous they are tend to have more fulfilling relationships.”