I am not a “fun mom”.
I have a few good ideas now and again, but I’m not always great at letting loose and just being spontaneous. I like to have fun, but it’s usually planned… I am someone who likes structure and routine. It’s how I survive life with four kids.
It’s just who I am, and I’m okay with that. ❤️
I also grew up in a family that takes pride in doing things well. We had a lot of fun as kids, but we also had responsibilities and chores, and my parents had reasonable expectations for us and of us. My grandfather’s motto was, “if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing well”, and I’ve always patterned my life after that.
I think sometimes I get too focused on the things that need to get done. Chores, meals, outings, cleaning, etc. I’m not always great at “taking time to smell the roses”… and I know that’s important too.
S has been struggling recently. She’s thriving at her new school and has made good friends, but after being home for a year and a half, I think the headfirst dive back into the routine of all-day in person school and extracurriculars has been harder on her than I realized. She’s been complaining that she never feels like she has enough time to do the things she wants to anymore. I could see the light in her eyes dimming a little each morning as she had to get up for school and get thrown right into the routine. After school is a whirlwind of emptying backpacks, preparing dinner, tidying toys or helping with W. There’s not a lot of just plain… time.
So, today I made some.
I got everyone up for school, as per usual. She was unhappy getting up and trudged down the stairs. I went through the routine of packing lunches and backpacks, and we all headed out into the sunshine to walk to school. I “packed” her bag, but everything inside was just for show.
I have to drop the kids off at three different entrances, so this morning I took H first, then P. As S and I were walking towards her door, I asked her to stop and check her lunch bag. She opened it, confused and concerned that it was empty. When I smiled and told her that she probably shouldn’t go to school if she didn’t have a lunch, her whole face lit up.
I crouched down in front of her, and told her that today was just for her and I. I swear, her whole body language changed instantly. We walked back home to drop off her backpack, then went out on an adventure.
We went to a dollar store she’s been asking to go to, and picked out some paints and a hair clip she wanted. From there we went to an amazing allergy friendly bakery in town, where I told her she could pick out whatever she wanted for herself, as well as some treats for the family.
We walked back home in the sunshine, and we’ve had a perfect morning together. We toasted pumpkin seeds and she painted beautiful picture. She requested a “fluffernutter” sandwich for lunch, and I let her watch her favorite show while she ate. Now she’s up in her room playing with the toys she has felt she hasn’t had enough time to play with lately.
Today, I let go of the routine and am just saying “yes” to what she wants to do… and I haven’t seen her this happy in ages. She’s absolutely glowing.
She knows this is a special treat, and we can’t do it all the time, but I could tell that she needed this… and I’m just happy that I could do it with her.
School is important. I know that.
…but sometimes, taking a little break is important too. ❤️