Our family is in the depths of newbornness right now.
They always say that your heart grows with each child…and I totally believe that because I’ve experienced it…but how am I to be sure that my 4 and 6 year old know this? How do I explain to them that even though my time with them is being turned upside because of feeding schedules, diapers, and napping, that I still love them just as much as I did before?
I’d argue that I actually love them even more.
Sharing mommy and daddy with yet another tiny human is some heavy stuff. It’s not anything to be dismissed as, “they will figure out the new normal on their own.” And what I discovered this last weekend was that the way to get through the trenches of newbornness with young children is with intention.
Ok, mom guilt confession…I LOVE running errands by myself. I can feed the baby and know that he is good for at least 3-4 hours, and I can just escape into my minivan with not one kid in tow. I can listen to my audiobook without having to pause it every 45 seconds. I can walk the aisles with no agenda. I can be silent if I want to. I can get my matcha latte without having to get extra goodies for the kiddos. I can park and get to the front door of the store in a matter of seconds.
So this last weekend when it was time for me to run some errands and go out and about…I had a gut instinct…not to take all of my kiddos or none of them…but just one. It was an instant impromptu date day with my newly made middle child. And we had a blast. We went to a little boutique where I had some shopping to do, and she got to pick out a little something. Out front there was a little train ride, so we bought tickets and took a ride. We then went across the way to a juicery and sat and drank our healthy smoothies.
It wasn’t an extravagant day…but it was just the two of us. I got to ask her questions without her chatty older sister interrupting. I got to take selfies of just the two of us on the train ride. I got to give her undivided attention…and it was perfection. What was even more surprising is that I enjoyed getting HER undivided attention!
We had so much fun that I decided to do an impromptu date night with my older one. I got to share one of my passions with her…MUSICALS. We got dressed up, went to our local opera house and saw our town put on a wonderful performance of one of my faves…Newsies. We got to chat during intermission about our favorite parts, we got special yummy treats, and she got to stay up way past her bedtime.
So what did this day teach this momma?
- Our kids need more than words. They need undivided attention, quality time, and a chance to be with mommy or daddy or both of us with no distractions.
- We need THEIR attention. As a mommy who gets pulled in a million different directions, it’s easy for us to begin to believe that they can easily get along without us. They are, after all, resilient little beings. Spending one on one time with them is just as nourishing for our souls as it is for theirs. We need each other.
- Dates with my kiddos MUST become a part of our routine. These dates were spontaneous, which was so fun. But being on them made me yearn for this alone time with them even more…date days and nights will definitely become a part of our family DNA.
So what is the point of all of this? Why am I telling you about these spur of the moment dates with my kids?
First of all, it’s not to make anyone feel guilty for wanting their alone time…I’m an advocate for mommy self-care all the way. But we are moms, after all, that inevitably have a long list of to-dos full of errands, bill paying, work, pick up and drop off lines, after school activities, meal making, and to top it all off…we even have to remember to take a shower every once in a while, am I right?
I had an ah-ha moment as a mom…and that is that time doesn’t play favorites. It’s always moving…it’s not stopping for anyone or anything. So we have to tell our time where to go…and what better way than creating precious moments with our little ones.
When we, as moms, have these ah-ha moments, I believe that it’s our duty to put them out into the world for other mommas to see, feel, and learn from as well.
So here I am, contributing to the mommy battlefield with just a little bit more armor than you maybe had before. I’ve got your back, momma.