To Go On Dates…Lots of Dates

Let’s face it – we moms run a tight ship. We cook, we clean, we fold laundry (as the toddler simultaneously UNfolds it in a smiling act of helpfulness), make sure no one is climbing the refrigerator shelves or figuring out “child proof” cabinet latches (“Install the latches”, they said. “They’ll never get into your drawer of Scentsy bars”, they said.”), keep the dog from sitting on the baby, get mac n cheese off the floor with a spatula (or maybe that’s just me?), make sure all the mandatory errands get run (“Put on your armor, kids…it’s Grocery Day”), and make sure all parties are still alive at the end. It’s tough business.

We are so proud of ourselves when we conquer 6 loads of laundry, a gourmet organic home-cooked meal (Look at that sauteed asparagus – definitely Pinterest worthy. I’ve outdone myself this time!), and dust the fan blades. We feel accomplished. We also managed to call Aunt Jolene, skype with grandparents, and document it all on Facebook for our friends to share in our triumph over another day (insert mandatory cape here – and let’s face it, all moms deserve capes).

But sometimes in all of that busyness, we run from one thing to the next, and it becomes a blur of obligations. We’re moms – we do lists. We do lists really well. And we like checking things off that list, preferably in as snappy a manner as possible before Combustion kicks in (you know that moment where you kid goes from “Yeah, mom, I’m ok – just give me a cracker and a juice and we can keep on trucking” to “DEAR LORD I’M TIRED – I JUST REALIZED I’M SO SO TIRED, AND I’M GOING TO FLAIL AROUND AND WAIL ABOUT IT UNTIL YOU GET ME IN MY BED!! WHERE. IS. MY. BEDDDD?!?!?!?!…. ROAR!!!!!!”? That’s Combustion.) Anyway, I think that one day a week, we should postpone one errand, just one. Save it for another day, even.

And go on a date. A date with our kids.

When Blake deployed last, I realized that on my days off from work, I became a frenzied mess of errand-running and Domestic House Goddess chores. Did I play with Kaleb? Sure. We played a lot. But cabin fever would set in, and to battle it I would run errands. One day, we were out at lunch, so we stopped at Chick-fil-a. I put my phone on silent in my bag, and we ate lunch. We ate a long lunch. And it was fun. It was a lot of fun.

And I realized that I needed to do that more often. Pause my to-do list and listen to my baby babble while he shares his fruit cup with me. Try to teach him how to use a straw. Laugh when he flirts with the 18-month-old little girl at the next booth (what a cradle robber, this kid). Let him have a bite of my ice cream (or two). And never check my phone. Or mentally calculate if I can still make it to Target before nap time hits. Just sit, with my boy, and enjoy a good meal. We have all heard the importance after having children of continuing to “date” your spouse – what we don’t hear is that we also need to give undivided time to our children, too. To remind them that they’re at the top of our list, the forefront of our mind, more important than any menial task we have on our radar.

Now, we have “Mommy-Baby Date Day” once a week, and it’s usually at Chick-fil-a. It’s become a sacred hour in my life, and I love the tradition it’s making – one I know I’ll cherish more and more the older he gets. So I encourage, even challenge, you moms and dads to make a Date Day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, ice cream date, anything!), just once a week, where you put stress on hold and phones on silent and soak it up.

Let’s face it, Target will still be there tomorrow.

All our love,

Allison and Kaleb

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