Mommy/Son Dates

When I was a kid, Saturday mornings were for my mom. We would go out on mommy/daughter dates and spend most of Saturday together. Usually we went to run some errands, sometimes Costco or Sam’s Club trips. We would go to the bookstore so I could pick out a book. We would go to the mall and sometimes I even got to get a book from the bookstore in the mall. (which is no longer a thing and hurts my heart.) We would get lunch at Applebee’s when we were done. Sometimes Chili’s, but normally it was Applebee’s. I can still see the restaurant in my head where we would sit in the big booths next to the big windows. I could people watch and see all the cars driving in the parking lot. It wasn’t glamorous but it was my time with my mom and I loved every single second of it.

Now that I have my little man, I decided to keep the tradition going. We have mommy/son dates once a week. Usually, it involves a trip to Starbucks to start us off, I like caffeine and Lucas gets a little treat. It’s really a win/win situation. Then we’ll run any errands I might need to run. After the errands, if any, we go do something fun for us. Sometimes we go to the library, or the bookstore. Now that the weather is better than rain but not too hot yet, we might go to a park, or maybe I’ll take him to the museum. The point of these activities is that he gets to do whatever he wants and have fun. If we go to the library, he gets to pick whatever books he wants to check out and we can sit and read whatever he wants to read while we are there. Our library also has coloring stations so he can color whatever he likes. 

During our dates, I make a concentrated effort to keep my phone away unless I am taking pictures. If someone texts or calls and it can wait, it waits until after my date. My focus is on Little Man and whatever we are doing. Little man loves to talk and tell me stories so I listen and keep track of everything he tells me. His favorite thing right now is to shout out “banana” and “apple pie” randomly. 

My favorite thing about keeping this tradition is that we have so much fun. Last week we went to California so our mommy/son date was Universal Studios and we did whatever he wanted there. I stopped to see every character he wanted to see. We waited in lines for whatever ride he wanted. I’ll be posting about the trip soon so keep an eye out for that. I cannot wait to share all the fun we had. This week we did a Target run where he got to pick out a toy and we went and got lunch. After lunch we hung out at the place for a little bit (they had wifi) I worked on getting next month ready in my planner and he did his ABCMouse for a half hour. While our date was smaller this week, we still had a good time. Our date was smaller this week because later that day we picked up my brother to take him out for dinner and went to the bookstore and we all got a book. 

My pastor tells us constantly that children spell love T-I-M-E. He isn’t wrong. I know one day Little Man will grow up and I’ll be the last person he will want to hang out with, so for right now, I’m going to do my mommy/son dates while they make him happy. He even asks for them now. “Mommy, can we go on a date?”

Embracing Motherhood

Last week was my birthday and I am officially 28! I’m like steps away from 30 and my life is the complete opposite from what I imaged it would be. The biggest example of this point is that I have a four year old when my plan was that I would start considering kids by the time I was 28. Obviously, I would want a moment to be twenty-eight and get used to it for a minute so the thought process involving kids would still be a month or two away. 

Instead, I had my son when I was twenty-three. He wasn’t planned. In fact, he is my most favorite surprise. When I found out I was pregnant I had a whole mix of emotions, all of this I’ve actually wrote about back on an old blog. I might repost it one day. Basically, being a mother does not come naturally to me so being pregnant five years earlier than when I wanted to be thinking about it was terrifying. Actually, I’m still terrified of being a mother. Since Lucas was born people have been asking me when the second one would be coming. The answer? Half past never. I will never understand the societal pressure of giving a child a sibling and I don’t understand the questions about when a second one will be coming. Why can’t I just enjoy the first one? Why can’t he be the only one? Why can’t it be okay that I know exactly what I want and can handle? Babies still terrify me and I used to work in a preschool and handled babies daily. Today, if you tried to handle me a baby, I would be half afraid that I would drop it. I’ve kept a human alive for four years and I still don’t know what I am doing. 

The social media world has been talking about personal joy-doing things that make you happy and to just live your best life. Don’t do things because others expect you to or because you think other people want you to-do the things that you want to do. This conversation is a good one, one that I applaud. So now I’m going to drop a bomb that many people are still going to get uncomfortable about. I’m done having kids. I’m more than okay with my family of three and I intend to keep it that way. 

This little family of mine-my husband, my son and me-makes me so happy. I love our time together. I love our family dates. I love how my husband and I work together in parenting our child and how we mostly agree on almost everything when it comes to parenting. This little family of mine has me embracing the most terrifying part of my life, motherhood. 

It wasn’t always as easy as just saying that I love my family and I am embracing it. In fact, until recently, motherhood was like a side job for me. Everything else I committed to before being pregnant came before my son. My husband was home to help out when I had to be out in the evening and we just made my commitments work. I hardly spent any time with my family, we were just busy and we tried to be okay with it. One day the business would end, right?

It didn’t. In fact, we just kept getting busier and big things happened that made us sit down (mainly me) and reevaluate what we were doing and what wasn’t working. My busy schedule wasn’t working and saying yes to everything asked of me wasn’t working. Not making my husband and son a #1 priority wasn’t working. So I changed it. I still have moments where I immediately jump to say yes but I’m working on it. I’m working on changing my mindset and what comes first. 

Thankfully, my son makes wanting to spend time with him easy. It hit me that he was four years old and I feel like I missed the first four years of his life. I know I didn’t. I was there for everything but I still feel like I was missing out on something. I know that I am going to feel this way regardless of what I do. I am going to blink and he’s going to be heading off to college. However, in that blink, I want to see all the fun stuff we did and not wonder how much I missed. 

Once I thought about it like that, it became so much easier to say no. My relationship with my son comes #2 to my relationship with my husband. Time is more valuable than money and while I can always earn more money, I cannot get time back. So my free time is mainly given to my son and my husband. We’ve also sat down and talked about what kind of lifestyle we want to live in regard to our availability to our son. For example, because of different circumstances, I am now working part time. I never thought I would say the following words but I don’t know if I’ll work full time again. At least, full time where I don’t control my schedule. There is something in the blessing of being able to be there for my son. He’ll be in school soon and I don’t want to miss field trips, class parties and mom’s day in school. I want to go to all the performances and be at all the practices. 

I never thought I would be sitting in this boat where I would want to be this mom that does all the things, but here I am rowing it. And I’m okay with it. If it means cutting back on some more things, then so be it. Right now, I am in a place where I can work part time, my son is at home and it works for us. It is working for my family and I don’t believe in fixing things that are not broken. Can things be improved on? Sure, but right now, I’m enjoying the time I get with my family and I’m embracing the fact that I am a mom. Plus, in all of this, I get to display for my son the chasing your dreams thing that I had to learn on my own. My son gets to watch me chase the goals I set out to accomplish, the God-sized dreams that God put on my heart. He is right next to me helping me and watching me achieve them. That is something I won’t get a re-do on so I’m thankful for the place I am in right now. Even if it did take some dramatic circumstances to get me here. I’m a mom, a cool mom if you ask my son, and I’m finally seeing how awesome that is.