Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Mommy Dates

My parents worked in a little one-on-one "mommy date" or "daddy date" with me and my siblings when we were growing as often as possible. Sometimes they'd plan something special, but often they'd just grab one of us when they were heading out on an errand and turn it into a "date" by asking good questions in the car and really listening to us - plus they'd buy us a treat. An errand became a date if it included the treat of our choice and a chance to have mom or dad's undivided attention for a little bit. With eight siblings, these dates were such important opportunities to us as kids. And I'm realizing that with five kids, these sorts of "dates" are really vital to me as a mom.

Last week was pretty much insane. Here's the list of all the things I had to do or be prepared for on Thursday, October 1st:
  • The kids' Reflections projects were due so they needed help with finishing up their paintings, films and write-ups about their projects
  • I needed to help sort projects as they came in and help with the whole Reflections program at the school (since the person who was going to do it had to drop out and since I happened to know a fair amount about Reflections since my sister-in-law Aja did it for years)
  • My proposal for Education Week was due (it looks like Power of Moms may be helping put together a new "Motherhood Track" as part of Education Week at BYUI). Polished it up and got it sent in after finishing the Reflections stuff at the school.
  • It's our tradition to make pumpkin cookies on October 1st to celebrate the beginning of fall. The kids were so excited about this so we crammed it in between everything else and I got like 5 phone calls that I shouldn't have answered plus several people came to the door while I tried to do this special fun thing with my kids - my hoped for "oasis" of an hour or so totally devoted to fun with the kids in the midst of so many other things that day didn't quite work out.
  • I was in charge of a joint YM/YW photo scavenger hunt for our ward that night at 7pm - and I was trying to have the girls assigned to this activity really step up and do a lot of it so it took a lot more effort than just planning it myself. It wasn't the greatest activity but it worked out OK I hear (I had to leave early)
  • I held my first "Learning Circle" (mothers' group) pilot here at my house - it was SUCH a great group - but such hard timing! After I got the youth and leaders sent off on the scavenger hunt, I hurried back to get things set up for these women to arrive.
  • Jared's brother and family arrived that evening so the guest room needed to be ready, the house needed to be half-decent for them and for the moms' group that was coming, and the kids needed to be ready to go with their cousins and dad to a play at Tuachan that night.
I should have said no to a few different things in hindsight - but when I said yes to all this, I didn't quite put together that the epicenter of everything would be on the same day! It all worked out in the end but the stress on me and the lack of mothering all week that resulted wasn't that great. Some weeks will always be crazy and it's hard to say no to things when the answer is "yes" to the key questions of: "Is this something I uniquely need to do?" "Could I do this at a better time?" "If I say 'no' will it really matter that much to others?"

But anyway, this week I'm trying to make up for last week and so far it's working great. I've read with the twins each day, I've sat by the kids to get homework done and I had a great "mommy date" with Isaac yesterday. My parents are in town and their schedule with the Senior Olympics worked out so that they could be here with the twins at lunch time and I could go grab Isaac out of school and take him out to lunch. I let him pick the place and and let him order whatever he wanted (doesn't happen much when you've got so many kids to feed and a pretty tight budget). I asked him about his favorite things about school and he told me all about the running program he's participating in at recess (he's been running a mile and a half or more on the track every day to earn punches for this fitness rewards program they have - didn't even know about that!). He told me about a kid that's really mean in his class. He told me his friend was bragging that he had some stocks that are worth lots of money and when I reminded him he as some stock that his Grandpa Loosli gave him, he asked all about how stocks work and we had a great conversation about that. We talked about how he needs to eat more because he's grown so tall lately and he asked lots of questions about nutrition. We just chatted and had a great time together - he went off on whatever and I just listened and followed along for the most part. There are usually so many other people around, interrupting and needing something, and Isaac's usually the guy who just goes with the flow and doesn't demand attention. So it was heavenly to focus completely on this great boy of mine.

I took him back to school and before walking him into his classroom, I remembered something my Dad used to do, grabbed Isaac's hand and told him one thing I especially loved about him for each finger on his hand, folded his hand together to keep all those special talents and abilities in there so he could hold them and feel good about them all day, then gave him a big hug and sent him back into his classroom. He was glowing. I was glowing. He felt like a wonderful son. I felt like a wonderful mom. The whole "date" took about 45 minutes. I need to do this more often!

I do "mommy dates" on and off here and there but I'm committed now to doing one mommy date a week - so every 5 weeks, each kid will get one. It's not much - but on the other hand - it's so much and it's so meaningful. Life is busy but if I can cram Education Week applications and Reflections contests into my life, I can certainly fit mommy dates with my precious kids into my weeks!

I'll keep you updated on how I do!

1 comment:

Eyrealm said...

Great job Saren! I'm so glad that we were here to help just a little titch! What a lucky boy that Isaac is!
P.S. How in the world did you have time to post this?


Related Posts with Thumbnails