I did something recently that I hadn’t done in a long time.
I took a day off from work and had a day date with just my son.
That probably sounds as though I don’t see my son very often, which is not the case. I do work full time, but when I’m not working, my husband and I spend about 99.9% of our time with our son. We go camping on the weekends, we play, and we have dinner together every night after work.
But I realized something last weekend. When was the last time my son and I spent quality time together, just the two of us? Not hanging out at home playing with his toys. Or him entertaining himself while I cook dinner. When was the last time I took him out to have a fun-filled day (which didn’t include errands)? No idea.
So I took a Friday off from work, and I planned a special day for just the two of us. And I have to admit, it was the best thing I’ve done in a long time!
I work as a retail manager. The combination of job stress and feeling as though I’m always running but never “catching up'” with life was weighing me down. I get sucked into it all sometimes, and have to remind myself:
I’m a mom first, and everything else comes second.
It’s been hard to find ME time at this point, but that’s just a fact of life when you have kids. And let’s face it, sometimes, as a mom, we just want to feel like we’re doing something right! But when you plan it well, catching up with your child not only enriches their day, but can also feel like that “me time” you’ve been craving.
And that’s why I made a day date with my son.
It was THE BEST DAY! We had donuts for breakfast, then went to a local farm where he got to pet and feed the animals. The highlight was when the baby goats escaped their pen and came and sat with my son while he fed them. It was adorable, and listening to my child’s laughter brought tears to my eyes.
We split a lemonade and had a picnic in our living room. I pulled him and our dog all around our yard in his wagon and played on the swing set. He was having a blast, which meant I was having an even better time. The best time, in fact, in a very long time. And I needed it.
I judge a successful “fun day” in two ways:
By how many pictures and videos of Harvey laughing I’m able to capture.
By how quickly Harvey falls asleep for his nap, and the length of said nap.
Success on both counts!
Since our “date”, we’ve grown even closer. I’d been down in the dumps in the weeks leading up to our special day because my husband was definitely the “favorite” parent. Not that it’s a contest, or that I don’t love to see their relationship developing, but…
I wanted to know my son enjoyed spending time with ME.
So, I’ve decided that once a month, I’m going to take a weekday off from work and spend it with just him. I would strongly recommend to any parents out there who are feeling a little disconnected from their child (or even from life) to schedule some quality one on one time. I promise, it will help you feel refreshed. And bonus points: you’ll feel like a good mom!
And isn’t that what we all want? To feel like a good parent, and to know that we’re doing something right by our children? In turn, we’re taking care of ourselves too.