I’ve heard the notion of taking your children on dates before. It has always been something I’ve wanted to do but has been hard to get on top of with everything else going on. Before all of this Corona everything, we barely had to time to fit it all in – fighting for one night a week of family time and holding on to those two sacred hours as a time of togetherness. But now, for some reason, it seems more attainable. Like something I could fit into our schedule moving forward, perhaps making a habit of it before things get all hectic again. And, as I have done some research into this subject, I am learning that my children do crave this alone time with their parents. But one fights for it more than the other. And it seems in our house the squeaky wheel gets the grease, for the sake of our sanity, and the other sacrifices. That seems to be what the oldest one does.
But I’ve been feeling the pull lately. The yearning from her sweet little heart to have time with just her Momma. I can feel her soaking up every moment we get alone together, and I know I need to do something more. So, with the thought that other Mommas might be in the same shoes, I’ve decided to share with you our plan to take our daughters on dates.
First and foremost, I think the idea of what to do needs to come from them because I want to satisfy the desires of their hearts. So I’m going to have both my girls write down a list of things they would like to do – realistically, of course. Things they enjoy doing that they would like to share with me. These activities can be accomplished in a short amount of time or can be completed over a period of time.
Next, I would suggest coming up with a time frame that works best for your schedule. We are going to start small and work our way up. Perhaps just starting with 20-minute increments. Also, I will be setting a timer, and letting my girls know how long our alone time is intended to be. In my mind, I was thinking shorter increments, more often so that it’s enjoyable, but not overwhelming. The idea is for it to just be something simple and fun and to provide an opportunity for a deeper connection.
Lastly, I’m going to make arrangements to make sure that my other daughter (or whatever other children you may have) is taken care of, as well. In some form or fashion, someone will be with her and she knows that she is to go to them, and not me, during this specially allotted time. This prevents continual interruptions that take away from the purpose of the whole project, so I’m going to schedule both my girls in. We put things on Alexa, and the girls continually ask her when the next family event is. This gives them both something to look forward to. And both know that they will each get quality time with me. And, of course, that it will be fair.
With my oldest now in the double digits, I’ve been really feeling a need for this in my own heart, as well. I want to set the standard, while they are still young, that I will always be there for them, and they can come to me with anything. And the best way to open up always seems to be through some sort of activity. I also want them to be able to look back on their childhood and remember fun times with their mom. Dad is usually the fun one in our family while I do their hair, do their laundry, cook their food, and put them to bed. I want them to have more than that to look back on. To have special memories of things we did together. Things I taught them or just moments we shared that they can carry with them through whatever the teenage years will bring us. And I want an opportunity to sit and soak up moments of their childhood without being a referee or mediator or the Fair Captain. I want to be able to just sit and relish everything that they are in that moment.
So, I’m also going to put my phone down. I’m going to give my undivided attention to the entirety of our time together. I’m going to listen to all her stories and all her questions and respond with my third favorite fairy superpower with all my heart. I’m going to be all the way there. Completely in the moment and present. And maybe pull my phone out for one quick photo of whatever we did at the end because I will want to remember these moments. And I already know it goes by so fast. I just have to create the opportunity to have them first.