Everyone needs a date day. As my family grows, and grows, and then grows a few more times, it is important to set aside time with each of my kids. My husband and I both try to make individual time with each of our kids. Before you think I'm a gloating supermom who plans elaborate dates with my kids, our reality is that we're lucky if it happens once a month. When it does happen it's usually something spontaneous. Even though they may be few and far between because there are 4 kids to shuffle through, it's amazing what it does for my family. I'm thirty-four and I would completely lose my sanity if I didn't do frequent date nights with my husband, double dates with friends and sometimes most importantly for me, a date with myself (aka: alone time). A little date with one of your kids can really have the same refreshing effect on them!
It is no surprise that each of my kids wants to do very different things on their days. After all, it is the one day that they each get to be the center of the universe, or so they think. It can get overwhelming to have to think about scheduling one more thing into your already busy life. Here are 2 things that help me able to maintain date days, even as life gets full.
- Keep it simple- every once in a while I will let the kids pick a place to go that they have been asking about, but a date day can be as easy as taking one child along for a quick errand. Promise something of worth to them at the end of your time, it's amazing what it can do for their mood and behavior during your time out. Some of my kids favorite rewards: a pack of gum, a stop by the park to feed the ducks, a chocolate milk at Starbucks.
- Keep it spontaneous- I like to live by this rule, simply because some days I feel like a fantastic mom and other days I do not. When I feel awesome, I know it's a good day to take one of the kids out. If things go sideways and a melt down occurs, hopefully, it will not come from me because I was already in a great mood.
Here is what our latest spontaneous date days looked like. It just happened to be a rare, sunny and warm day in Seattle last week. I love to ride the bus that leaves right in-front of our house and goes straight to Pike's Place Market. I love to get fresh flowers and my favorite Australian-style passion fruit yogurt that is only available in Australia and now Seattle! Woohoo! This would be an example of keeping it simple because I am doing something I already want to do, and keeping it spontaneous because one hour before we went, I decided I wanted to go!