Hello! Happy Friday!!! It’s the weekend, Mamma! What memories are you going to create with your wonderful family this weekend? Let’s plan it out right now!
Yes, yes, everyone will need clean underpants come Monday morning, so let’s just get that out of the way first thing on Saturday. Throw in a load early, early, and then go make yourself a nice, hot cup of coffee.
After that? The possibilities are endless!
Christmas cookie baking? Put the butter on the counter before you go to work today; it’ll be room temperature by tonight. Let the kids help! Even if it takes longer, even if it’s messy. Hand the camera to your husband or grandma or your sister and have them take pictures of you and kiddo up to your elbows in flour.
A nice hike with the family? Google up “State Parks near me” and see what adventures are within driving distance. The cost is minimal – usually somewhere between $5 and $10. Bring snacks, bring the camera, bring a thermos of hot cocoa to serve when you get back to the car, after your hike. Memories and exercise and time outdoors! Awesome.
Gingerbread houses??? This is awesome. You can create these from graham crackers or buy a pre-made kit at any local hobby shop. Ikea sells them for less than $5. Your local grocery store probably has a pre-made kit. (I did try to bake my own gingerbread one ambitious Christmas. Took FOR-EVER, and then was too soft. Droopy gingerbread fail.) We go with the pre-made kits, hot glue them together for the sake of speed and a secure bond, and then let the kids go crazy with the frosting and the candy.
Maybe you want to let everyone stay in pajamas all day on Saturday. Maybe you put on Christmas music and string popcorn and cranberries. Maybe you dress up and take the kids to see Moana or Fantastic Beasts. If you go with a movie, please go to your local coffee shop and get hot cocoa afterwards. Talk about who they would like to be if they could be any one character in the movie. Or ask them what they thought of the decisions this or that character made. Entertainment, cocoa and life lessons. This is my kind of multi-tasking, sister.
Make cinnamon applesauce ornaments. These couldn’t be easier, they last forever and they smell divine.
Snuggle up with a blanket and read a book together. Use the really good voices, you know the ones that make your kids laugh!
Take naps together. As they are falling asleep, tell them how much you love them and how wonderful you think they are. We don’t say this out loud often enough. Here’s your chance.
Shopping? Shopping can wait. Or do it on Amazon after they fall asleep. Enjoy your weekend, Mamma. This is precious, precious time.
Memories. What memories are you going to build?
Good morning, Mamma, happy Monday. Back at it, yes? As we head into our weeks, can I ask you to take a minute to review the weekend, the upcoming week and what you have planned for next weekend? Are you living your values?
Tough question, isn’t it?
If an objective observer were to follow you through your day, what would they say you value?
Another tough question.
But so important. There will never be all the time, money and energy that we want. But there can be enough. There will never be a convenient or easy of it for us; but it can be good. Decide what you value, apportion your resources accordingly and then stick to your guns if life pushes back.
It takes effort to live your values. It doesn’t have to be expensive, fancy or complicated, but we do have to make some conscious decisions about what to do and what to cut out.
I gave up a race recently to watch a friend’s toddlers for the weekend. I love her and want her to have a strong marriage, I love her kids, my kids love her kids, and there are not that many people you can entrust your toddlers to for three days. I’ve already had one big, expensive race this summer; I can give this one up and pick another smaller race to do instead, later in the month. Do I have a pang for my big race? Sure, but I still made the right decision.
I gave up my grad school to have the time to home-school my youngest. THAT was a big values decision and not an easy one, but I did the right thing. My career is fine, and, more importantly, my kiddo’s test scores went from the mid-thirties to the high nineties. And, most importantly, he’s happy. Back in a regular school now, but he wouldn’t be where he’s at today without those two years of home-schooling.
Do you could watch a TV show, or go for a walk as a family? Do you go to the Happy Hour, or spend those two extra hours with your kids? Do you hand kiddo an iPad or pull them up onto your lap to read books out loud?
Our actions are where our values become apparent.
Decide, Mamma. Decide and then pursue your life with passion. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done. Don’t let any negative sarcastic somebody rain on your parade.
Go, live it, girl.
Live it in such a way that when you look back at the lovely mess that was your life, (no insult intended, everyone’s life is a mess, girl, this stuff’s not easy or tidy) you have no regrets.
Good morning, Mamma! Happy Friday! Time to maybe plan a weekend surprise for your kids? These are memories that really stick because there is so much emotional power in a happy surprise.
My husband is the spontaneous one in our marriage. It is such a gift. I’m getting better at it, but still. The kids joke that if I hadn’t married my wonderful, mostly stoic, Swede, their lives would be safe, productive and highly nutritious.
I laugh. I have to, because there is so much truth in that caricature.
I have learned from my husband the gift of the unexpected.
Our kids, ten years later, still talk about the time that Daddy asked what they wanted to do that day and, when they responded with, “drive to *next state over*!”, he said yes. They drove eight hours round trip that day, road trip extraordinaire. I was on a business trip somewhere and they got such joy out of calling me and telling me where they were. They still talk about that day and, when they do, they still laugh about it. Total cost of that lifelong memory: Gas, and two stops at a Dairy Queen for road food.
Easier surprises are things like mom suggesting we build a fort in the living room and then telling the kids they can sleep there tonight. Yes, they’ll probably be up at midnight asking you to take them to bed, that doesn’t matter, it’s the adventure of it, the break from routine.
Waking them up with fresh hot pancakes tomorrow, that’s a nice surprise. It’d set a fun tone for the weekend too.
The biggest surprise we ever pulled off was when we told our kids we were going camping, and when we got them in the car, pulled out the passports and told them we were travelling to a foreign country instead. I LOVED that moment! That kind of adventure clearly takes planning and resources, but you’d be surprised at what you can pull off with Groupon Travel and airbnb.com.
We spend so much of our lives planned and prepped down to the minute, I get it, we have to, or we’d die. But, every once in a while, let your guard down and let in the unexpected.
It’s about joy.
Go have some of that this weekend.
Saturday, Saturday! Good morning, Mommy!! What are you going to do to #buildmemories today?
Make breakfast with the kids? Let them put the blueberries in little cups and cover them with whipped cream.! Let them spread the peanut butter on the toast (and lick their fingers because it inevitably gets everywhere, it’s a cardinal rule of peanut butter spreading)! Let them pick the flavor of the pancakes! Cooking and eating together feeds both body and soul.
Will you get outside together? Hanging (and napping) in a hammock? Splashing at the beach (and sandcastles, definitely sand castles)? Going for a hike with a picnic tucked into your backpack? Or maybe you’ll just set up the sprinkler at home and let the kids run through it while you snap pictures that you’ll laugh at forever?
Or is today a cultural day? Biking to the local bandstand to hear music? Spending a couple hours at a local museum (children’s, science or art, they’re all wonderful). Is there a festival going on near you celebrating another ethnicity or culture?
County fair! You could find a county fair! Corn dogs and cows and kiddie rides. Awesome.
Is today a weeding the garden day? A mud pie day? A plant-a-little-tree-for-each-kid-and-let-them-take-care-of-it day? Dirt is awesome.
Or break out that video feature on your iPhone and make a video. You can have the kids come up with the story, help them find costumes and then film it for them. My kids once constructed an entire play like this, took all day, involved neighbors and friends. It was awesome. (Do not, however, let them add blue food coloring to the whipped cream pie that will end the show. That stuff stains the skin for DAYS.)
This is your life, Mamma. These are the days that build your relationship with those precious kids of yours. And that husband you’d like to continue to enjoy a great relationship with for pretty much forever.
Go. Do. Live it and love it and take pictures.