I believe that making memories together, going on little adventures, and stepping outside of our routine is incredibly valuable for growing as a family, developing unique personalities, and discovering individual interests. More than usual, that’s what we did this week!
I’m also getting much better at spending time with myself, and I’m currently reading a book that I love and highly recommend: American Duchess, by Karen Harper.
Miles and Pierce learned to bowl, which was entertaining and so enjoyable for the boys, and a little stressful for me. I’m sure all parents can agree that we often do things for our children, to train them, expose them to new things, and create special memories, and it’s exhausting for us. I walked away so happy that they loved their experience, and also so happy that we were going home!
Olivia and I spent the weekend at a lovely local resort, and this is the first time that she’s really felt like a teenager to me. She strong, independent, and responsible with her school work, but it was eye-opening to experience her maturity — we had awesome conversations, spent time at the pool like friends, and laughed a lot! Staycations are a favorite of mine. Sometimes I have to leave home to truly relax, read, write, and explore without feeling like I’m neglecting my household responsibilities. I assume I’m not alone in attaching guilt and obligation to chores, but I have to remind myself almost daily that time spent with my children matters more than a spotless house, and the memories made together will influence life-shaping decisions, build self-confidence, and create a secure foundation. Basically, I have to give myself permission to relax and enjoy life, because my tendency is to overwork and stress when I haven’t accomplished enough.
My favorite memories from my childhood involve game nights, camping, road trips, cooking together, conversations over dinner, and family bike rides. I definitely didn’t care if the house was recently mopped, or if there were a few dishes in the sink.
As a single parent I’ve had to be careful how I prioritize my time, and I often have to remind myself to relax. The beautiful thing about paying attention to my stress-inducing tendencies, and adjusting my priorities, is that life now feels peaceful and happy every day! All the things still get done as needed, just without negative emotions attached to them, and I have more mental and emotional energy for silliness at home and little adventures!