I mean, yes we can accomplish a couple of things that are significant in our lives as parents, but at the end of each day there always seems to be this regret over what we could have done. Well, for me anyway.
Before I continue to ramble on, standing on my soap box, my specific issue relates to spending meaningful one-on-one time with each of my kids. More specifically my two older kids (if you haven’t been following my posts, for the record I have 4 kids with my wife, ages 12, 10, 4 and 2. yes we are the real Fuller House).
I came to realize it was a much better idea than I thought and one I will continue to do in the future
I’ve come to realize that in a few years my older two will be walking into teenage-hood life and there may or may not be time for dad as they navigate through their adolescent lives.
So what can I do?
Date night with each kid? Sure if all the stars align perfectly. Truth is in a home our size that option is not always the best. Its like when the sun sets, everyone’s freak comes out, and you see a toddler rolling on the floor, two other kids yelling at each other and both parents in the midst of it trying to hold it together.
Through all this its tough enough to ensure my wife and I get to go out and be “adults” a couple of times a month. Trying to plan the same with kids, though important, can add to the chaotic atmosphere at times.
Then, it came to me. Breakfast.
Of course! Why didn’t I think of it before. The idea seemed so simple. So realistic. So affordable.
So…..hard to do! The only way it would work out is if I planned it for 6:00am, to be back home for 7:30am the latest.
Why? Because the metrics of a full or fuller house (bad joke) are such that you can’t do thing without affecting the usual routine of the home. Going on a date with my daughter in the early morning and coming back before everyone else is awake is just a smart thing to do.
And thats exactly what I did this past month. Took my daughter on a date for breakfast. I came to realize it was a much better idea than I thought and one I will continue to do in the future for the following reasons:
1. There’s something about doing things in the morning. A lot of people accomplish great things because they sacrifice and wake up early in the morning and start the day fresh. There’s less distractions, we have yet to experience anything that day and we should (for the most part anyway) be filled with energy. When I was out with my daughter at 6am I didn’t have to worry about doing anything or thinking about anything else. The only other thing I would be doing at that time is, well…..Zzzzzzz. Its also a great way to start the day off for both parent and child.
2. Where ever you go will be quiet and less distracting. Ever take your kid to a restaurant and regret you ever left your front door? Yes that’s because everybody goes out in the evening. Try having a conversation? Nope. Not happening. Okay I don’t want to paint a broad brush on this situation, but you get my drift here. Going out in the morning is the complete opposite. After you clean the crust out of your eyes (sorry, just trying to put you in the moment), get dressed and take your kids out before day break, you’ll notice how much easier it is to actually have a good conversation with them.
3. Kids will hold on to memories like this. One of my fondest memories growing up seemed to always happen in the mornings. My mom used to take me and my brothers to a farmers market in the area right at the crake of dawn. We’d go through each isle with her as she went from vender to vender sampling the fruit, and buying only the best. For us, we would just wait until we walked past the Canadian bacon vendor and hoped mom had enough money to get us a freshly cooked hot sandwich. Memories like these gives kids hope for a brighter day. Its the simple moments that resonate the most. I know that may sound like simple talk, but its the truth and you can probably attest to it.
So try it out. As a mom or dad take the time early in the morning and discover if it works for you. In the end, spending unique time with kids individually is the ultimate goal.