How I Do It: Family Involvement + Outings

My dad with L

Happy Monday!  I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend!  The girls are in school, and I’m attempting to clean out some closets today.  I don’t know about you, but it feels so much better when I get rid of junk that’s piled up, and everything looks cleaner and more organized.  Then again, I LOVE to organize…when I have the time!  But at least I can now say that one closet that I couldn’t even walk into, can now be used as an actual walk-in closet. Baby steps…

How I Do It: Family Involvement and Outings
My In-Laws
My mom, with W (mining for gems)

Confession:  My parents and in-laws live in town.  While I’m blessed and lucky enough to have them so close, I don’t take advantage of using them that often (like maybe once or twice a month).  They are the best parents and in-laws anyone could ask for, and they’re so great with the children!  I am very, very grateful to have them!  The biggest comfort is knowing that they are right there, and I can call on them if I ever need help, but like I said, it’s rare.  Honestly, the times that they do babysit, is when I have a hair appointment or a meeting at school.  I know y’all are thinking, well, what about all of your ob-gyn visits, when you were pregnant??  Well, the kids always all came with me.  Almost all of my visits, all they did was check my blood pressure and listen to the baby’s heartbeat, so the children actually enjoyed coming.  The only time I needed someone to sit for me, as far as the appointments went, was when I had my glucose test.  I don’t think sitting in a waiting room for an hour with four kiddos would have been as peaceful for the other patients waiting.  But even with the ultrasounds, the children were there, and loved looking at the screen, seeing their new sibling.  At the appointments, the girls loved doing everything I did, on each visit.  My sweet doctor was kind enough to let them help him push buttons, when using the doppler to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  And they always wanted their heartbeat’s heard too…yes, I’m talking lifting up their shirts, gel, the whole she-bang.  They loved it!  And they wanted their blood pressure checked, their weight measured on the scale, etc.  Basically, anything I had done to me, they wanted it too.  Who knows, maybe they’ll both become doctors, like my dad.

 Pre-Suburban days…

For young children, every outing is an adventure!  I always try and keep this in mind, when running errands with my little ones.  While us as adults think, ‘alright, I’m going to run right in here, and drop off this package, and be on my way,’ with young children, you soon learn that, although it may take just a little longer on your outing, children take every single thing in, with big wide-eyes.  So yes, even the post office, is this cool place where you mail packages and get to meet lots of new people.  Not that I frequent the post office that often, our post office ladies, Veronica and Terry, know my children by name.  And every trip, the girls leave with lots of free stickers and paper.  Cheap thrills!


So the next time you’re headed to Target with your children, don’t dread it, enjoy it!  Instead of thinking, ‘oh great, here’s another trip to Target with the kids. I sure hope they behave and don’t whine!,’ instead tell them, “Who’s ready to go to Target, and hug the big red ball, and find some things for Mama??”  They get excited every time!  As long as they’re receiving attention, even if it’s “hey, tell me to stop when you see the apple juice,” then they’ll behave.  I find that mine start misbehaving, when I’m not showing them enough attention.  Seriously, even giving them eye contact when strolling through the aisles can be attention enough.

Slow down, it’s not a race.  It’s one thing to run through life, always wanting to feel like “ah, I’m done”.  It’s another, to cherish each moment, no matter how small.  What I’ve learned is that through a young child’s eyes, everything is big and important!  Remember that, the next time they show you that their half-eaten bread looks like a pirate!

P.S. Just because I’m writing this, doesn’t mean I accomplish this everyday.  Trust me, there are plenty of times I have to remind myself!  I’m not even close to being a perfect mother, but that’s the thing about motherhood, there’s always room for improvement and change, because our children are growing, and they’re changing too.  And it always seems to be a balancing act.  Like maybe I have a clean house, but I’m not spending enough quality time with my children, or the house is a wreck, but I’m on the floor playing with my kids.  I like the latter a lot better…but that’s the challenge…to balance both.  Thank the Lord for my Bible!  And if you’re a working mother or a single mother??  Talk about challenging.  I don’t see how y’all do it!

Alright, well I’m off to feed L his lunch (in the midst of de-cluttering a closet)…it never ends, but I love every minute of it!

Stay tuned…next Monday, it’s all about the importance of SLEEP.  Not just for me, but for the children, as well!

10 thoughts on “How I Do It: Family Involvement + Outings

  1. You are amazing! And I wish I had your patience. I also think boys and girls are very different…my 2.5 year old son loves to just run around and explore everything, not exactly easy to run errands! Can't wait to hear about sleep-I'm a huge scheduler and both kids are in bed by 7pm.

  2. I really loved this post because my Mom used to take me along everywhere with her and I think it really helped to expose me to a variety of surroundings and teach me to behave at a young age! I really hope I'll have the patience to be able to do it one day too!

  3. I hope this isn't a weird question, but what kinds of carseats do you have? I have a Highlander, but I've been assuming that once we have our third we would need a bigger car. Were you able to fit three across even when L was in an infant seat?

    1. Not weird at all! I have the Sunshine Radian carseats, that are a little narrower than most. Before I had the suburban, I had a highlander, and I could fit two sunshines and a Chico infant across, with no problem! I also loved that they have a five-point harness!

  4. I've just discovered your blog recently and I'm really enjoying reading it – especially this series of posts. It's so interesting to read up on life with 4 kids (I have 2 but would possible like more). Great post on perspective as a mom and LOL @ let's go hug the big red ball! Thank you for such a positive post and for reminding me to slow down and just enjoy the moment.

  5. Love love love these posts! I totally agree with you on making things like trips to Target fun and giving them a job. It helps tremendously. Now that I have my second who is just 3 months I am finding getting out the door so much harder because she is such a fussy baby. But I keep telling myself to do it anyways and once we get out and get things done it goes better. I so took my daughter to all obgyn appts and she also loved them because she got to hear the heart "beep."

    Thanks so much for the great posts! Nice addition to your blog

  6. Good for you! My kids are out of carseats now, but your advice still applies on some level. Having little ones is Hard Work, and I know lots of moms will benefit from what you have to share. Sometimes we just need another way of looking at things! (and that Bible never hurts to help keep us on the right track!)

  7. Love this post. The fact that you take the kids on all these outings with you too is a huge learning experience for them– they learn how to act and behave in public and also get the lessons only experience can bring!

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