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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mommy Dates (and a Giveaway!)

We have four girls who are close in age, and we like it that way. It makes a lot of things easier because they have a lot of the same interests and can share clothes and toys. We do almost everything together and encourage them to share so no one feels left out. This is great, but in such a busy household, we don't have a lot of time to spend with each child one-on-one.

I received a MOPS email about a month ago that challenged me. It told the story of a mom with two girls who had the opportunity to take one alone with her on a trip, but didn't want the other to feel left out. It wouldn't be fair to take just one, would it? She decided to do it, and the other girl stayed home with Dad. Everyone had a great time and it gave her and her husband time individually with each girl. The challenge was to think of her girls as individuals, and not just as "the girls", and to give them each focused time instead of always focusing on being fair.

Wow, that hit the nail on the head. We often try to be fair and we do often refer to them as "the girls". I want to have a close relationship with each of my girls, and this challenged me to make the time to spend with them each individually. But how? It's hard enough to make time for dates with my husband! How will I fit in one-on-one time with four kids?

As I prayed about it and Ted and I talked about it, it became clear that I just needed to TRY. So I've decided that "Mommy Dates" can be just taking one child with me to run an errand, for a walk around the block, or to check out a new store. Or sometimes I can take two at a time and then the other two can have a "Daddy date" at the same time. We don't have to spend money or buy anything, and things don't have to be fair or even. They think it is special to go on a "Mommy Date", and I hope that it will help to build closer relationships with them as they grow. Cookie magazine suggested making "school year's eve" resolutions, so this is one of mine. To spend some quality time with each of my girls (and my husband) on a regular basis.

Now for the giveaway! One reader will win a $5 Brinker's gift card valid at Chili's, Macaroni Grill, On The Border, or Maggiano's. You can use it to take one of your kids (or your husband!) out for a date!

Everyone has up to four ways to enter:

  1. Leave a comment about how you make time for dates with your kids, or with your husband, or just a creative idea of something fun to do that doesn't cost a lot of money. This first comment is required to enter. Make sure your email address is listed in the comment or in your profile so I can contact you in you win.
  2. Become a subscriber by email or RSS feed in a reader, then leave a separate comment letting me know you have done so. If you are already a subscriber, just leave a comment reminding me that you already subscribe and which method you use (email or reader). Thanks for being a subscriber!
  3. Become a follower. I added a widget on the right hand side of my blog where you can become a follower and your cute little picture will show up. After you've done so, leave a separate comment letting me know. If you are already a follower, just leave a comment letting me know.
  4. Add MomForHim to your blogroll or add my new button to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a comment letting me know you've done so with your blog address so I can come visit you! :-)
Any comments not following the above guidelines will be deleted. This giveaway will end on September 3rd at midnight, and I will choose a winner using The winner will be notified by email.


Courtney said...

Hey Jessica!

Our daughter is only 10 months old, but we still do "dates" but we call it "Mommy Time" or "Daddy Time". Since she's so little, they usually consist of just going outside for an hour or maybe a walk around the block in her stroller and we talk to her the whole time. It's a great idea and I agree that it's very important. Keep up the great blog!

Courtney said...

I am definitely a RSS reader! Easiest way to keep up!

Courtney said...

I'm also listed as a follower. :-)

cookiesandmilk said...

My husband and I love to go to Barnes and Noble order a coffee and leaf through the books/magazines and talk.
My kids love to go with me to the library alone where they play games on the computer or pick a book for me to read to just them.
They also really love to go to Target with me because I buy them popcorn and slushies and let them look at toys.
Another really cheap night is our family Pizza and movie night. We get a redbox and a hot-and-ready.
I look forward to coming back to read other people's comments!

Sara said...

Our usual "one on one" time with the kids comes in the form of taking them with us on errands individually. We try and focus more on the Dad and kid time right now since his freetime is a less frequent and I'm with the kids all day. He's started taking one of them with him as he runs and they bike along with him. Ella and I have done a girl weekend once and will be doing so again for a bridal shower in MN - it's a great time!

Sara said...

I subscribe through google reader :)

Cap said...

It might sound a little anal, but you could schedule a night or afternoon during the week for each girl (yeah, even F!), or assign her a day. Then on her day, for her few hours, you just do stuff with her. The others understand it's your time with that girl, and can think up stuff to do with you during the week, etc. Do you guys do board games? I remember having a lot of fun playing Memory or Candy Land during my time with my mom. (And the adage is true - even if you let them win it's just a matter of time before they're beating the pants off you for real. Me vs. my four year old niece? I don't even want to talk about it. It's traumatic. For me.)


Courtney said...

I added your button onto my blog!

For His Glory said...

When I was youger I read the biography of Susan Wesley (the mother of John and Charles Wesley). She had 17 children and she made a commitment to spend 1 hr a week alone with each of her children. She was an amazing woman and it appears her investments paid off in the end.

As with anything, make a managable and realistic goal so that it can be attained. I know that it will mean a lot to your girls when they see how much you care for them as a group and as individuals.

Jaime said...

On Saturday's our oldest goes to Grandma's for the night and our youngest gets alone time with mommy and daddy!

Jaime said...

I'm a subscriber.
wbguard at msn dot com (i forgot my email in the last comment :( )

Jaime said...

I follow!
wbguard at msn dot com

Jaime said...

I added you to my blogroll!
wbguard at msn dot com

Jess said...

When my kids love to go on mommy or daddy dates to Starbucks. $1 for a kid-size/kid-temp hot chocolate plus a small drink for me = $4.50 to listen and get to know my child better! (Just be check with your SB first to make sure they serve the $1 kid size...the one in our Barnes and Noble does not!).

Dolphin Girl said...

We need to be better at doing "dates". My hubby and I try to go out together once a month. We have our first mommy/daughter daddy/son dates planned for October!

Lori said...

My daughter and I go out to live local free music. Sometimes it's at our outdoor mall, other times Borders. I can't wait until my son is old enough to want to do something like that!

Kris said...

My husband uses Saturday morning to let me sleep in and go on a date with my daughter to the park. My husband and I are starting monthly date nights and we take turns planning a themed night.


Debbie said...

Our town has a "dollar theatre" where you pay $1.50 to see a movie there. $3 for a date night with my hubby is awesome, so we take advantage of that at least once a month.

Debbie: rebbiedeed(at)hotmail(dot)com

Debbie said...

I now follow your blog.

Debbie: rebbiedeed(at)hotmail(dot)com

Debbie said...

I now subscribe to your blog.

Debbie: rebbiedeed(at)hotmail(dot)com

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