I don’t enjoy taking my kids places.
Go ahead, I’ll wait while you reread that line real quick.
It’s true. I don’t enjoy taking my kids places.
I enjoy my kids. In fact, I more than enjoy them; I love them to pieces. There’s no company I would rather keep then that of these two little boys who drive me wild and steal my heart day in and day out. But the whole going places with them thing? I could really do without that.
In this stage of life that our little family is in, going places is work. Occasions that are meant to be fun—cookouts, camping trips, birthdays, swimming parties—they all equal one thing: madness.
There’s the whole getting there bit, which is a production itself. The amount of energy it takes to get two toddlers fed, rested, dressed (then dressed again, because someone will inevitably spill something), and packed (diaper bag, snacks, drinks, extra clothes, entertainment) is enough to justify a nap for everyone involved.
The car ride is basically one big game of roulette. We’ve been blessed with two kiddos who are pretty good in the car . . . until they’re not. And if they’re in the middle of a “not” occasion, then those seconds in the car turn into minutes, the minutes turn into hours, and the hours turn into days. Have you ever blindly reached around for a dropped sippy cup 57 times in the span of a 20-minute drive so your kid will stop throwing a fit? Yeah. Me neither.
And all that’s fine. I mean, “Life is a journey, not a destination,” right?
But the destination . . . oh the destination.
Because who doesn’t love being in an unfamiliar, un-baby proofed environment with two rogue toddlers while trying to juggle chasing, feeding, supervising, and socializing (not to mention looking presentable) all in the name of a “good time”?
Throw in some other fun add-ons like bonfires, swimming pools, or tall flights of stairs, and the chaos multiplies exponentially. It’s simple math.
Going places is no cake walk right now, and I fully expect it’s going to be a little while until that changes.
It’s not that I don’t want to visit with you, my friend, but the realist in me realizes we’d probably have a more meaningful conversation via text message than the interrupted-every-three-seconds conversation we would have in person.
So, no, I won’t stop taking my kids places.
And no, I won’t keep them from opportunities and experiences just because they require extra effort on my part.
But I will give myself permission to be a little bit more selective during this season and to say “no” when I just can’t deal.
Going places is hard, and right now we enjoy our time far more in familiar settings where we can all sit back, relax, and let our kids be kids just a little more—and I don’t feel one bit ashamed in admitting that.
If you have kids as close in age as I do, maybe you get it. If your kids are more spaced out or older, maybe you still get it. You were here once too, after all. If you’re reading this with no hint of relatability, well, then kudos to you because you are far more supermom-esque than I can ever hope to be.
To everything, there is a season, and someday all too soon we’ll be out and about with the best of them.
But for now . . . please, dear friend, don’t be offended if we decline your invitation. It’s not you, it’s this stage of life we’re in—truly.