Planning and preparing for one evening out with children.
Last weekend we attended a family wedding reception. The venue was about 2 hours away and the event was set to begin at around 6:00pm. We had set out to leave home around 4:00pm, so that the boys could have a nap in the car on the way there.
The night before the event once the children were asleep, I started thinking about what they would need for the evening to be a success for us as a family. Needless to say I had so many things to organise and I began to ask myself the following:
What time will they wake up?
When will they nap?
What will I feed them for lunch?
Should I take sandwiches?
Peanut butter, Jam or Cheese? (maybe not Peanut Butter as other people may be allergic.)
What snacks should I take?
I must not forget their water bottles.
Should I buy some Apatamil just in case the baby doesn't eat much?
Is the iPad and Leap Pad fully charged?
Should I download another movie?
We need the toddler headphones and the baby sound proof headphones (where are they?)
Will the baby even wear them? (I really hope he does.)
Should I take their pyjamas? (Long sleeved or short sleeved.)
Do we need spare cloths?
Will they wake up when we get home? (I really hope not.)
Should I take a blanket?
What if it rains?
Do we have an umbrella?
Should I get their cloths out tonight?
Do they both need jumpers just in case?
What am I going to wear?
Does it need ironing?
Most Mothers will agree that there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes with children and that the best thing for us to do is to try and stay prepared for any situation. Sometimes I think is it just a “Mum thing?”
Do all Mothers think like this? Or is it just me? My rationale is that if I am organized, maybe I will have some time to myself and actually be able to get ready. Sometimes I’d really like to have some time to get ready and do my make-up in peace without having to worry about anyone.
As a Mother with young children, I am not in a position where I can just sit there and expect that my boys and my husband to do the things that need to be done. If I relax will things happen themselves? No.
Will someone else make sandwiches and pack snacks? No.
Will someone else think about the small details? Such as extra cloths, pyjamas, and iPads. Probably not.
I have to think about everything and there are times when it can be a little overwhelming. Gone are the days when all I had to think about was which handbag and accessories would match. Or which lipstick and blusher would work well together. Things were much easier in those days. Times are obviously different now and I have to think about my children and their needs, not just myself anymore.
The evening itself went surprisingly well for us. Our older son had a wonderful time playing with his cousins and dancing the night away with all the family. The younger one ate the majority of his dinner without causing too much a mess, he interacted with others well and he fell asleep 5 minutes after dinner. This meant that my husband and I were actually able to enjoy the evening.
I am convinced that being me prepared and organized helped make the evening go that much more smoothly. The most exciting part of the entire experience was actually the next day. During breakfast our older boy was remembering how much fun he had with his family. Listening to him describe his feelings made me realise that all the effort put in the day before was totally worth it. He even asked me "Mummy, when is the next wedding?" (Not for a long time thankfully.)
Lots of love
Mum to Boys