Day 77: Enjoying the Kids

Yesterday I enjoyed a girls night out in Amsterdam and left the kids at home alone. They are old enough and we’ve done it several times, and yet I still carry some of that mommy guilt and fear. Not that fear and guilt change my choices or decisions, but those feelings do creep in and take away a small bit of the fun factor. At the same time, it makes me appreciate the time by myself to be more than a wife and mother, which sounds so cliche, but true. I am happy when I do things for myself and I think these choices make me a better mother and wife because I get reenergized and refreshed and ready to give again. Agreed?

Charlie asked me before I left, why I had to go and didn’t I love him and his siblings? Good question and I turned it around and asked him when he spent the entire day and dinner with his friend whether he loved me. And of course he then understood and explained his and my answer for himself. He was content again.

They are such good kids and when I came home, they were happy and enjoyed a night out of their normal routine too. I wanted to reward them for cooperating with each other, and for taking care of one another while I was away. So today I had a couple ideas about what to do after school to surprise them and reward them. I believe in positive parenting and rewarding the behaviors I want repeated But I was also open to what they might want to do that could possibly different than my idea of fun. And it was slightly, and was even better. The little ones invited their friends to come home with us for a snack, to do homework and to play. And instead of bike riding to dinner, as I had planned, we all went together to this magical and fun place – called Farm Lake or Boerderij Meerzicht in Dutch. There is an animal farm, playground, beautiful garden area and a restaurant. Here they serve savory as well as sweet pancakes for dinner and they were delicious and fun to experience, and a much different flavor and texture than American pancakes.Thanks to Sally for telling me about this little gem. Check out the photos.

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I loved today and playing with my monkeys! Just missed the big one who had homework! Life is good. xo

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