Errands are stressful, work, and boring.
Outings are fun, adventurous, and exciting.
A little over a year ago, I went through a difficult season with Lily & Cailyn while running errands together. Lily (then, 3) would disobey and whine (and often have accidents no matter how many times I took her to the bathroom), and Cailyn (18mo.) would be fidgety and wouldn’t sit still. I dreaded taking them out together.
That’s when I read something in a book that changed how I thought about running errands with my kids. (The book is called Becoming a Chief Home Officer by Allie Pleiter) Instead of looking at errands as something to check off my to do list, I began looking at errands as a fun outing to do together. So whether we were going to the grocery store, the playground, Target, or the pool, I decided I would have the same attitude and make it fun.
What did I change?
- Mainly my attitude. I finally realized that my attitude determines my kids attitude and behavior (not ALWAYS, but usually).
- Added some fun. We often get smoothies after we go to Target (Jamba Juice is in the same shopping center) or get a treat at Starbucks. Makes us all a little happier.
- Focused more on what we are doing together than what I needed to get done. This is just a mental shift. Instead of getting so caught up with checking things off my list, I focus more on being with them and figured getting things done was extra.
- We have more fun together. No more accidents or meltdowns (most of the time!).
- I get things done…although, I usually walk out forgetting something or getting the wrong thing. Last week I accidentally bought a pack of sleep n plays for Efraim instead of onesies, oh well, they work too!
- They learn something. Because I’m more focused on them,they are more engaged in what I’m buying and why. Last week Lily & I were at Whole Foods and she was asking me what ALL the vegetables/fruit were- we both learned something that day.
Yesterday I took Lily & Cailyn to the water park (Efraim stayed with my mother-in-law), and we had lots of fun together. Today, I took all 3 kids to Trader Joes & Target, and we had just as much fun as yesterday!
It’s amazing how your attitude and perspective can completely change your day!!!