There are moments when parenting can be disappointing. Take our disappointing mother daughter date for example.
The moment I heard the new Grinch movie was coming to theaters, I knew I had to take my daughter to see it.
As luck would have it, it was releasing just a few days before my scheduled “Mommy’s Day Out.”
As the holidays were rolling in quickly, I also knew there wasn’t going to be a ton of time for doing whatever we wanted. The holiday obligations are plentiful around here, not to mention, having a surprise trip planned for the kids in December. As soon as we return, hubby and I have to scramble to pack and drive for a long adult weekend away.
So, I traded my mommy day out for Mommy-Daughter day.
I’ve been missing my little girl (though at 7, she’s on the verge of being a big girl, isn’t she?)!
With her in school all day and having her (almost) always cranky nearly 3 year old brother at home, she and I rarely get time alone together. Our days are spent shuttling to and from school, afternoon homework, after school activity, cooking and eating dinner, and getting ready for bed. Weekends are usually spent doing things as a family or catching up on housework and chores.
I can rarely take her to do things like we used to do when she was small … weekend trips together to experience new places.
So, this was the perfect opportunity to trade my day to dedicate my time only to her. I’d been craving more time to reconnect with her, to show her I love and miss her. And, I thought she’d appreciate spending time together, too.
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I planned to go out to breakfast, then take her to the gym, knowing she’s always jealous that her baby brother gets to do arts and crafts in the gym’s child care during the week. From there, we’d have lunch then get ready to snuggle in a chair at the movie theater, watching a new Christmas movie.
I just knew this was going to be perfect, because she’s always listening to Christmas music. Afterward, we’d chill out and have dinner alone, to finish the day. In my mind, our day was going to be doing things she loved, together. And, I was gonna win some mom of the year award. Well, at least I was going to get a lot of smiles and hugs from a happy girl, glad to be spending time with mom.
How the Disappointing Mother Daughter Date Played Out
Unfortunately, my girl struggles with needing “stuff” and it gets in the way of her enjoyment of having time with people. The day went almost as planned. Breakfast, gym, a detour to get a replacement bra, lunch and movie. Then, at random, I decided to swing by the Town Center as they were throwing a holiday event with free family fun activities, hot chocolate, fake snow, and crafts. There was time to kill before dinner and this event was right up my daughter’s alley.
Unfortunately, I didn’t win any awards that day. At every turn, my daughter kept asking about buying a toy. And, I was getting tired of the same response … “today isn’t about buying stuff, it’s about spending time together. I have been missing spending time with you.”
Ask about toys.
No matter how much we DID together or how many ways I tried to explain what spending time together means, she kept asking if she could get a toy. It broke my heart that my effort to plan a day around things she liked was met with
By the end of the day, I wanted to cry. I didn’t know any other way to make it clear that a mommy-daughter day isn’t about getting toys. The only thing I could think to do to get her to (maybe) understand was to tell her she was hurting my feelings. I explained how I’d given up my day out alone so that I could spend time with her. I told her, very honestly, that all I wanted was to spend time with her, but that it hurt to know all she cared about was getting a new toy.
And then, she was in tears.
I still don’t know whether it was because she understood she hurt my feelings or that she didn’t get a toy. I’ll probably never know.
The only thing I know is that this was a disappointing Mother Daughter Date for the both of us. I didn’t receive appreciation for my effort to give my daughter a special day. And my daughter ended the day disappointed she didn’t have another toy to further clutter her room.
Isn’t motherhood grand?
In case you’re wondering…
I’m planning to re-read and jot down some notes from the book 5 Love Languages of Children. I’d recently read the book and hadn’t had time to actually apply the principles to our children’s lives. But, this event solidified that I may have missed the mark on my daughter’s love language which could have easily attribute to our disappointing mother daughter date.
I’d like to experiment with finding her true love language (which, at the moment feels like gifts) … maybe I could save us the heartache, not give up my mommy time, get her a small gift, and save us money in the long run!
Wish me luck!
And, let me know if you’ve ever experienced something like this. How did you handle it?