LMKTM: What Makes a Great Day

 In LMKTM, parenting

The other day I made sure to put dinner in the crock pot before taking the boys to a water park for hours of fun, treating them to ice cream, and then enjoying an afternoon movie at home. I was truly patting myself on the back for pulling off what I considered to be a fantastic day. When we sat down for (home-cooked!) dinner that night, my son Joey posed his usual mealtime inquiry of “On a scale of 1 to 10, how was your day?” I smiled and readied myself for their exuberant answers of 10. Imagine my surprise when instead, my oldest child said, “Um, I guess an 8.”

My jaw dropped. Keep in mind, this is the same child who will throw out “10’s” at the slightest drop of a hat – he got a Ring Pop that day, his favorite TV show was on, etc. My exhausted, pregnant self was astounded that all my hard work had amounted to such a meager rating (because on his scale, an 8 might as well be a 2). I huffed in my indignation and sulked in my surety that I had done everything right that day. I mean, I had made dinner! I had taken them to a water park! I even bought them ice cream! Surely they realized the effort it took for me to execute that day?

But the truth is that my kids have vastly different worldviews than I do. They are equally as happy (maybe more!) with pizza night in the living room as they are with nights I sweat and strive and make a from-scratch meal. They like water parks, but they also like running through the sprinkler in our back yard. They like when I spend unreasonable money on ice cream at the specialty stores, but they also like simple jello at home.

My point here is that I stress a lot about what I do for my kids, when in reality, they are easier to please than I realize. All they need is to laugh and to feel love, and their day is a 10! Parents, let’s give ourselves a little grace. Not every day of our children’s’ lives can be a circus of activities and treats, nor should it be! We need to stop feeling as if we’ve failed in some way if we haven’t daily done something exuberant to please our children. Life is always a lot simpler than we make it, and how we parent is no exception.

Keep it simple, have fun, and have a GREAT day today!

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