We are now coming into one of my favorite seasons. We are fortunate enough to live fairly close to beautiful fall color so we take the kids to a state park in the mountains every year for a picnic and hiking for the day. These yearly mountain trips don’t cost a lot and the breathtaking scenery is free! The kids love it except for the fact that I take hundreds of pictures when we go. The photo above is from our trip last year.
Between my single mom days up until now, our kids at one time or another have been given costly gifts and taken on expensive trips with the other parent and at first it really bothered me. You could even say I was a little jealous (yeah I said it: jealous! haha) over all the ex was doing and buying, but then I realized that there is not a thing I could do about it. Then it hit me that it’s not about what the other parent is doing or spending, it’s about me loving the kids and making memories!
When I was a single mom, I took my kids in the middle of February to the beach for the night. Because it was winter, I was able to get a low rate on a nice queen room with bunk beds and an indoor pool at the beach. At the time my daughter was 8 and my son was 3. They were in awe! I took them swimming that evening and to the aquarium the next day before going home. Do you know my kids to this day still talk about that trip?! Another time during the same year my husband and I were married we took the kids about 3 hours away to a theme park and stayed for one night. My husband was just starting college and we again did not have much money but wanted to do something fun before school started back. We had an amazing time with all five of us! All the kids, again to this day, still talk about it and beg to go back.
Through all these experiences I learned something that surprised me and that is the kids never really talked about all the gifts and lavish spending that much, or seemed to be as impressed as I thought they would be! They talk more about the little things that we have done more than anything else. So here is the absolute best advice I could ever give from one blendermom to another: If you really want to impress your kids give them your TIME. I know you have heard that before but I can’t emphasize enough just how true it is. When you find yourself focusing on what the other parent or ex is doing, spending, etc….stop right there and start thinking about what you can do to give of yourself, your time to your kids.
We have watched the movie “Flubber” and then made flubber. We made pudding art with painting chocolate pudding all over waxed paper. We have got the kids up to watch a meteor shower or see a gigantic full moon rising while singing the moon song. We have been to countless parks and tried new walking trails. We have turned off all the lights, especially in the summer evenings, opened all the blinds, and watched a lightning storm. We have on numerous occasions when the weather was bad, gone to a local bookstore and had coffee (for us) and hot chocolate. The kids would each get a new book and we would go home and read them. The list goes on and on but you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be grand. Whenever you think the grass is greener, that’s when you just need to water your own.
Hebrews 13:5a”Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.”
Donna Mott is known as the “Blendermom” thrown in the mix of a blended family on her blog www.blendermom.me. She has a fourteen year old daughter and a nine-year old son, as well as a ten-year old bonus son. Together with her wonderful supportive husband, she is trying to teach her children the truest Christian values of loving God and loving each other through compassion and service. She is a 2009 graduate of “She Speaks” through Proverbs 31 ministries and has written for www.upliftingfamilies.com. She enjoys writing personalized poetry. She also writes and composes personalized songs for special occasions. She loves snuggling with her seven pound fur-baby, Maltipoo, Brady. You can follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram @blendermom3.