When I was little my favorite game to play was mom. I had babies, I carried a diaper bag loaded with every single thing, hell I even nursed my cabbage patches. When I was pregnant I read every single book on babies. When I had the kids I like to think I was a pretty good mom. My husband used to use the word amazing. I still read, I am still a good mom, but…I think I'm finally becoming a great mom.
When Brandon started real school I never paid much attention to the other moms. I made a couple friends and we had a few play dates but…honestly I really didn't want to get to know anyone new. I don't like people. Or…I didn't used to. I recently made friends with one of the moms and she wasn't the most liked mom of the bunch. I listened to all her trash about the other moms and told myself I was right to not make friends with all of these people. But then one day, it was as if a light bulb just went off. I had one of those Oprah "Aha" moments. I needed to make friends. I wanted to go on play dates. I wanted my kids to be able to call their friends.
I slowly started talking to the other moms. Honestly I kinda just forced my way into their morning talks. When one of the moms had a baby I made sure I got invited to the shower and I made sure to be friendly and what I thought was funny and pleasant. I even sewed her a baby blanket.
It's not the best, but it was my first try and she loved it. I started staying a little late after dropping the kids off to talk to the moms. I started volunteering for things, like working at the school fair. Then Brandon had a sweetheart dance in February. I made the family go. I even got out there and danced with the boys the whole time. Normally I wouldn't have even gone, but we went and it was so fun. We even ran into Brandons best friend.
Finally I got invited to the weekly park play date this week. I was over the moon. I went and met new moms and Brandon got to play for hours at the park with all of his friends. He was so happy. I even got Codi out of preschool early so he could go. Today was huge though, I got invited to three separate play dates. I texted my husband that I finally felt like I was part of the "cool crowd." I combined two of the play dates into one date at the park. One of the moms picked up Brandon after school as a surprise (he asked her the password first and she knew it so he was allowed to leave the school with her) and the other mom met us at the park. I picked up Codi and when I showed up I had two blankets, and a super healthy snack of carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cheese, string cheese, greek yogurt portables, grapes and pirates booty. The kids and parents were happy because no one had thought to bring food, or a place for the adults to sit. We had the best park date. Us moms hung out and chatted for almost 3 hours on the blanket while snacking on healthy foods. The kids played soccer, basketball and other outdoor games while running back and forth for snacks. At that moment I really felt like I had this mom thing down. I had done something for my kids that I would have normally been uncomfortable doing (socializing with other people) and it turned out great.
Not only that but I met other moms and I got invited on more play dates. One of the kids is on our baseball team and his mom actually likes me enough that she even asked if some days her son could just come home with me and then ride to baseball. She doesn't trust her son with anyone. When we got cold we decided to drive over to a McDonalds play place. All of the kids wanted to ride with me so we put up the third row seats, got all of the necessary booster seats and away we went. The other moms pitched in and got us all an ice cream cone and then we spent another hour sitting inside McDonalds chatting while the kids ran around and played more. Later we are going to a pizza place to meet other moms and do a kids karaoke night.
I've made other changes too. I've been making extra sure to cook a veggie at night. I even have Brandon craving my roasted cauliflower and butternut squash. I've been packing better snacks for them. For Brandon I do fun different things, like send him with a hard boiled egg, some sliced cheese and sliced turkey. He's allowed one thing on his desk in class, so I fit as much stuff in one bag as I can so I make sure he stays full and can focus in class. Sometimes he gets two mini muffins, a portable greek yogurt and a cheese, sometimes there are bananas, grapes and some sliced ham. I try and change it up. Whatever I can cram in one bag I do. I've also started packing his lunch bag with an extra snack so that when I pick him up from school he can eat snack right away. I used to pick him up and he would tell me he was hungry and I would end up driving through a fast food place. Now he opens his lunch box and there is usually a greek yogurt and spoon, some apple sauce and chips. Once a week I will put a little treat like two cookies or fruit snacks in there also. It makes everyones life easier. I don't have to listen to him whine about being hungry, I don't have to stop or leave work to get him food and I don't make fast unhealthy decisions.
I've also been spending more time getting to know my husband again. We went through a rough patch, and while most people would regret that, I don't. Because it brought us so much closer. It has been amazing. We spend so much time together now and are really making an effort to do stuff together and for each other. If I get off work early I try and make sure the dishwasher is unloaded and the dishes are done. That's a chore he does, and I've happily let him do it for year's but lately I've been trying to do that. In the morning he makes my coffee before I even come down the stairs. We went for a run together this weekend and then walked to breakfast together. It was so nice being together. We've been cuddling more, holding hands more and just being in love more.
I signed up for a run in June also to force myself to start running again. I think these are all good changes. I am making a really big effort to better myself and my family. I hope things continue to get better from here. I want to be that mom I always dreamt I would be when I was a little girl dreaming of my future.