What do you do when your carefully thought-out plans start to crumble before your very eyes? I was starting to believe that it was impossible to plan for my kids, until I realized I was planning all wrong.
Do your thoughtfully crafted kid-inclusive activities always go according to your plans?
A few weeks ago I orchestrated what I thought was going to be THE BEST afternoon of baking fun. With Easter around the corner, I planned a playdate with some friends and grabbed a bunch of items for the kids to hop into the Easter spirit:
- Cute chick, bunny and egg cookie cutters
- Candy necklaces
- Bunny and egg molds
- Tons of sprinkles….not just the plain ones. This multipack had different shapes and assorted colors that ushered in thoughts of Spring
- Squeezable icing
- Pipping bags (cause’ in my mind, I was going to create more colors than the white and green squeezable ones I purchased)
- Candy melts
What kid doesn’t like cookie decorating, right?
I had it all planned out…even giving consideration to the cookie cooling period and how to fill that time (but I did forget the part where the cookie batter usually settles in the fridge for an hour).
Quick vent Mama to Mama – You know…why is it that we realize we’re doing too much only when we’re actually in the middle of doing too much?
Sugar Cookies from scratch (that my son spilled a quarter bottle of Vanilla Extract in), boxed Brownie poured into tiny molded bunnies, homemade rice crispy stuffed into mini egg molds, candy melts to dip them in (epic fail) plus decorating the cookies.
ALL. TOO. MUCH.
But I didn’t have this seemingly obvious epiphany until I had 4 restless kids ignoring my plea to participate in the “baking fun”. I looked at my girlfriend and said the words that no mom wants to say after spending money and planning the perfect activities for the kids….
“We should stop.”
She agreed with a head nod and a look that said “save us both, Jesus”.
I felt defeated…lost to the Easter Bunny, chicks and eggs that the kids didn’t even get to decorate until the next day. I was so caught up in the idea of what the afternoon could be that I missed all the cues from the kids. Their disinterest in certain parts of the baking. Their joy in playing with each other more than baking with me, having to endure my “snaps” of frustrations. And my girlfriend…she was such a gem, a real trooper. No part of the afternoon was any level of relaxing for us, but she showed up 100%.
All in all, the kids did have a great time.
I realized that it was not in the planning where I went wrong, but that it was my predetermined expectation for how my plans would unfold, not making space for those little personalities to show up so big, as they always do. Not inviting the opportunities to pivot and change the course of the plan.
Mama, there is a mindset required to preserve our own sanity when it comes to successfully planning for our kids and that is to remember that our plans will have plans of their own and we should always plan for that.