This post is inspired by a recent real-life event!
Just the thought of an outing/adventure can bring mixed emotions for us moms depending on where our children are in development. Does the thought of an outing cause more stress than excitement? How can attitudes and behavior make or break our plans . . . or should they?
As moms, we normally love to plan fun for and with our children. Most, if not ALL, of what we do involves them in some way or another. We want what is best for them in every way. We want them to be treated well while also treating others well, including siblings and ourselves.
When our children have a good attitude, it makes it easier to get out of the house to go have our fun! What about when they don’t? Do we change our plans?
Planning a Fun Outing
The planning phase can be exciting, but executing our plans can come with challenges. First, I’m mainly talking about fun outings, activities, or adventures by ourselves as a family or maybe with others. A trip to the zoo, a museum, or hiking.
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Many things we plan are by necessity and may be time-sensitive (such as doctor’s appointments or other important outings). I’m not really speaking of those here because we usually don’t have a choice about whether or not to go.
I like to think about what my reasons are for wanting to go on an outing. Is it to get wiggles out and spend some energy? Will it be a good learning experience? Is it also fun for you as a mom? Can you get much-needed adult interaction and conversations? Thinking of all the pros beforehand may help.
You’ve planned this fun outing and thought about all the pros of why you want to go. Now think of what you need to prepare to make it happen. What can you do ahead of time? Are there items you need to pack to take with you? What meals will you need to prepare at home so no one is hangry before leaving? Did all your boxes get checked? Okay!
So, you’ve planned and prepared and the day comes and–Oh no!–an issue arises before you even get out of the front door!
Dealing with Issues
Issues can and do come in many forms. Maybe your toddler has a meltdown over not being able to wear flip-flops in winter. Maybe a couple of your children start an argument or fight. Or maybe your child has a bad attitude out of nowhere. But when should we change our plans?
I wish I had an answer. But I think I’m mainly here to say, “You’re not alone, Mama!” We have all had various struggles prior to an outing. An outing planned for their enjoyment.
Can’t they just behave? Why make it so difficult to leave and do something to possibly cancel our fun plans? Sometimes they can’t help it. But how can we help them?
If an issue arises, I do think it best to address it ASAP. Of course, the severity of the issue determines what needs to be done. A meltdown over shoes is much easier to address than a fight or a bad attitude. Especially if that fight or bad attitude hurt someone else in the process. No one knows your children better than you do. You are capable of making those tough decisions and addressing issues the best way you see fit.
Many issues can arise even when we are on our adventure. But, as a fellow contributor stated in her post about the imperfection in family outings, “family outings shouldn’t be judged on how perfectly or smoothly they went.” I couldn’t agree more!
To Go or Not to Go
After you have said or done all you need to, one BIG question to help determine what to do next is: Are there signs of an attitude and behavior change? If yes, I will, more often than not, keep my amazing plans! Most of the time, everyone ends up loving it, and we have a good time.
However, maybe the issue is a more serious one. Maybe the issue that arose needs more time to address and correct. I’m also here to say, it is okay to change your plans or even cancel them. Even doctor’s appointments can be rescheduled. Play dates can be postponed. We all understand that things come up.
Maybe you decide that you need to go to an appointment because it’s that important. You will always have opportunities to address issues later. Or maybe it’s the day to just get out of the house despite the challenges . . . because that just may be the solution!
Either way, you got this, and happy adventuring!
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.