My oldest was an only child for six and a half years. Five of those years it was just us two as we didn’t always live with dad. We lived next door to my parents but early on I set boundaries with them, and they were very understanding. I’ve always liked doing my own thing, and my son and I spent a lot of time together, just us two. I still maintain the same boundaries with them now. They don’t always like it, but they are respectful. We went out to eat, shopping, the beach, amusement parks, took road trips, just us two. He even went to college with me and helped me find a job at the University Student Union at Cal State LA.
Fast forward a few years and now I have three boys. The little ones are now six and three and do not leave my sight. We do everything together and that means, my oldest and I don’t get quality time. The last time we got a chance to go grab some iced coffee was maybe a year ago, we had family over and the little ones took a nap, so we snuck out. Thinking about it makes me so sad. As a mother of boys I know how important the relationship between a mother and son is, it’s the reason why so many men are toxic, those unresolved mommy issues, it’s a real concern of mine, because it’s not always possible for us.
Summer was going to be pretty chill until dad mentioned summer baseball for my oldest. Hijole! Summer baseball means tournaments, which sometimes mean 3 games in one day. I was not all in but I agreed, only with the understanding that we would keep my six year old in basketball. He agreed. Divide and conquer was the name of the game. One Sunday, I took my oldest to baseball, while he took the two little ones to basketball. It was amazing. I felt absolutely no guilt, which was pretty awesome. I mean, I’m with my kids 24/7, so I was not mad about it. I wasn’t running after kids, I got to relax, and enjoy the game. After the game I wanted to rush home, but after checking in and finding out we had family over, I felt comfortable hanging out and chatting with other baseball parents. My son asked if we could go out to lunch and I said, yes. “Wait, are you serious?” he said. He was surprised, heck, so was I, this kind of opportunity rarely ever presents itself, so we took it. We had so much fun. During lunch he even shared feeling like a proud parent watching me socialize with other parents, something I don’t normally do. He said, “I’m happy for you mom. You deserve to relax.” I cried. He rolled his eyes, “Really??? Don’t cry!” After lunch he asked for ice cream, something we again, don’t normally do because the little ones have several food allergies. So we got flavors we can’t get around the boys. Give me all the nuts! I look forward to spending more one on one time with my son, it’s good for the both of us. The tween years are hard, I have to remind myself that behind the attitude and eye rolling is my sweet boy, our one on one time reminded me of that.
Do you spend time just with your child? What’s the plan? How do you make it work? I’d love ideas.