I took my littlest out on a Mama-son adventure yesterday afternoon to get ice cream. We had such a fun time hanging out spending quality 1-on-1 time together. I’ve been trying to block off some time each week to take the boys individually to do something with me. Sometimes it’s simply to run an errand (they love Target!). Other times it’s to do something totally free like visit the pet store or the local library. And occasionally it’s something extra special, like ice cream! Because who doesn’t love a mid-week sweet treat?!
Our family has always been big on adventures and this is another way we keep things fun! While I like to maintain an element of spontaneity with these kinds of plans, it also takes intentional planning to pull them off. I need to have a sitter in place for whichever son is not coming (and something fun for them to get to do so they aren’t too jealous!). Having some snacks and a bottle of water on hand has never led me astray so I always plan to have that in tow. And if I’m really in a groove – I’ll remember my camera! That always adds a special sense of adventure to any outing!
Ben & Jerry’s has been our resounding favorite ice cream spot lately.
They’ve got chocolate sprinkle cones which makes them a hands-down winner for the boys, plus I dig the vibe in there. Exposed brick walls, simple decor. The staff is always friendly and happy to hand out samples when we come in and wet napkins before we leave. And honestly, I really really love their Cherry Garcia flavor. And their mint-chocolate-chip. Just make that a double scoop! You just can’t really go wrong with an ice cream date. You’ll have smiles ALL around. Oh and if you really want to take things next level – pack some wet wipes in your bag for the aftermath!
Another favorite Mama + son adventure that both boys have really enjoyed is the pet store!
My sister was the one who actually first gave me this idea (though she credits her friend with giving it to her). She said she takes her 2-year old son there to look at the animals and he loves it. So a few weeks back, I decided to take Noah there on a whim after we finished our breakfast date. We had a little time left and I needed some dog treats anyway so I figured what the heck!?
I couldn’t have guessed it would be such a hit!
I was totally surprised with the variety of pets they have there. Russian hamsters, geckos, beta fish (and a million other kinds of fish), different kinds of snakes, guinea pigs. Our favorites were the chinchillas and chameleons. When Niko and I visited on a different occasion, they were having a puppy training class that we got to watch for a while and was super cute. We easily stayed an hour on each separate occasion! In the future, I think this will be our go-to mama + son adventure whenever it’s ever rainy/cold out!
We all really love spending time as a family but we find that sneaking away for one-on-one dates is really important time for us too. Each child thrives in the undivided attention and it feels really special. As parents, we’ve noticed a positive shift in behavior and attitude at home from both kids since we started trying to be more intentional about these opportunities.
I believe that being out with just mama or just papa is a great way to fill their little love tanks. Their sibling rivalry seems to be more at ease – maybe just the validation that they don’t have to compete for our attention is what helps that. I also believe that 1-on-1 time helps strengthen the bonds between us. It creates space for more focused affection and attention. My hope is as they grow older, this space will also help them feel safe to communicate with us on a more open level.
I just love these boys so dang much. Spending time with them in these little outings has becomes one of my favorite ways to connect and bond with them. I’m always looking for new ideas for fun things for us to do together. Most of our favorites adventures have been suggestions friends have recommended to me! IMO, that’s one the best perks of the amazing community that is motherhood.