It has been such a whirlwind raising a daughter! You think when they are little that they will never get older and then one day they are standing in front of you asking you to teach them to drive!!! I loved the time when my daughter was younger, but I am also loving this new chapter in our lives of watching our daughter grow into a woman. We can now connect on a whole different level than when she was a toddler or pre-schooler. One thing that I am finding particularly awesome about this stage in my daughter’s life is the one on one time that we have together. Here are 6 mother daughter activities that we enjoy doing.
Coffee Dates – We are both Starbucks fanatics so naturally we would gravitate towards having a coffee date together! This is simply a time to grab a coffee and chat about what is going on in our lives. It is a laid back, relaxed time of bonding that we both really enjoy and the coffee is an added bonus!!
Shopping – Okay, I know that not every woman likes to go shopping but my daughter and I actually enjoy this experience. Whether we are shopping for a dress for a special occasion or just popping out to Target in the evening to browse the makeup section we find this is a great way for us to spend some quality time together. Usually our shopping trips involve some form of silliness and lots of laughter, which is good for the soul!!
Physical Activity – This could involve anything from taking the dog for a walk around the neighborhood to hiking in the woods to kayaking to biking along the river. If it involves getting outside and getting active we like to do it together! My daughter sometimes has to convince me that getting active is good for me, especially on those days when work has been long, but I am always glad when I do get out there with her!
Watching Gilmore Girls Together – The show Gilmore Girls is my daughter’s all time favorite television show, she has watched all 7 seasons 7 times all the way through! I am also infatuated with this show so it stands to reason that we would enjoy watching it together. When my husband is out of town we will make some food, settle in and watch one or two episodes in the evening!
Sharing Great Books – So, this isn’t technically time that we spend together but it is a shared experience. If I read a great book that I know my daughter will enjoy I pass it on to her and she does the same for me. These books give us something to discuss together, maybe during our coffee dates! We are always on the lookout for books that we might enjoy together.
Special Events – So, this could incorporate many different activities such as going to a movie together, watching a play together or going to a concert. My daughter and I have enjoyed going to a couple of concerts together and it is a neat experience to share. Last night we attended a Taylor Swift concert together and it will be something we will talk about for a long time to come! We also get excited about going to movies together that we have been anticipating for a long time such as the Hunger Games series or the Divergent series.
The time that we have with our children is relatively short. It is up to us to make the most of this time and relish every moment. These mother daughter activities are extremely precious and bring memories that will last us a lifetime.
We have spent a lot of time with our children this summer camping, hanging out in airports, staying in hotels and visiting many attractions. It is, in many ways, much more enjoyable to travel with older children, ours are 16 and 20. However we have also discovered that some things never change. Here are 5 interesting facts about traveling with older children.
They will still want you to carry their “stuff”. No matter how old they get it seems they need you to hold on to their belongings. Water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses you name it they will want you to carry it! I haven’t carried a diaper bag in many, many years but it almost felt like that was what I was lugging around with me on vacation this year!!
They still like to play! Apparently you never get too old to play. Our 20 year old son likes to splash around in the pool and chase his sister just as much as he liked to do it when he was 10! Our 16 year old daughter likes to be chased just as much as when she was 6! It is a wonderful thing to see your children play, no matter how old they are!!!
They will still complain. When they get tired, when they get hungry, when they get hot; you can be sure that you will hear about it! Usually this means that it is time to take a break, whether that means heading back to the hotel, sitting on a bench in the shade or grabbing something to eat.
They will follow you around like little ducklings. We were certain that given the ages of our children they would want to explore some things on their own. We couldn’t have been more wrong! On a couple of occasions I would turn around and bump right into my son!!
They still like to hang around with mom and dad! This was the most wonderful revelation to us on our vacation. Our children still want to spend time with us! I guess we must have done something right as parents!
We have been lucky to have this summer with our children and to spend so much family time together. Our son is applying to universities across the country and may only be at home for another year and our daughter is chomping at the bit to get a part time job! It might be the last summer vacation that we have together so we are taking the time to soak in every moment. Traveling with older children is a blessing!
Life can be unpredictable, it can be messy and at times life can be all too serious. As we grow older we often forget how to have fun, the pleasure of play seems to get buried beneath the mundane of every day life. So how can we bring back the joy in our lives?
Enjoy the simple things in life. When was the last time you made a snow angel or jumped in the puddles after a rainstorm? When was the last time you tried to catch a snowflake on your tongue or enjoyed the sheer awesomeness of a thunder and lightning storm? Take some time to revel in the simple pleasures … even going to the grocery store and finding no line up at the till can bring joy!!
Be Spontaneous. So much of our lives are structured and scheduled. Up early in the morning, work out, eat … you get the picture. When was the last time you did something just because the mood struck you? Go ahead. Do it!!! There might be a thousand things on your schedule but your schedule will still be there later, trust me. So be spontaneous!!!
Schedule some Nonsense time. I know, I just said to be “spontaneous” and now I am saying put fun into your schedule. Chances are if you see it in your schedule you will be more likely to make the time for it. So take a moment and pencil in some nonsense time. Play games with your kids after dinner, watch a silly movie or TV show. Whatever it is that brings you joy go ahead and make some time to do it!!
Cheerfulness and playfulness is not something that you can fake. You can, however, take steps toward embracing the joy in your life. The more you embrace joy the easier it becomes and soon playfulness will be a part of you every day!
What are some of the “simple things” in life that bring you joy?
Being a parent is a journey that requires grace, mercy, forgiveness and faith that God has a plan. Nurturing your children, teaching them, making decisions for them that take their best interests into account requires a great amount of responsibility, maturity and patience.
When our son was little he was a handful! Every day with him brought a new challenge. When he was four years old he refused to play with any of the other children in the neighborhood. If a child came to our yard to play, our son would scream and scream at the top of his lungs until he had successfully frightened his potential playmate away. In grade four he exercised his freedom of speech, in a unique way, and used the F word whenever he was displeased with what the teacher expected of him. He had a temper that could rival a raging bull and one day he became so angered by our neighbor’s son that he hit him in the bum with a shovel. Needless to say, the early years of our son’s life were difficult ones.
While parenting our young son mercy, grace and forgiveness were handed out in large quantities, sometimes to our son and sometimes to ourselves. Did we make mistakes as parents, you bet we did!! We constantly needed to remind ourselves to be patient; God had a plan for our son and everything would come together according to His timing and not ours. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the lord “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).
Today our son is a well adjusted, hard working twenty year old going into his fourth year of university and on his way to becoming a psychiatrist. Did we ever envision this future for our son? Perhaps not this particular future but we never lost faith that he had a future and that God had a plan.