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My love, let's make time for 'us' this summer

Let's have a summer fling, shall we? 🔥

My love, let's make time for 'us' this summer

To my love,

I can't believe this is true, but it is. I wracked my (albeit tired and foggy) memory to be sure of it. Our last trip by ourselves was five years ago: the babymoon to Nashville that we took before our oldest daughter was born.

Five. Years.

I just did another mental check for when our last date night was. I think it was the concert we went to two months ago at the beginning of April.

Two. Months.

It's so hard to get time to ourselves in this season of parenting young kids. Having a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, and an 8-month-old doesn't scream "romantic getaways!" and "wild nights out on the town!"

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They actually, in real life, scream things like, "Let's go to the park!" and "Please don't go out tonight, I'll be scared if you and Daddy aren't here for bedtime."

So right now, they aren't always super realistic. I know that trying to find an available babysitter shouldn't feel like a monumental task to take on, but truth be told, sometimes it does. And I know that the energy required to get dressed and leave the house isn't the same as the kind you need to prepare for and run a marathon, but it feels that way sometimes.

We are both going All. The. Time. We are both constantly putting our three small children before ourselves. We both work hard. We are both exhausted.

That's why I am demanding we take time for ourselves this summer. We can't forget how much fun we have when we're together.

So let's have a summer fling, shall we? 🔥

It may not be financially plausible or logistically realistic right now to jet off to somewhere tropical or super romantic like Paris. And there may not be room in our calendar (or our wallets) to go on a date every week. But—we can be more mindful of each other.

We'll have a lot of valuable family time together, no doubt. So let's make a solid effort to put each other first, too.

Let's go on day dates.

Let's take family or friends up on easy babysitting "gets" whenever they're available. If that means 9 am on a Saturday, then let's grab breakfast together.

If it means 3 pm on a Sunday, let's have a late lunch picnic in the park.

If it's 12:08 pm on a Tuesday and for some reason we're both not at work, let's head to the beach. Sans kids! (Imagine?! I mean, I love them, but why do they eat so much sand??)

We often get so hung up on a date being exactly one type of way: at night; either going out to dinner or seeing a movie. But let's get creative and change things up a bit. (Who said we can't be daring? 😂)

But let's also plan in advance so we can get some nights out, too.

Let's go to a concert and sing our hearts out in the warm air with a cold beer. Let's see an outdoor movie and kiss under the stars. Let's grab drinks on the water with friends and laugh over tapas.

Let's try something new like a paint night and see whose art skills are better (yours) or do something we haven't done in forever like go to an arcade and dominate skeeball.

Let's flirt during family time.

How saucy of me, right? (I've still got it.)

Let's go on our family weekend away and let's marvel at this little crew we've created. Let's lay in the bed of our hotel room and drink wine while watching a movie on my laptop, sharing headphones and keeping quiet so we don't wake the kids.

Let's hold hands and walk around the fair together and do happy hour every Friday night as the kids play in the backyard.

Let's slow things down.

A lot of our summer weekends always get snatched up so quickly. But do they have to?

They really don't. We're the mom and dad now; we are in charge. We can choose to say no to some things and instead, prioritize things we want to do. We can keep things simple: beach, pool, ice cream, laughter, watermelon, and burgers on the grill. That's what summer is about.

Let's just have some fun.

The winter felt really, really long. Summer felt FAR, far away. We had a lot of snow and never-ending cold temps. Our kids were sick a lot and it all started to wear on us. It was a rough season.

But now? Now the warm weather is back and the sun is shining again. Snow days are a thing of the past and we feel like we're human again. Let's soak up this exciting, amazing, refreshing feeling and revel in our happiness—together.

Romance is in the air, my dear. It may not be the Parisian air on a getaway for two. It may not be brunch al fresco at noon every Sunday...but that stuff doesn't really matter. All that matters is that, between the diaper changes, the many meals we cook, and the trips to the playground—that we're making time for us, and that we're having some good, old-fashioned summer fun while we're at it.

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These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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