During the week, the kids and I have a pretty set schedule after school gets out. I go to the gym while they play in the kids room, we hurry home to eat dinner, take a bath, and get ready for bed. With my husband getting home most nights well after the kids get to bed, I like to keep the routine so that they know what to expect and it can help nights go a little bit more smoothly with three little ones.
Last week, however, my husband was out of town, and with very little energy, I decided to grab some dinner on our way home after the gym. As I waited in the parking lot for the restaurant to open so that I could run in and place our to-go order, I randomly asked my girls if they just wanted to eat inside. In my mind I knew that this was a risky call and could easily end in disaster. But before I could take back my question, I hear the word “yes” coming from both girls behind me.
I gave the girls a little pep talk before walking into the restaurant telling them to be on their best behavior. As we walked into the restaurant the waitress gave me a look as though she was looking for someone else to walk in with me.
“Just the four of us,” I said as she grabbed some menus.
Because the restaurant had just opened, it was nearly empty. She placed us over in the corner without anyone around, which was just what I wanted.
As soon as we sat down my girls needed to use the restroom. So I took all three kids to the bathroom and we sat back down at our table shortly after. We ordered, the girls colored, and the baby and I played with the handful of toys I had grabbed from the car. I quickly snapped a picture of the table with the intention of texting my husband to tell him that I was the crazy person that decided it was a good idea to take all three kids out to dinner on my own, but our food arrived before I could follow through.
As our food was arriving, I saw a group of people sit down at the table next to us. One of the women sitting closest to us eyed our table and muttered “wow, she’s brave” under her breath. I smiled before quickly getting the girls’ plates to serve them their pizza. The girls ate without any complaints and I was able to eat without the baby whining at all. It was a dinner miracle. No fights, no meltdowns, clean plates, and a really wonderful time. Even when it’s me and my husband, the kids are never that good. We ordered dessert before grabbing everything and heading out to the car to go home and finish our routine.
On the way out the door, I overheard the same woman that called me “brave” earlier in the evening tell the people at the table: “that woman is a hero.” I smiled and left the restaurant to go home and tuck the kids in bed.
A hero. Wow. What a sweet compliment. But me, a hero? I just took my kids out to dinner and we (yes, I’m including myself) happened to be on our very best behavior. That doesn’t make me a hero.
To be honest, our dinner could have gone the exact opposite way and many times it has. This was just a spur-of-the-moment decision that I made to add a little spontaneity to our monotonous schedule during the week. I was terrified walking in the door to the restaurant that night, but my kids needed to be fed.
As a mom, my life revolves around my kids. As their number one caretaker, a lot of times it requires that they come with me to run my errands. I go grocery shopping with three kids in tow, pick up my dry cleaning with all three of them, and yes, even go to dinner with all of them on my own. That doesn’t make me a hero. It makes me a mom.
Image courtesy of Lauren Jimeson