This past week my dad offered to take my family out to a nice restaurant to celebrate my husband's most recent raise.
I was thrilled! The kids are 2 years and 3 months; going out can be tricky but I was eager to make it work. I packed up a couple toys for the toddler and we were on our way!
10 minute wait when we arrived. This was no problem - I volunteered to take the toddler for a walk around the building and play with the shrubbery in the meantime. My dad waved me over when the table was ready, and we sat down and ordered drinks.
Immediately, my eldest was squirmy. Neither the crayons provided nor the toys interested him. Two year olds are infamous for their poor emotional control, small vocabulary, and short attention span and I wasn't about to allow a meltdown in this setting. My dad suggests we go home, but I said I wanted to stay.
I scribbled down both our orders and escorted the toddler outside again. It's hot enough to get sweaty pretty fast, and in 5-10 minutes he's ready to head back in and have a drink.
The food comes, and we all barely have time to take a few bites before the toddler is wanting to get down and move around again.
I resign myself to taking him outside a third time.
This time I can feel the resentment creeping in. Why isn't my husband taking him outside? Doesn't he know I'm tired/I do so much/I'm always with the kids/etc.
I try to fight it off. This meal is to celebrate him. He doesn't even like going out that much, let alone with the kids - I wanted this way more than he did.
Finally, my husband leaves the restaurant and walks over to me and our eldest, ready to take over. I beam at him, give him a kiss on the cheek, and tell him how happy I am to see him.
I head back inside and tell my dad that I'm having a nice time and that I appreciate the good meal. He helps me cut my food while I nurse the baby. I feed our toddler his meal during the car ride home and make him laugh.
Later that night, my husband told me he loved me. That he was proud of me. That he knew I had a tough night, but that I did it with a smile.
It was probably one of my proudest moments.
This didn't really come naturally. I had to actively fix my mindset. I had to remind myself it wasn't about me, and manage my expectations accordingly.
But I did it. And I hope I can do it more often. I've already fallen short a couple of times since, but I know the standard of behavior I want for myself. I want to handle the kids with a smile, especially when it's not coming easy. I want to make family outings enjoyable for us all. I want my husband to keep falling in love with me.
I'm super grateful to RPW for all the thought-provoking posts that have encouraged positive growth in my mindset! I love seeing myself act more and more like the woman I want to be.