The Importance of the Mommy/Daughter Date | Featuring Anthropologie

Some say going from one child to two is like going from one to five. Others swear having more than one is easier because they entertain themselves. Personally, I’ve found the truth lies somewhere in between. Getting used to being a mom of two means learning to juggle the schedule of a kindergartener (they don’t make Kindergarten like they used to folks), nailing down napping schedules and developmental milestones, and still fitting in time to think intelligent thoughts and bring fresh content to this blog. It’s easy to find yourself getting married to the routine and overlooking the necessity and beauty of spontaneity. I’m talking about long walks holding hands just because, board games, giggles, dress up, and baking cookies. With everything my kids are blessed to have I was surprised by what my daughter asked for this year as a birthday gift… 

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
I remember at Christmas time watching this Ikea video. The point of the video is that parents were surprised that when their children were asked what gift they wanted from their parents, they almost always answered that they wanted to spend time with them. I found myself getting dewey eyed thinking how true it was, but also secretly doubting my child would have the same response. Cue my shock and awe when she answered that what she really wanted this year for her 6th birthday was to spend more time with me. 
Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
Going from only child to big sister had her missing the one on one time we used to have in ample supply. Taking that answer to heart, we’ve begun scheduling regular Mommy/Daughter dates. Sometimes we see a movie, sometimes we get brunch, sometimes we go to starbucks and get a hot chocolate then walk around Target talking about things we like. Whether we are going to the park, or visiting the farmers market, the destination isn’t so important as what’s happening between the lines.

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
The message that’s being sent is the key here. I’m allowing my actions to speak loudest when I listen to her concerns, comfort her anxiety, and help her find the answers to her big life questions. She may only be six, but these moments will have a ripple effect throughout her entire life. 

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
Time is our most valuable resource. I spend loads of time investing into my kiddo, but these little moments of heart to heart time are really the most valuable to her. And if what she wants most in life is to spend more time with me, there is no way I’m going to let her down.
Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap

The message here is not that I’m a perfect parent. Because I MESS UP EVERY DAY. Seriously I suck at it, a lot. But who is perfect? We aren’t and neither are our children. What I am trying to say is that I can give her the one thing I ask her to give. I can give MY BEST.

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
It’s up to us as parents to live by example. That means I need to listen to her when she tells me she misses me and needs time together (even when she says that after we’ve spent hours doing her homework, going to dance, and visiting the library). It means I try to respond with a kind answer after the hundredth time she has asked me the same question in the middle of unloading the dishwasher, making dinner, and listening to her little sister scream. Because when I show grace and empathy, that’s the model she goes by when she sees her friends are down, or when she is annoyed with the obnoxious kid at school. 

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap

Parenting is a lot of sowing seed, and waiting for that fruit to show. I don’t know the moment my kind words will return. Sometimes I’m surprised to hear my own words, when my tears finally fall, and that little hand holds mine and says it’s gonna be alright.

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
Sometimes we have to focus on the kodak moments. We will forget the battle field moments when they are grown. We will look back and wish it hadn’t gone so fast. What we’ll have left are those kodak moments. I don’t know about you, but I want a bunch of those filling up my memory.

Amy West and daughter in looks by Anthropologie and Kids Gap
Personally I’m sick of blog posts that make parents feel like crap. That’s not what this post is about. My hope is that other parents feel encouraged that it’s not about perfection, or what we need to buy for our kids, get them involved in, or how we perform for them. What they really want is just us. To be with us, in the midst of our imperfection. I think that is a simple thing that we sometimes over think. 
Whether it’s a Mommy/Daughter date, a family game night, or another family tradition, there is no better investment of our time than in those little lives that are depending on us for love, security, and safety. We may not have a lot of time, but as the saying goes, we make time for what’s important to us. 

What are your favorite traditions? Share in the comments below!
Until then….
Enjoy the Journey!
xo- Amy West Travel
Photography by Aimee Dodds
Wardrobe from Anthropologie Jacksonville

Amy West in outfit from Anthropologie

Amy West in outfit by Anthropologie

Anthropologie Territories Rancher • Anthropologie • $68
Bailey 44 Gathered Stripes Petite Midi Dress • Bailey 44 • Sold Out
Moth North Slope Cardigan • $88
Pure + Good Opaque Tights Grey L/xl Socks • $19.50
Miss Albright Kiskadee Crossbody Bag • Anthropologie • $98
NAYA Hidden Wedge Bootie • Naya • $136
Velvet bow-sleeve dress • Gap • $16.99
JoJo Maman Bebe Plain Tights (Baby)-Pale Pink-6-12 Months • Jo-Jo • $11.70
Step2wo Black Patent Tall Boots • $98.70
Estella Bartlett Charmed Necklace • $29.95
Anthropologie Lipari Layer Necklace • Anthropologie • $64
Marled Crochet-Trim Boot Socks • Aeropostale • $5

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