While I have tried hard to be more intentional with my parenting and tried to be a little more of a “Yes Mom” (when those yeses are to good things), I often fail at it. I have let a lot of things, including blogging, pull me in so many directions that when I sometimes get a sweet faced, “Mom, can we (do whatever),” my answer often sounds a whole lot like “Not right now.”
When I recently partnered with BlogHer and Stouffer’s for a campaign, they hooked me up with a dinner for the night and let me know that it was, indeed, time to say yes to one of those “Mom, can we…” questions.
Okay, wait. That’s not true. Let me be honest here. I was planning to put in minimal effort into our outing. In fact, I had been trying to think for days of something that would be fun, but perhaps not take a huge amount of time, since it had been a busy week.
Yes, that’s right – I was trying to cop out on being a “Yes Mom,” while still pretending that I was. We’ve all been there, right? Or, at least I hope we’ve all been there, because I know that I’ve been there.
When the day finally came that we were going to do our outing, Eric and I both agreed that we would take the kids out for a fun bike ride. It’s something that we’ve enjoyed as a family in the past, but just haven’t done lately.
To actually ramp it up into something a little more exciting, there is a new road in our neighborhood that wasn’t open yet, but would be soon. The last time that happened, we rode our bikes on the road before it opened, and the kids smiled about it for days. It’s the little things, isn’t it?
When we got to the new road, however, we were shocked to find it had literally just been opened. I was bummed. Isn’t that one of the worst feelings as a Mom? You promise your kids something that they think will be really cool, only to have to say, “I’m sorry – it doesn’t look like that will happen.”
I comforted them by pointing out that the new road also had a great bike path. It would be fun to just ride near the new road. We rode for just a while before one of those sweet faced “Mom, can we…” moments popped up.
The shortest family member (which makes a difference when it comes to bike riding) asked, “Do you think we could ride our bikes all the way to Walmart?” She asked with hope in her eyes, knowing that this new bike path meant that it would be a longer ride than we normally take, but that it was actually now all connected. It involved having to cross a large road, and I knew that we would have to get home for dinner.
Knowing that I had some Stouffer’s meals to just pop in the oven negated that last one. And, when we finally got the big road, we realized that crossing it really was doable, as long as we were careful. My kids were beaming throughout the bike ride. I was pretty pleased too. Not only had we been able to get out, have fun, and exercise, but I had managed to stop myself from the “not today” answer that I wanted to give.
Not only did we make it safely to Walmart, but we even bought a loaf of bread to have with our Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat and Sauce and Chicken Alfredo that we were going to make at home. (For those of you with some big meat eaters in your home, you might want to try out the Stouffer’s Meat Lovers Lasagna instead.) The kids also thought that was a hoot, especially since Jack had the loaf on the bike of his bike the whole time and we kept laughing that he looked Parisian as he pedaled his bike with his large loaf of bread behind him.
After the great bike ride (and a stop off at Grandma and Papa’s house), everyone was hungry and excited to try the Stouffer’s meals. I loved that the size of the meals (we picked up the size that was $6.99 per package at our Kroger) made it possible to have two different meal options. That’s especially perfect in our house where we have a whole lot of people who love lasagna coupled with someone like me who can’t really have spaghetti sauce and likes to skip out on red meat. The kids were able to gobble up lasagna with meat sauce, I had the chicken alfredo, and Eric got to have some of both.
While we were eating, I couldn’t help but ask the kids if they liked it as much as my lasagna. Jack, who often has his Mama’s back, dutifully said that mine was better but that he liked it very much. Noah, our peacemaker, stayed neutral and didn’t even answer. Molly, however, said, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I like this better.” That girl likes to call it like she sees it.
I loved that we were able to have a nice meal, made with fresh ingredients, as well as having options for everyone. Although we got the meals free (along with other compensation for our time), I liked that they were very affordable as far as a full frozen meal option. My kids, who are often picky, all gave their food a thumbs up. Eric and I also really liked the meals and decided that we would definitely love to have them again as a good option for dinner on a crazy day.
Thanks so much to BlogHer and Stouffer’s for that little push to saying yes to an adventure. It made for a very special family time together.
How do you say yes to your kids with the help of Stouffer’s? Leave a comment for a chance to win one $100.00 Visa gift card.
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