This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

Creative Parenting 101 (Otherwise Known as Divide and Conquer)

In my mind, the best way to employ creative parenting has nothing to do with tricks to get the kids to eat their vegetables, or go to bed on time at night or learn the alphabet. (Probably because we don’t have any … for any of those categories, unless it’s to bribe them with chocolate … for any of those categories.) No, as usual, it’s a way to help us, the parents, stay sane. It’s called divide and conquer. And I think it’s amazing.002

This past weekend, we put it to work.

Kevin took Brayden to his parents’ lake house in Tennessee with him. It was a “boys’ weekend” to get the house and boats ready for the season, and Kevin’s dad and three brothers were going, as well. When Kevin first told me about it a month or so ago, I said, “Great. As long as you take Brayden.” Kevin said he was planning on it, and then I spaced out, already dreaming of all the things I could get accomplished with only one kid underfoot.

The weekend definitely lived up to my expectations. I love both of my kids dearly, but to only have one to discipline and feed and change and get ready for bed for two days straight is pretty awesome. I felt like I was on vacation. I felt like someone should stick an umbrella drink in my hand and draw a picture of a beach behind me.

What’s more, I think Anna felt the same way.

She loved having me all to herself, knowing I wasn’t going to put her down because Brayden needed me to get him a snack or help him go to the bathroom. Before Kevin and Brayden left, I wondered if Anna would miss Brayden and if she would be able to play on her own. It turns out, she can play on her own just fine (as long as I’m in sight, of course).

On my end, it was so much easier to run errands, go to the gym and attend a birthday party. I only had one kid to buckle in and out of the car seat, one kid to worry about not running off through the parking lot without me and one kid to worry about at the park004. Truly, I could’ve had an umbrella drink in my hand! I felt free!

I feel a little guilty writing that because, again, I love both of my kids and I love them equally. It could’ve been a weekend alone with Brayden and I would’ve been just as excited. I’m glad we have two kids, don’t get me wrong, but it really is double the work.

Kevin said Brayden had a blast at the lake house, and that he was really well-behaved. I was so glad to hear it, and gently corrected the small voice in my head that was telling me that Brayden has to be with me at all times. Clearly, he does not.

We can divide and conquer and give the kids a little one-on-one attention sometimes. I think it’s a win-win, without the chocolate.

Although, as much fun as Anna and I had, from the looks of it, Kevin and Brayden might’ve had more…


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