So lately I've been pondering how being a mommy makes certain priorities in my life change and certain preferences and niceties become crucial. Here are some things this Momma loves- things that used to be nice, or a perk, or even a little awkward, but now I am pretty sure I can't live without them!
1. Publix! I love this store..... seriously, it's a love affair. I used to think it was so much more expensive than Walmart, and full price it is. But there were days I would shop there anyway, even if it was more expensive. Know why? Because they have these spaceship carts that keep the boys completely contained- they can't get out! Because they give the boys free cookies so they are very content to sit in their spaceship and eat cookies. Because everytime I look even slightly lost there is someone who comes to my rescue and points me where I need to find whatever I am looking for (try finding someone to help you at Walmart!!!). Because every employee seems genuinely happy to be there. Because they bag my groceries for me and push my cart out to my car, load my groceries into my car and return my cart for me (you know that never happens at Walmart). And so I love Publix and I was content to spend more to get these services..... BUT THEN I discovered couponing!! And now I spend much less than I would at Walmart and I get all of the great full service! Some of these services were nice before kids, and the grocery loading a little awkward when you are a lone person.... but now I know I can't live without them!
2. Chick-fil-a... again, it's seriously a love affair... I could eat there everyday of the week. And yes, it is a bit more expensive than, say, McDonalds. But again, as a mommy it is totally worth it! Know why? Well, the food is great. The employees all seem very genuinely happy to be there (seeing a theme here?). They see a mom with her hands full and they take my order and then tell me to go sit and they will bring my food out to me. They come around and refill the drinks. The toys in the kids meals are great and educational, but if the boys don't want them or already have them they can exchange them for ice cream! They have free wifi. They play Christian music. The playground is great. They have a family night where kids eat for FREE! We go every Thursday to our Chick-fil-a's family night with our friends- the kids play to their hearts content, the adults get to chat and with the kids all eating free we save money! Sweet tea. Milkshakes. They have free placemats to stick on the tables that are sanitary and get thrown away when we are done. They have hand sanitizer wipes at the playground entrance. Some chick-fil-a's even have a mommy station with extra diapers, wipes and little cups of cheerios. Again, these used to be nice things, bonuses if you will. Now, I am not sure I could live without them. There's no other restaurant I could take all three boys to. In fact, as I write this I am at Chick-fil-a while Maria cleans the house. We got chicken biscuits and sweet tea and I am on the free wifi while the boys play on the playground. They will come around and refill my tea and I can stay here as long as I would like. Love, love, love it!
3. A playroom. So happy for my sister and her family and their new home. We helped them move last weekend and I gotta say, I'm a little jealous of her awesome new place. It's got all the upgrades- hardwood, granite, jetted tub, big master closet. And those are nice, but you wanna know why I am so jealous? The playroom! It's huge and fantastic! Stace and I talked about how after kids, somehow your "dream home" changes. Want to know what my dream home has.... a huge bonus room/playroom, a yard and lots of cabinet space. Huge master suite? Upgrades galore? Jetted tub? Formal dining? Well, I wouldn't complain if it had those things, but I would gladly give them up to have the playroom, a basement, a yard- places for my kids to run and play and keep their mess, uh I mean their toys.
4. Story time at the library. It is FREE! They boys get read to, they sing songs, they watch a little movie, they make a craft and did I mention it is free? I love it. They love it. It fills up our time with a fun activity. They learn, they laugh, they play. So thankful for a free, fun activity each week.
See what I mean? Things change when you have kids! Things you thought you could live without, well, you now realize you need. And things you thought you HAD to have, well they are just not that important! I am thankful for these companies who make being a mommy easier. Thankful for free programs for my children to enjoy. Thankful for playrooms and a backyard. It's the little things, isn't it?