The Routine of Obligation

Living in the Northwest, this is the darkest, wettest, coldest time of year. Add to that the continuing routine of school, extra-curriculars and day-to-day life and I usually enter March feeling pretty thirsty for change. When I homeschooled last year, seasoned moms warned me that this is also the time of year when homeschool parents and kids get burnt out. It is nice, then, to plan a little getaway to soak up new stimulation and break the routine of obligation. I decided to take the kids on an overnight “staycation” this past holiday weekend to the city. Seattle is about a 30 minute drive for us but it is just far enough away from the housework, scheduling, carpooling, and daily tasks to feel like 1,000.

I had some basic ideas about what to do but let the kids decide most of the activities. Of course, being 6 and 7 years old, most of their choices involved food and play. It sounded perfect to me. Besides keeping busy with fun, I also wanted to challenge myself to unplug a bit. I wanted to fully engage with my kids and really listen to them and enjoy what they had to share. Usually we are on the go and I am torn between quality engagement with them and trying to keep up with emails, phone calls, and appointments. I am very conscious of my tendency to over-obligate myself and have kept our business to a pretty decent level this year. But it all still creeps in. It distracts me from this fleeting time when my little ones are growing up fast and want so much to share with me. I put my phone away. I didn’t check email. I didn’t even pack a book or magazine. It felt good.


Found at Playdate SEA


We enjoyed an exhibit at the Experience Music Project (EMP) called Block by Block: Inventing Amazing Architecture. The kids enjoyed some free building time before we explored the museum’s other exhibits.


A minifigure hard at work on one of the buildings

On the 3rd floor of the EMP, they have a sound lab where kids and adults can try out different instruments and invite other players to join in. My son ended up jamming with a gentleman who was an amazing drummer. They became buds. It was pretty cool.


Two dudes jamming

We got lost twice while making our way around the city. I love getting lost and discovering new places. Since we had no set schedule, the kids enjoyed “wasting” time talking and being lost with me.


A beautiful mural I passed while lost

Each of my kids wrote me thank you notes. They left them for me to find. I loved it.

Dear Mom, I'm loving our adventure. It is almost the coolest one ever in the city. I like to explore a lot.

Dear Mom, I’m loving our adventure. It is almost the coolest one ever in the city. I like to explore a lot.

The view from our room was amazing. I have lived here most of my life but will never get tired of the cityscape.


It was only a one-night trip but we all returned home feeling refreshed and reconnected. I know we are all busy but I hope you find ways to make the important people in your life feel loved.

Some more fun photos from our adventure:

One thought on “The Routine of Obligation

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