Sometimes you just have to go to a movie on a school night!

Recently I was feeling grumpy. I was thinking of all the things on my to-do list and my odds of actually getting all of them done. As someone who is pretty task oriented, getting things on my to-do list finished makes me happy. Not getting them finished makes me frustrated.

When I went to lunch, my husband came through (we both work from home) and suggested we take the kids to a movie after school. It was the only night that week that nobody had anything scheduled. I paused and thought for a moment, then said a firm no.

While I couldn’t see a way that we could go see a movie on a school night and still get everything done, mostly, it didn’t fit into my plan for the day and how I thought things were going to go. It didn’t mesh well with getting all the things knocked out on my to-do list.

Going to a movie on a school night was out of the ordinary and unexpected. My reaction to such things tends to be “No way!”

Later, as I was driving to pick up the kids from school, my grumpiness and frustration only increased. First I got irritated with the radio. Contemporary Christian music, which is my go-to, was annoying me. Back-up radio stations were on commercial breaks or playing songs I didn’t know. I turned off the radio in frustration.

I move on to getting irked with my husband. How could he even think we’d have time to go to a movie on a school night? “This is the difference between us,” I thought to myself. “I am the one who keeps everything organized and knows what all needs done. And he doesn’t.” This is 100% NOT true, but in that moment of frustration, it was true in my head.

I grumpily walked up to wait for my kids at school. My son, who gets out a few minutes earlier than his sister, gave me a hug and ran off to the playground.

When my daughter bounded up to me, she happily informed me she had no homework and wanted to know our evening plans. I told her that her dad had thought about going to see “The Addams Family.” Immediately, her face lit up and she got excited. Her brother came running over, heard about a movie and also got excited.

Suddenly I realized I was being grumpy and difficult without a really good reason. Yes, I had things that needed done, but going to a movie and letting the kids have snacks would at least remove cooking dinner from that list.

And if I was tired and grumpy, what better chance to have a break than sitting in a movie theater, eating popcorn, laughing with my family and not having to do anything else?

So we went to a movie on a school night. It was unexpected. It was unplanned, which can sometimes be hard for me to do, but it was just right. We had a good time together. It took a grumpy, cranky mom and turned her into a happier one.

I still had things to do when we got home, but everything that needed to be done that evening got done. We even had time for a stop off at Target to get a few things we needed, including a birthday present my daughter needed for an upcoming party that was causing me some stress.

The whole afternoon was a reminder to me that being spontaneous and changing plans sometimes can be a good thing. I was reminded that sometimes I can be too rigid and say no when I don’t need to. And I remembered how wise my husband can be because a fun afternoon was just what our entire family needed.

My attitude can make a difference in how my family acts and feels. If I had stayed in grumpy mode all evening, it would have been a long evening for all of us. Sometimes you just have to change plans, go to a movie on a school night and eat popcorn. And it’s OK.

About the Author: Stacey A. Shannon

Stacey A. Shannon is a freelance journalist and blogger who has been published internationally. She's also a Christian, a wife and a mom of two school-aged children. She started Families with Grace in 2019 to encourage Christian moms as they create homes filled with grace, love and faith.

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