℅ Avery Lane Boutique poncho (on sale!); Old Navy tee; Target jeans and sunglasses; Birkenstock’s; E Moore Store horn necklace, old (similar.)
Let me preface this by saying, parenting advice and how to books have been a life saver to me since becoming a mom. My all time favorite, could never have lived without book, the one I credit with creating amazing kids who have awesome sleep routines and habits, is The Baby Whisperer. That book, sent to me by my sister in law when my oldest was three months old, made motherhood doable. It gave me a routine and schedule to live by, answers to all the questions I had, and for a girl who loves predictability, peace of mind. I recommend it to every new mom, I love it that much. It taught me that perseverance, sticking to my guns, and being consistent with everything was the key to life with little ones.
For years, when I had two babies under two and life was a little more hectic from day to day, I craved this kind of advice. I needed help on how to potty train, when to introduce solids, how to transition to one nap instead of two, and all the other questions that arise 4,387 times a day when you have little ones. Now that my babies are four and six, I find we have a lot of things under control (don’t jinx me.) We have a great routine, their sleep and eating habits are ingrained, and we can enjoy some of the finer things in life instead of living in the day to day (hour to hour?) warfare of toddlers and babies. Can I mention how awesome this is?
I also want to mention that I am a baby lover. They are delicious and huggable and I cannot pass holding one when they are near. I adore the snuggling, the dimply hands and gummy smiles, but that phase of my life, the moments of having a little baby myself, are over. This can be bittersweet at moments, until I remember how much easier it is to have two kids who can dress themselves and don’t require diaper changes. (This is amazing, in case you were wondering.) I love the independent nature of two kids that will play outside for an hour together and not actually need me every second of the day. It’s a rebirth of myself in a way, this mother who isn’t caring for toddlers, but is guiding children and teaching them about being responsible and kind humans.
Which brings me to today. I’ve always relied on books and advice to get me through raising these little ones of mine. Except now I find it sort of confusing and not helpful. Situations come up quicker now and I have to think on my feet a lot, which doesn’t give me a lot of time to consult my parenting library. I find that there is so much out there right now, so much that is thrown in my face via Pinterest and other such places that I actually forgot how to react to some things. For me, I think common sense and showing my children how to behave through my own actions, is key. If I want my children to be kind and use their manners, I need to show them. If I want to teach them that their bodies are to be respected and honored, I need to show them through healthy eating habits and exercise. I need to pay attention and note when my advice is needed, and when they need to work it out themselves.
I also don’t want to be pressured to make their childhoods so amazing, through parties and THINGS and vacations and STUFF. I want them to know the fun of playing outside, using their imaginations, and not having parents that entertain them every second. I don’t want to feel guilty for telling them to ‘go and play’, either! Why do I feel the need to schedule every second for them and create these activities that take away their need to take care of themselves? It’s like this article I saw on Pinterest the other day, titled “100 ways to entertain a 1 year old.” Let me tell you how to entertain one year old. ..take away all their toys and give them an open tupperware drawer and an empty box. Boom. Done.
What I’m getting at here, is that childhood doesn’t have to be planned out and managed and by the book. It’s pretty simple. Show your children through your actions how you want them to be, give them a chance to make mistakes and learn from them, and let them be kids and play and entertain themselves. Bored kids become creative kids. I’m not saying we need to ignore our kids and be completely selfish, but letting them be kids and do their thing is great, too. They need to see that their mama’s time is important, as well. I love to read and I think showing them this and taking that time to read while they play is important. I also want to be the the mom that sits and listens, and teaches them through all the teachable moments (these seem to happen every second or so?) When my daughter asks me, “What does sexy mean?’ (YIKES), or when my husband teaches our son to hold the door open for his sister and mom and to take his hat off when he steps inside, these are things that are important to me. All the other stuff will have to be figured out as it comes, because this new phase, this ‘mom of two kids thing’ is different than being a mom of two babies. My words and actions count more, my mistakes are a way of teaching them not to be perfect, and I think I’ll just take each day as it comes.
P.S. A friendly reminder, don’t forget to link up with me next Tuesday (May 6th!),for the What She Wears monthly styling prompt. The theme is STRIPES! Can’t wait to see you rock it;)
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