inspired.

I have read so many articles lately about how parents in today’s world feel an amazing amount of pressure to be p.e.r.f.e.c.t.. This doesn’t mean that my parents or grandparents weren’t concerned with raising healthy, emotionally stable, and intellectually sound individuals; it means that they weren’t obsessing over it ever second of the day while in constant (real-time) comparison with their peers (curse you Twitter and blog-o-sphere!).

So, I’m breathing.

I’m taking a step back and telling myself that not every toy in my daughter’s room needs to be organically sourced, hand-made, rotated, purchased, polished, and seen on ever top learning site. I am re-training my brain that playing with a coffee can and milk tops is beneficial to my daughter’s development while also inspiring her creativity-didn’t have to cost money- and is acceptable.

My Bible Study is currently reading Elizabeth George’s Putting On a Gentle and Quiet Spirit; and while this is an area that I am working on within myself (my mindset and heart), I also feel that it is a whole area of parenting that is often time overlooked. I feel this constant push and fight against time to cram everything that my daughter will need in order to save the world- before she even has breakfast (slight exaggeration, but you get the idea). And that is what is wrong with our generation; we have this constant fight and competitor’s spirit to push and prune our children into ultimate intelligent machines, never relaxing because that would make them idle. That would be so utterly, devastatingly bad. YIKES!

So this month I am working on savoring the quiet moments. Here are a few things I am trying:

  • letting my almost 2-year-old daughter guide quiet breaks during the day. After about 15-20 minutes of intentional activities, I am letting her feel the break and silence and decide for herself what activity is to follow. Then we ‘go with the flow’. Letting her decide how to fill her time will help her executive functioning and calm her spirit when there is a break; she doesn’t always need to be running this marathon of activities!
  • building a ‘quiet time’ library. I actually decided to host a small get together with three other neighborhood moms and we will build our own (budget friendly) bags to help our kids have independent and quiet time during each day. While these bags are very easily filled from the dollar store, GOOGLE quiet bags and you will see that many bags/ideas are things you already have around the house. (Think Popsicle sticks, Velcro, stickers, clothes pins and rice!)
  • finding Bible verses that remind me of patience, peace, and love- memorizing them, and practicing them when my daughter is around. If I don’t demonstrate to her how to incorporate the Bible into our lives and actively involve God in our every day, how else will she learn it? More importantly, how else can I expect her to if I don’t live what I teach? {Looking for some printables? Try these: Free PRINTABLE ABC’s of Scripture, Beginning Bible Verses for Toddlers, Easter/Christian Printables}
  • creating a single lesson or moment that I want to be the goal of the day. By only making a single, isolated topic or lesson my goal, I am not overwhelmed with writing skills, fine motor, muscular development, manners, ABC’s, numbers, grooming, chores, responsibility, etc..One goal makes me take a break and delegate other lessons to other days- while providing her time to really absorb a single idea. (And hopefully helps her attention span focus on a single task before bouncing off to others!) Case in point; instead of focusing on ABC’s and numbers, this week we have worked on numbers. The pay off: she can count up to 20!! (seriously!)

Relax fellow Mommies. Meaningful moments of instruction far outweigh scattered activities just to fill the time. Unplug yourself from the outside world and it’s demands and today just sit with your kid and let them direct the play. Let yourself relax and enjoy the break from the rushing of our world. Let yourself be inspired by your child and discover the world around you together.

Side note: in following this theme, I have taken somewhat of a hiatus lately from blogging and my Etsy shop. While I am LOTS of ideas and plans for the next few months, I am taking my time posting so that my priorities and time are delegated appropriately. While I am not listing an inventory right now for my Etsy storefront, I AM accepting custom orders and will respond to messages sent via Etsy.

Keep following!

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hidden gems.

Everyone thinks of the traditional ‘must haves’ for babies: burp cloths, one-sies, pacifiers, bottles, brushes, diapers, wipes, soaps and car seats- I’ve even done a list of my favorites.  But after a few long distance trips, long days at the doctor or ER, and play dates- I have a few of my favorites, that are probably less well known. Continue reading

tot- time diaries…

Once a week Baby Bunny and I venture out into the arctic weather to parade around an old school room with other moms and tots. We clap, stomp our feet, jingle some bells, and mainly share the common cold virus. It always surprises me when I look around the room just how different moms can all be. There are some very slender moms in our group, some well dressed, some old, some young, some with one kid and some with multiples, some of them aren’t even moms but caregivers or grandparents. And yet, here we are, making animal noises, singing along to music we wouldn’t readily put on our stereos on a Friday night, and getting excited for an old rubber stamp that we get if we can survive the whole 45 minutes.

We all transition into this room, and parenthood, instantly sacrificing the needs of self for our children. Or so I hope. I am sure there are the few parents in the room that resent some aspect of parenthood or possibly don’t enjoy this season of their life; it can happen. But on the whole I like to think that we are all sitting there, willing to let ourselves look like a fool, for the one second that our child can learn, laugh, or have fun. 

I am reminded of a moment last week when we were traveling where I realized how truly magnificent this selfless mentality of a parent is. While sitting poolside, I met a young couple that was just a few months pregnant. I recognized the confidence and presumptions in the future mom’s voice; I had it in my own at one time. She talked about names, room design, crib selection, registries, her plans for sniffles and vaccines, and birth plans- all with the matter of fact tone that it of course can only go one way- her predetermined, researched, preplanned, perfect way.

She ‘knew’ that they would dress the baby in a certain style of clothing and take the baby to certain classes, because the baby will, of course, want to fit into the mold that they are creating. She was speaking as the ‘future mom’ and not the ‘experienced mom’. All I could think of was how I had been so young, so naive, so unaware of what motherhood and parenting involved. I wanted to tell her that her quest to build the perfect registry wouldn’t matter the week after the baby is born, that printing the perfect ultrasound picture won’t change her love for her child or ruin her nursery. I wanted to tell her that everything she listed to me of the most important plans she had for the baby were really all pointing back to herself; to her dream, to her desires. That soon a baby will enter their world that has ambitions and desires all of their own, and her dream will shift to seeking out her child’s dream and doing everything in her power to bring it to reality. 

I feel like who I was, before Baby Bunny, was so different. SO different. I honestly don’t even know if I would have recognized myself two years ago.

My heart beats for this little person now. My soul flies on the sound of her laughter and weeps in the drops of her tears. I have a tangible feeling of how deep my love is for her; I know the extent I would give of my own life to save or enhance hers. But those are things that new moms have to learn. Pain, sleep deprivation, sickness, healing, steps, scrapes- all of these things bind us to our children and make us so much more aware of how precious of an individual they are. And just as I wouldn’t have listened to someone telling me that I didn’t understand motherhood when I was already pregnant, I know that new moms have to learn on their own, in their own way, in their own time.

Transition back to tot times dingy gym floors and broken toys, when we are all scrambling around our tot time room like a scene from Lord of the Flies, my fellow warriors and I are all chasing our little ones with a plan in mind. Each of us, while looking so different on the outside are all moving about with one goal in mind: we are trying to get ahead of theses toddling dinosaurs to clear their path so they can go farther. Dream bigger. Smile brighter. 

the world is her oyster.

the world is her oyster.