I’ve been spending a ton of time with my little ones on their consecutive holiday breaks from school and daycare. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have to work and I could just do this all the time: Play, teach (and be taught by) and love up my kids! Sadly, that isn’t our family dynamic and I actually do love having a career, selfish mama that I am!
So, I’m savoring this winter break and reminiscing about much of how I (we) parent and all the ways in which I’m hard on myself in that regard. For 2014, I want to stop obsessing over how I can parent better and instead acknowledge how pretty alright of a job I’m doing at this mothering thing. If anything, I’d like to do more of what I’ve been doing…
No Regrets 1 of 11
I'm trying really hard to not have any parenting resolutions this year. Instead, I choose to acknowledge what I think (hope?) we're doing right by our kids in these everyday, simple ways--and vow to do more of it!
Reading Them Stories 2 of 11
And listening to theirs. I truly believe that reading stories and sharing stories with my kids helps them thrive. It's how they learn and how they develop their own ability to express themselves and share their own stories.
Singing Them Songs & Rocking Them To Sleep 3 of 11
Hardcore cuddling every day. Kiss attacks on the regular. Rocking them to sleep and singing them songs every night. I don't think that there is any such thing as being too affectionate with one's children during the early years of parenting.
Co-Sleeping Into Toddlerhood 4 of 11
Isn't it obvious? Why would I ever want to axe this? In all seriousness, we have had our ups and down with co-sleeping and, for the most part, they sleep in their own beds (knock on wood). In fact, more recently, bunk beds. For the most part. Meaning, at the beginning of the night they go to sleep in their own beds and then end up in ours. And as much as the knees in the head and the groin are things I could do without, I really do savor our mornings all cuddling together in our big king-size bed.
Teaching Them Manners 5 of 11
See that face right there? Yep, she's in full-on diva-mode right now. Technically referred to as the terrible twos. Every minute seems like a challenge in teaching her how to communicate her feelings, walking that fine line of letting her know that it's OK to be frustrated, but maybe not OK to lay a smack-down on me or sink her teeth into her brother. Flinging food at the table? Nope. Saying please and thank-you? We've got that down like nobody's business. In fact she's been know to say no-thank-you whilst throwing a temper tantrum. So polite, my girl!
Letting Them Help 6 of 11
As much as tasks, chores and outings take longer when our little ones are involved, especially if we let them help out, I'd have to say it's all worth it. Seeing the pride and joy that beams from their adorable little faces when they learn how to do something for the first time, or make something with you, is magic.
Dropping Everything To Play 7 of 11
This one is a challenge for us, since we both work from home. We notice that when the kids really start misbehaving and/or not listening, it's because we aren't spending enough time with them. I consider it a top priority to put them first, above anything else I've got going on. It's not always easy, and I don't always succeed, but we definitely do an alright job of it! The great part being that when we JUST PLAY with our kids, it doesn't feel like work at all.
Knowing When To Apologize (& Doing It) 8 of 11
This is so important to me. There are times when I lose my temper or yell or get frustrated with my kids. There are times that they they deserve an apology from me for that. So, just as they are learning how and when to apologize (and, of course, handle and express their feelings better), I suppose I am learning, too. Even though my time to apologize happens less often than theirs, respect is a two-way street and I think my kids deserve it in spades.
Taking Risks With Them & Teaching Them To Do The Same 9 of 11
The world is a big scary place and I don't want to be helicoptering around my kids like an overbearing mama. I waver at times with this and try to listen to that little voice in my head that says, "Just let them go! Let them do it!" Bumps and scrapes will happen. Heck, broken bones and broken hearts probably, too. All I can do is support them and push them into the unknown at times because this mama isn't into raising any self-entitled wimps!
Making Magic & Going Adventuring 10 of 11
As often as we can. "Going adventuring" is, in fact, a popular phrase in our house. We road-trip on the fly and on the regular; their toddler cots are well-worn now. As intense as travel, concerts and outings can be with little ones, the fun and memories far outweigh the cons.
Teaching & Sharing Of Our Cultural Traditions 11 of 11
No bones about this one. As complicated as it can sometimes be for us as a culturally blended family, it's all worth it.
More Babbles From Selena…
- 7 New Year’s Resolutions I Hope My Toddlers Make For 2014
- 10 Ways We Stay Sane With Toddlers During The Winter Break
- 20 Amazing Gifts To Spark Your Toddler’s Creativity and Imagination
- 20 Unique Challenges That Parents of Toddlers Face Everyday
- Coordinating Holiday Outfits For Toddler Siblings
- 7 Awesome DIY Last Minute Advent Calendars! (They’re too young to know you’re late!)
- 8 Tips For Surviving Road-Trips With Toddlers (This Holiday Season)
Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets … Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve