It’s Thursday. You know what that means. Please check out my weekly blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Mom Of Many (Susanna): One Mom’s perspective on life, raising kids, knitting and other unrelated topics.
For this week’s topic, Tracey said: I ***HEART*** bullet points. The first couple of years that I blogged, I use to do “thoughts” post where I used bullet points. So, I’m asking you to do a bullet points post. Use no less than 5, but no more than 10. The post itself can be about anything you want, not necessarily a “thoughts” post. You just have to use bullet points in the post.
When my soon-to-be 8-year-old (where has the time gone?) was born, I was a very overprotective parent. I was a germaphobe, fallaphobe, injuryphobe and an owiephobe. If I could have bubble wrapped my precious angel, I would have. If I saw someone else’s precious angel covered in boogers and snot, I’d run the other direction, terrified. When we were at the playground, I was right by my little boy’s side, never leaving it for even a second. Yes, I was obsessive and a little nuts. Thank God he’s turned out OK. Now, when my 2-year old was born, there was leniency. My older boy survived his babyhood and toddlerhood and I knew that the same could be said for my new bundle of joy. I didn’t care as much about germs or injuries or the occasional bump or bruise.
Along with my more laid back approach to parenting comes the allowance of odd behaviors. The stuff I’d never let the 8-year old do, I let the 2-year old do, and often times they both get to do these things together. Life is too short to constantly worry, and my kids seem to thoroughly be enjoying themselves, although many times I find myself closing my eyes and shaking my head in wonder and disbelief. I’m that mom who allows my children to hang around the house in pajamas or half-naked ALL DAY. I’m that mom who bribes with kid-sized hot chocolate from Starbucks (and cookies) in order to get an hour of grocery shopping done. Yes, these things sound a bit trivial to me (now), but certainly didn’t even 5 years ago, when I felt I had something to prove. I had to be SUPER MOM- and right now, I feel as though just by getting things done, getting homework done, the kids are clean and well fed, those all make me a super mom. So, with all that said, here is a list I’ve comprised to help other mothers relax a bit, and go with the flow.
- LET YOUR KIDS JUMP ON THE BED: Seriously. It’s a lot of fun for them. I don’t think I let my oldest boy do this very often when he was younger, because I was worried he’d bounce right off and hurt himself, or that he’d hurt the bed somehow. But neither of those things happened, and my boys LOVE it!
- YES, MY TODDLER STILL HAS A PACIFIER. I am terrified to take it away. I won’t lie. His pediatrician said to take it away when he’s closer to 3, and when he’ll be able to understand how to send it off to the Pacifier Fairy. He’s 2 1/2 right now, and I am nervously awaiting the day where it goes bye-bye for good. I have yet to see grown-ups walking around with these things in their mouths, so I assume it all works out in the end. I know the day is coming, and whether we snip the ends, send it off to the Fairy, or have a going away party to give them (he has 3) a nice little send off, it will be done, and I have stopped agonizing over the “right” time to do it. Your child may have a paci, or a lovey, or sucks their thumb. You will figure it out, and you will know the right time to phase these things out.
- YOU CAN”T PREPARE FOR EVERYTHING. LET IT GO. I blogged yesterday about my ideal run to my son’s school, how I’d continue jogging with my toddler in the stroller and I brought along my older son’s scooter for his enjoyment. Well, I was able to deconstruct the scooter before heading to the school, and was unable to reconstruct the scooter when we arrived at the school. Small parts and putting pieces together has never been my forte, and after spending roughly 15 minutes on it, we decided to pack it up and walk back home. I was able to somehow get the pieces in place, but it didn’t work correctly, and I didn’t want to waste another moment on it when it was so nice out. We all had a good time regardless, and so it wasn’t a big deal. You just have to let it go and go with the flow.
- LET YOUR OFFSPRING HELP EACH OTHER. Give yourself a break! The 8-year old loves to assist me, and there are many times I will find myself doing everything and trying to spare him from doing the work, especially when it comes to his kid brother. I then realize the error of my ways, and I will ask, “Can you please get more pull ups… wipes…. brother’s toys…. can you please get him some water” (we have one of those fridges where you can get water from the front of it). Often times, kid brother will ask for his big brother to do something for him, even assisting him out of his crib! And I let the 8-year old do it! He pulls the little guy out of there with complete ease; I’ve seen him work. You’ll find that your children are much more capable than you’d ever realize or give them credit for.
- IT’S OK IF YOUR KIDS DON’T WANT TO WEAR CLOTHES. I’m not talking about in public places, of course. I would never send my son to school like this, but when he’s at home and it’s early evening, right before a bath? Why not? And of course, if big brother is doing it, little brother is doing it, too. This works wonders during the warm summer months.
- LET THEM BE KIDS. Last night, right before bath time, both my boys were jumping off the stairs. The little guy would only jump from the first step, but he managed to get some air, every time! Big guy would go up 2-3 steps, one time he went up 6, and after that jump I told him, “no way. That’s too high up.” (Even relaxed moms have their limits). They thought a simple act like jumping was the most fun they’d ever had! And I sat there, snapping pictures of them, which they loved even more, because it allowed them to ham up for the camera. I didn’t let them do this for too long (I always secretly worry they will create some strange hole in our floor by doing this) but the little time they did do it, they enjoyed it.
So, am I relaxed every single day? No, of course not. There are moments where I am more on edge or err on the side of caution, depending on the situation. What I am learning though since having my 2nd child is that they are not as fragile as we think, and not allowing them to let loose and have some fun from time to time is exhausting for both you and the kids! It’s healthy to let them blossom and grow with guidance, and direction, and yet at the same time foster independence. And if they want to be a little crazy sometimes, that’s OK too.