This has been one of the best blog series Ive ever done. (You can read more about it here.) I'm loving this challenge and all the things I'm rediscovering. There's a lot of emotion in it as well, since it makes me reflect on my parenting. I'm not a bad mom, I know that and don't plan for this to be a pity me, but I am also not perfect. This challenge even after only 7 days has reminded me how important the little things are and to embrace each age, day, moment of my girls' lives.
I've written in a journal each day about my experience so that I can be authentic here in my blog. Also be prepared this may be a VERY long blog.
Day1:"What is one thing we can do this month?"
This was so much fun to start the month with. I asked the girls this and was surprised by their answers.
Here are some of things we agreed on:
Make zoo animals
They also wanted to find a castle to live in, learn to fly, and make real magic wands....I seriously LOVED this.
This was a huge CHALLENGE. The morning started out rough since the girls woke up at 4am and were ready for naps by 6am. I was exhausted and they were ornery. It was a bad combination. I took a lot of deep breaths and did a lot of praying. I made it through the morning. And after learning that staying quiet and calm was the best way to get Jozy to nap, the rest of the day went smoothly. I realized that sometimes all the girls need are extra cuddles or some snuggles. That a sweet word or patient moment while they melted down went over a lot smoother than raising my voice. I've kept this principle up the rest of the week and so far things are a whole lot smoother.
Day3: "Hug your child 3 times today"
This was easy for me. We are a very affectionate family and I hug the girls as often as possible through out the day. I did however, make sure to enjoy and really take in each hug. To imprint the way their hair smelled, their soft cheeks pressed against mine and the sweet feeling of little arms wrapped around my neck. I soaked up each hug so that I would forever have a vivid memory of their little hugs and love.Day4: "Kiss your kids while they sleep."
Since hubbins worked that night the girls slept in our bed. We don't normally co sleep but for a few reasons when Hubbins work over night the girls and I bunk together. It helps all of us sleep. I couldn't settle down to sleep until super early morning. So, as become the norm, when I crawled into bed I reached over and retucked the girls in. I then gave each girl a kiss on the forehead. I whispered, "I love you" to each girl and snuggled up for sleep. I didn't need a challenge to do this since its one of my favorite moments. Watching the girls sleep, seeing their sweet little dream land smiles and knowing they feel completely safe are some of the few things I am so blessed to see. My love pours out to them.
Day5: "Say to yourself, 'They are only_______, they are still children."' Then treat them that way."
It was a perfect day for this challenge on many different levels. It was something I worked on right up to bedtime which turned into sister giggle bonding time. It's very easy to get caught up in the "we have a busy day", "tomorrow will be another crazy one", "you are suppose to behave better," and all the other little things through out the day. But when I stop to remember they wont always wanted kisses and snuggles goodnight, they wont demand 800 stories through out the day, or they wont always be best friends.
Melt downs over itchy dance costumes from overly tired toddlers was not as easy as a little later bedtime. With 3 mins to get her ready after 10mins of feisty toddler, said toddler opted for a complete break down. It took what tiny amount of patience I had left to remember she's 3. To take a deep breath and be rational with my irrational baby girl. I did it though. I solved the problem with mommy magic and we made it to dance pictures on time. Despite the break down, it was a lot of fun and once there Jozy completely forgot her costume was itchy.
Later, I saw this challenge in a different light. After Bug's picture set, we had some time to kill before dinner at my Hubbins's parents (Jozy and Hubbins were already there.) She really wanted to go to the park and I really want to unwind at the inlaws. But she is only 5 and will only be 5 for a little while longer. So the park is where we went. It was the perfect reminder that my girl is growing fast and time moves too quickly. She conquered the monkey bars, a task that has tormented her all school year. But she did it and even though I was there, prepped to job in a save the day, she didn't need me. She needed me to be there, to see her over come her fear and beat her challenge. And that face of hers lite up with a mouth wide open pure gleeful joy smile; it took my breath away.
I learned just how important it is to remember they are 3 and 5. There will be melt downs, and sassy attitude, and rough rough moments, yes. But they are over run by brilliant smiles, bravery, laughter, dance twirls, and so much love. It's easy to get caught up in the rush or how kids are suppose to act, or all the things society expects them to know at such a young age. But they are children, they need to play, to learn, to disobey, and to be crazy. But they also need their parents to be there to protect them, to cure life's woes and to remember they are only 3 and 5 for a little time.
Day6: "Make, bake, or buy their favorite foods."
This was another easy one. We usually let the girls have their favorite food, and it was my nephew's birthday so there was ice cream cake. We don't spoil the girls all the time but its easy to let them have their favorite foods every now and then. Especially, when they prefer pb&j pinwheels, or mac and cheese or chicken nuggets, or cheese burgers (yummy!) Cake is a birthday only kinda thing in our house since Jozy can't handle much sugar, but she loved it on this day.
Day7: "Leave a sweet note for them."
Since the girls cant read yet, I wasn't sure how to do this. We have these chalk board wall clings and I put two of them in their room. I was going to draw a silly picture or maybe a mommy and daughter with lots of hearts. But instead, I opted to write "Mommy loves....." on each one. The girls recognize their names and the heart means love. I showed them the notes and read them to each one. It was a sweet moment and started the morning our right. Also, later in the evening Ladybug pointed to it, smiled and said "I love you too, mommy." It made my heart soar! I think, I'll make them "I love you because....." frames for Easter. Because, I loved the small thing that turned into something grand and heart warming.
I've learned a lot with this challenge in 7 short days and I am so excited to see what the rest of the month has in store. Let me know some small things that you do to help embrace mommyhood and all the awesomeness.......