Parenting Toddlers

Click Image for Source

Click Image for Source

The toddler years can be challenging… I’m right in the middle of them myself. There are days when all I want to do is find a corner and cry out of frustration. Please tell me I’m not the only one?!

But I’ve learned a lot about being a mother in the last 4 years and have realized that the key to any day going successfully is how I handle myself. A calm, stress-free mother is essential to any happiness in the home.

This is where my strategy of minimal activities comes in – I know I can’t handle a busy day myself without getting stressed out, so, to keep everything running smoothly and everybody happy, I’ve learned to say ‘no’ sometimes and limit our day-time activities to a manageable amount.

After all, how can I expect my children to handle a busy day AND a stressed momma without more than a few meltdowns and fights? I can’t.

I’m always learning more about parenting and stay on the lookout for helpful information and practical ideas that I can put to use in our own lives. I came across these links in the last few weeks that taught me a little more… maybe they can help you too?

Toddler Quiet Time: a daily routine to give everyone breathing time | Day2Day Joys

Baby Steps & Toddler Tips: discipline for the earliest years | Simple Mom

What Should a 4 Year Old Know? | A Magical Childhood

5 Ways to Love Your Life More Today | Steady Mom

Do The Very Thing You Ask of Them | Simple Mom

Cherish the Good Things

tumblr_mo33bfvsrU1snd510o1_500

Click image for source.
 

Definitely need to remember that!

And some links for you this weekend:

50 Ways to Love Your Child Every Day Using Love Languages | Bow of Bronze

Fill the Freezer with Easy Recipes for Summer | Life As Mom

Put the Phone Down and be a Mother | Growing Home

Be Like The Sun: Move Slowly, Radiate Warmth, Shine | Simple Mom

40 Preserving Links (and canning with honey!) | Simple Bites

Showing Up For My Life

Sura Nualpradid - freedigitalphotos

In our digital world today, it can be so easy to get addicted to the internet. Believe me, I know. There was a time, a few years ago, when I could easily spend 6-8 hours a day in front of the computer… and I’m not even on Facebook or Twitter! And the majority of that time was not at all productive.

Since then, I’ve realized that was not the way I wanted to live my life, and things have greatly improved in that area.

Sure, there are times when I get carried away on Pinterest and waste a half hour, but most days the computer is only used for useful things during the day, like finding recipes and actual work.

Since I’ve stopped wasting so much time on the internet, I’ve been able to enjoy my children more, stay on top of housework and laundry, cook better meals, and find time to just BE.

I don’t want to look back in 25 years when my kids are all grown up and wonder what happened. I want to enjoy them while they are little and give them the time and attention they need and deserve. I want to form real relationships with real people, spend time with family and friends.

I want to actually live MY life, live my actual life, and not let a virtual world dictate who I am.

Sally Clarkson wrote about this in her blog post today:

Perhaps, on the internet, we build up a couple of thousand of friends–that does not mean they know us, our real lives, our silent aches of heart, our loneliness, our dreams, insecurities, needs or doubts, or love us. Often it just means, they, too, are trying to build their list. Our social networking friends cannot bring us a hot, delicious meal or a fall bouquet of blooming flowers when we are sick or depressed or just need to know we are on someone’s mind.

Our social media friends cannot hold our hand or give us a gentle embrace, when we pray through a heartbreak or sit and drink a real cup of tea on the porch as we watch a fall sun melt into the sky, and share secrets. Our social media friends are not here to touch, see, experience, giggle, to validate the memories of real life.

Our children also long for us to see them as the important ones–they long for our words of love and laughter at their jokes and engaging in their hearts and attention. Our children are only with us for a window of time, to receive our attention, loving touch, tasty meals, to celebrate life as we pour into their souls. If we are looking to the internet for our relationships, our children will look for love and attention wherever else they can find it–away from us.

We are their first choice, but they will settle for others if their needs are not met at home with our intentional and present attention.

I don’t want my children to turn elsewhere for the love and attention they need from me. I want to be there for them and not miss any more of my life than I have to.

The only way we will build great relationships with the people around us is if we spend less time online and more time in real life.

I just finished reading Sarah Mae’s e-book, The UnWired Mom, and found it very worth-while. Here’s an excerpt from her book:

An UnWired Mom is a woman of purpose who is not a slave to

anything, including the online world. She lives full and whole

and aware in the everyday, choosing to engage in the reality

around her instead of escaping to the Internet. She can work in

and enjoy the online space without having it consume her;

she shows up for her own in-the-flesh life.

I want to show up for my own life every day.

What about you?

the impact of my words

Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee - Freedigitalphotos.net

“Just hurry up!”

I catch myself saying that a LOT lately. It seems I’m constantly telling my son to hurry up with eating, dressing, undressing, going outside, coming in… everything.

It hit me the other day:

Do I really want my kids to hurry up about EVERYTHING?

Is that the message I want them to come out of childhood with?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I want them to do just the opposite.

I want them to slow down. To enjoy life. To cherish every moment.

And if I’m always telling them to hurry up, how will they ever learn to JUST. SLOW. DOWN.

The words I say have a huge impact on the way their little minds think, the way I speak to them becomes their inner voice to themselves.

Is ‘hurry up’ really what I want their default thought-line to be? Is that what I want them to tell themselves, subconsciously, for the rest of their lives?

No, I don’t.

While there are times that it’s necessary to do things quickly, I do not want to instill in my children the feeling that life is a race against time, like if they aren’t fast enough, they aren’t good enough.

Because the truth is: they are always good enough for me, no matter how quickly, or slowly, they accomplish things.

I will always love them.

If I want them to know that hurrying doesn’t make them any better, if I want them to slow down and enjoy life, then I need to change the way I speak to them.

If I’m trying myself to slow down every day, then I need to make my words match my actions, so they can learn to do the same.

It’s going to take some time to break this habit, but I believe it’s worth it.

Links for a Wonderful Week

“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us

that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”

-Bill Watterson

 

Have (North) American Parents Got It All Backwards? | Huffington Post – Some serious food for thought here for all us mothers!

Why Kids Need Both Choices and Boundaries | Not Just Cute

You Can’t Do Anything You Want | Simple Mom

Practical Ideas for a Summer of Learning | Simple Homeschool

Let Your Kids Get Dirty | Simple Mom

15 Ways To Eat More Vegetables | Motive Nutrition

10 Ultimate Summer Popsicle Recipes | Weed ‘Em and Reap

Have a great week!

 

 

Wise Words

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

Thoughts on Parenting Books | Simple Mom

I just made my own mozzarella cheese! It turned out pretty good, so that’s definitely happening again… I’ll share more about it in the future.

Moving on… today’s topic: the unnecessary stress parenting books can give a new (or seasoned) mother, and why learning more about different parenting styles and ideologies is not always best for a parent or kids.

Actually, I was more than a little lost when I started writing this post (or thinking about writing it, since I didn’t have so much as a letter typed yet)… One of those days.

But then I got my daily update from Simple Mom and… problem solved.

Sarah Dunning Park shared her thoughts on parenting books yesterday and the effects they can have on actual parenting. And she included one of her poems on motherhood from her new book!

If you’ve ever had a concern about your child and started a week-long search for a solution or reason or advice you could actually do something with, asking everyone you know for their opinion an expertise, combing through book after book on parenting methods (and, if you’re like me… lots of internet searches and a few Kindle purchases), and still not been satisfied…. you need to read this post. I know I did!

Here’s a little piece from Sarah’s post:

I’d start with a simple question — is my baby supposed to be acting this way? — and somehow it would turn into an epic quest to find the One Right Answer, which I was certain must be found somewhere in the impressive stack of parenting books on my bedside table.
 
I was spending way too much time poring over these books — time that I could have spent finding my own way to mother her, or, I don’t know, catching up on my sleep.
 

Head over to Simple Mom to read more!

Happy mothering!

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)