Do you ever wonder, "Am I doing a good job being a mom? Am I paying enough attention to my child today? Or am I teaching him enough?" At some point in motherhood I think we all have asked these questions - at least, I know I have. I was reading an article about things that parents don't necessarily love, but put up with when they have children. The article spoke to me in a way different from what the writers intended, which got me thinking about some of the things parents have to "deal with". So come and take a look at the current situations that I, as a mother, decided not to just "deal with" and decided to EMBRACE!
1. Getting yourself and your kids out of the house! Trying to go anywhere and being on time is always a task at hand. It never seems to fail that it is always a rush at our house to be ready to leave at the exact time I am want to leave. Shoes aren't on, or they hurt because they are on the wrong feet, toys are scattered across the floor in front of the door, or there's that time when Traycen is already outside waiting for me at the truck when I am looking still inside "waiting" on him!
The easy fix: I have decided to set my clock forward so I always think I am running late, when actually we're really on time. This helps us get out of the house at the correct time. Most of the time this works for us, or at least we strive to make it work!
2. Allowing your kids to get dressed by them self! When I was little, I did not make it easy on my mom when it came to getting dressed and ready to go! Sometimes I laugh because my son is totally like me in that area. I want to be able to let him get himself ready, but sometimes it takes longer than what I think it should. It's then at this point where I go in to help him, which really in turn slow down the process because I am being too pushy to hurry him along his way. The thing I often forget though is that he is Mr. Independent. He is his own self, striving for the independence of not having to have mommy help with everything!
The easy fix: Let your kids be independent! They are exploring who they are and asking for some kind of freedom! It will look different for each and every one of you so just embrace it. To help Traycen excel in his independence, we have him pick out his clothes at night if it's a school night or when we know we will be leaving early the next morning! The clock is not being timed as much when we do this and he gets to pick what he wants to wear and lay it out! It's fun to watch him be independent and so proud of himself.
3. Bedtime routines! This one has honestly always been so unique to us in our family. With my husband having traveled for work in the past, we would get a routine down and then he would come back home from working and the routine would totally change. Some nights he would go to bed easy as cake. But other times we'd Traycen ready for bed, brush our teeth, go read a book, he'd ask to watch a movie, read a book, go lay down, get a drink of water, go potty, go lay down and read, and then go potty again. My husband or I would lay down with him to fall asleep ourselves (yes, before Traycen would fall asleep)! We would wake up in the morning in his bed still lying next to the little guy (he's got a really nice mattress)!
The easy fix: We realized for us, it's not always going to be the same and we had to find what works best for us. This is what you will have to do also. So I will admit this sounds silly, but you know when you get a new puppy and you have to pull them off the food and water after seven pm so you don't have to stay up all night taking the puppy out to go to the bathroom? Well, you guessed it at our household. We kind of treat bed time like having a new puppy dog. We let traycer eat, and drink until after dinner. He is allowed to have a little water (and I say only water) before bed. Then we make him go potty right before he gets into bed. He still gets in bed and asks for water, at which point I tell him that if he wants water then he has to only have a little and continually go potty or else he will have to wear a pull-up to bed. I say this only because I know that he does not like wearing pull-ups to bed anymore because he is a big boy!!!
4. The "WHY" question! The never ending of answering the question “Why?”. I get asked this question a lot! I know it annoys most parents, and I will admit, I too get annoyed sometimes, but I totally enjoy the innocence and curiosity of him asking "why?". I know when I am asked "why" all the time I will run out of answers, but I strive to answer his questions. I love when Traycen asks me something that really makes me think about what he asked. Some of the questions are about things I learned back in school a while ago and can't remember. Though my favorite is when he asks me questions about God. Sometimes I don't know the answer, and then it makes really think into the word of God and dissect what he's asking me. So I am asking you: do you really listen to your kids 100 % of the time when they are asking these questions? I encourage you to listen more, you will be amazed. Kids have such faith and honesty to ask anything. I never want my child to think he can't ask me something. I know this scares some parents sometimes, but don't be scared, we don't have to know everything!
The easy fix: Be honest with your kids. No, they probably don't need all the details about a question, like the recent question Traycen asked me, "Mom how do you get babies out of the belly when there is a baby in there?" (Yes, my husband decided he should leave the room and let me answer that one … goofball). I believe we need to speak truth into the answer we give our kids but still explain it so they can understand. In our house it is what it is. I want him to know that what I speak to him is in truth. When he is old enough to understand more, then I will expand on the details of the truth. For now though, he gets little pieces. Here is an example of when we were at the store a while ago: Traycen saw a kid in a wheel chair and loudly asked "well why is he in that chair?" He wasn't asking to be mean, he was asking out of curiosity. I feel like sometimes we try to cover these things up and we try to shut our kids up and say "don't ask that now", or "hush your mouth". I feel like this is really because we are scared or nervous to answer the question when really we shouldn't be. When we do this, our kids will just open their mouths again and ask. I know for myself, I never want to offend anyone, but kids have a curiosity and there's nothing wrong with that. I told Traycen that day I don't know why he is in that wheel chair but he's got pretty cool wheels on there. Yes, we don't know all the answers, but we can turn these type of questions into truth and for the positive. Now when we see anyone in a wheel chair, he tells them, wow you've got cool wheels on there. You can imagine some of the responses from the people in the wheel chairs, it brightens their day! So, my wisdom is, don't be scared of the questions because they will come! Embrace the curiosity of your children. They will enable you to stretch yourself and grow!
Till next time,
XOXO Cooped Up Cowboys Wife, Kirste