I have a quote displayed in my house that reads “Let me love you a little more, before you’re not little anymore.” How beautiful is that? It makes me want to drop what I’m doing and play on the floor with my kids. Every mother will tell you how fast time seems to tick by once you have children, but it’s terrifying how fast it truly feels watching your children grow. One minute they’re gazing at you with adoration as you rock that tiny baby to sleep, and the next they’re waving goodbye and boarding that giant school bus.
I think it’s so helpful to remember this when parenting our kids. It helps me to put things into perspective. Often times we go into mommy survival mode, which is necessary at times, but we must not forget to take the time to savor the days as well. Remember it won’t be like this for long, so cherish it along the way. Here are six things you should do every day to make sure you’re making the most of motherhood.
Say I Love You
I was one of those children that heard those three words constantly as a child, but I’ve heard plenty of stories of kids who didn’t. They had good childhoods and everything, but their parents just weren’t great at expressing themselves. Children should feel that the love of a parent is unconditional, not based on behavior, grades or anything. Tell them you love them, even if they already know. Be the parent who tells them how much you love them constantly, they’ll grow up feeling like they’re on top of the world.
Discipline is obviously one of the hardest aspects of parenting and it’s obviously important, as we want to make sure we’re raising respectful children, but it does not have to leave us bitter towards our kids. Kids push buttons, test limits and cross boundaries – it’s just what they do. Do yourself a favor though and don’t take it so personal. Discipline and teach with love, don’t hold a grudge. Children will only act worse if they don’t feel connected to you. After a time out, hug and make up and then move on. Children who feel as though they can’t do anything right, will often decide to give up on trying to please you all together.
Reading is not just a bedtime activity, it’s a bonding activity. Sit down during the day too, and read a book together. Cuddle up under a blanket and watch your child’s face as you turn each new page. Invest in a FREE library card and you can bring home new adventures as often as you’d like. Trust me, once you start this soothing habit, you’ll want to do it everyday.
This one is hard for me. I LOVE playing with my kids, but as their mother sometimes I feel wired to clean and cook, forgetting that part of being a mom is having fun with them. Now I try to make it a priority to play a board game with them or even just sit down and color if they want me to. It’s quite simple to push a chore aside to enjoy some quality time with our kids, yet we seem to over complicate it. Say it with me “Dishes can wait.”
This is probably one of the most important things to do with your children. At bedtime, at dinner – everyday we pray together as a family. We thank God for what a wonderful life we have and ask that he continues to help us along the way. I think it’s important to show my children that even as an adult I have faults, make mistakes and need help with my daily tasks. I often pray aloud when I’ struggling with something to show them where my strength comes from.
This seems so obvious, but sometimes we get so caught up in getting to the next activity we forget to stop at hug our kids. Meal time, bath time, bedtime are all important, yes, but don’t make the mistake of forgetting to stop and smell the roses. Or in this case – stop, cuddle and smell the sticky, sweet aroma of our crazy little kiddos.
Enjoy each day and love them a little more, before they’re not little anymore.