Listen Linda... Being a mom of two little ones who are 17 months apart is filled with tons of laughter, joy, and constant learning. It is also filled with frustration, self-doubt and endless thoughts of the impact you are having on your child. I legit have days where I feel like I am just trying to make it through. Recently, I had one of those days filled with no glitter and all rain clouds. On this day, they wanted nothing to do with life lol. My kids are 5.5 and almost 4 years old with very different needs and personalities. They play well together, but also fight. They love food, but also hate food. They enjoy reading, but not for too long. They adore baths until one splashes the other. Do you see where I am going with this???
I pride myself on being in control, but as a mom I find myself often relinquishing it because I do not have the energy to hold firm in that moment. I just want it (the crying, fussing, whining – whatever it may be) to be over with. I also realize in doing that I am very likely perpetuating that behavior – it is all connected. So this weekend, I took a moment while the kids were napping and my husband was folding clothes to figure out how my reactions, tone, behaviors, etc. are steering my parenting in a direction that is more reactive than proactive. That moment caused tears because I realized I am not fully engaged at times as a parent and that I need to learn how to parent my kids for what they need. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day (wake up, get ready for school/work, breakfast, drop offs, etc.) that I have not made time for intentional moments.
Here are the things I will be more intentional about:
See them as individuals who may have different needs on different days. Little people are learning and their parents are their most visible teachers of how to navigate the world.
Exhibit more patience because they deserve that from me. I will work towards becoming less reactionary and taking a moment to gather my thoughts before I react. I usually find myself on the end of frustration when one is acting out. Less yelling and more of me trying to understand what is going on with them. Consistency is key.
Build in one- on- one time with each of them. Having two children close in age, they are often a package deal. I will be intentional in having time with each one of them separately so that I can build a better relationship with them as an individual and not as a sibling.
Talk more to my husband about my struggles. As a mom, you want to be able to do it all so I don’t share my frustrations often because “this comes with the territory” but my husband set my ass straight recently. “You already know this so I don’t know why you feel the need to keep things to yourself. We are in this together. We are learning together. We are figuring this out and despite what you think – you are a great mom.”
Learn from others. Let me say this, I am all here for the stories, recommendations, thoughts, energy, etc. but I am also only taking what I need from those conversations. Everything isn’t for everybody. I am willing to learn from others but will also do what I feel is right for my family.
There are times where I feel like this:
But there is NOTHING I would change because my kids have given me so much! Like, how are you that little yet have so much impact? Amazing!
How are you intentionally parenting? I need tips!