I was giving my little ones a bath late one evening. It had been a particular busy day filled with a long to-do list. I. Was. EXHAUSTED! As I was going over the list in head to make sure everything was done, I began to hear loud giggles and the sound of water. I snapped back into reality just in time to see water rushing across the bathroom floor.
Normally at this point, I would have said something like, “The water needs to stay in the tub!” Maybe it was pure exhaustion, but instead, I quietly grabbed a towel and laid it down. Then just as I was kneeling down in front of the tub, my oldest squealed, “Play with me, Mommy!” A smile stretched across her sweet face.
It happened, just like that. I was sitting there awestruck by my two babies playing happily in the bathtub. In that moment, I realized just how much I love this season of life. It’s not about all of the big milestones. It’s about the everyday. Sometimes the most beautiful moments happen during the most mundane of days.
Since that awestruck moment months ago, I have found 8 ways to enjoy those everyday moments.
8 Tips For Enjoying This Season Of Motherhood
1. Expect The Bumps
No day is perfect, and with small children, there will always be bumps in the road. Sometimes it’s about anticipating those hiccups and going with the flow.
Dinner time has its moments of loud, messy chaos, as my husband and I are working to assembly everyone around the table. I can see it now. My toddler climbs on the kitchen chair, grabbing a cup of lemonade and dumping it everywhere. My preschooler becomes upset, because her art work is now a stained mess.
It is with gentle and steady voices that we remedy the situation and finally get everyone seated for a happy and joyful dinner.
2. Stay Connected
When my children and I feel connected, our day runs more smoothly. I try to spend at least 20-30 minutes with each individual child, doing whatever interests them. Need a player for My Little Pony Candyland? I’m your girl! Want to read, “Where Is Baby’s Bellybutton?” for the 100th time? I’m in!
It’s these small moments throughout the day where I see each of my children shine.
3. Technology Detox
Put down the phone, Mama. Greeting my children with open arms and a smile each morning is a positive start to our day. For me, it means staying away from technology until naptime.
4. Imaginary Play
Diving into your child’s imagination is one of the greatest ways to connect with them throughout the day. Some days I might spend an hour playing dolls or building animals and cities out of blocks. I love going wherever their imaginations take us!
5. Read Parenting Books
Before I had children, I never thought I would read a single parenting book. Now, I realize how invaluable they are in my growth as parent. Sometimes it’s an author’s fresh perspective that can prove helpful in mastering a new skill.
6. Do The Laundry Later, Mama
“Snuggle you, Mommy.” This was the phrase I heard as I was planning to do the laundry. Instead, we snuggled on the couch and watched Team Umizoomi. It was 20 minutes of time I will never get back, so I am glad I spent it loving my baby.
7. Embrace The Mess
As my mother would say, “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” So if the milk literally spills, wipe it up and move on. The markers will wash off and the toys won’t always be strewn everywhere. One day, if we do our jobs right, the house will be quiet again. Our children will embark upon their own life adventures. So enjoy every mess that happened while you were busy making memories.
8. Give Yourself Grace
This is something I am most certainly still working on. As mothers we put so much pressure on ourselves to get everything right. But if there is one thing I have learned through my own journey, it’s that our children just want us. They want us to stay connected and dive into their world. So when the day isn’t perfect or you had a grouchy moment, keeping moving forward.
Do you ever see your life in a series of snapshots? I do. There are moments throughout my day, where I can see my life as a beautiful set of black and white images. For instance, when my preschooler is racing down the hall in a princess dress and superhero cape or when my toddler is sitting on the floor wearing nothing but a diaper and over-sized rain boots. These are the moments I was to bottle up and keep for a lifetime. These are the moments that make me grateful for this season!