4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Year Mom Goals

4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Year Mom Goals

New Year’s Resolutions are upon us. It is human nature to try to better ourselves. Pursuit of happiness is something we all have right to and a yearning for.  Setting goals or resolutions is one of the ways most people strive for that next level. Read on for 4 mindful and resolution worthy New Year Mom goals. Followed by a FREE printable Monthly Resolution Journal!!!

Us moms always have mom goals. Sometimes they don’t involve being a mom though. Either way, if it be fitness, parenting, personal or professional they are important even if only to ourselves. 

This post does contain affiliate links. See disclosure if you have any questions.

 

I am going to challenge you this year when creating your new resolutions to be mindful and not mind full. 

As you set your resolutions this year try to think more about how you will enjoy the road along the way and less about enjoying the end result. Of course you want those end goals but just like cheat day of a diet, enjoying the ride towards the goal will go a long way in helping you reach it!

Here are 4 Awesome Mom Goals for you to aim at this year!

  1.  Treat Yo Self
  2.  Always Try Your Best
  3.  Love your Babies
  4.  Practice Teamwork with your Partner

1. Treat Yo Self

Treat Yo Self- Mom Goals

Being a parent, partner and person can mean a lot of sacrifice and struggle. Again I am going to refer to that cheat day analogy. It is so mush easier to be successful in the pursuit of happiness if we take time along the way to enjoy. I’m not saying to ignore the struggle or push off the important bits that are hard, just remember to take a break and smell the roses every once in a while. 

There are so may options to consider when you are looking to treat yourself. Each person may need or want something different. Some examples could be running and exercise, mani and pedi, hot bath and a good book, vacation and dinner out, new video game to binge out with, working in your garden, wine, …. And the list could go on and on!

The challenge here is to choose your treat as something that truly brings you happiness in the now and can keep you on track for your future goal as well. 

2. Always Try Your Best 

This may seem like an odd open ended resolution but that makes it no less important. If you are working towards these goals and you know you tried your best it is easier to enjoy the building moments. 

It is most important to remember that you are not always going to be operating at peak performance every day and therefore your best will change in each moment. Some days, weeks or even months  at a time we struggle with things like sickness, sadness or worry.

Remember that circumstances matter. A marathon runner knows things will be more difficult in the rain. A mom knows things will change if she has the kids at home and a broken foot to heal.

To read more about how I dealt with a broke foot this past summer check it out here. 

Be mindful of the moment and always try your best. 

3. Love your Babies 

Some of you may be thinking “I already do this!” and I know you do! Me too! What I really mean is to be mindful about enjoying them and yourself while you are loving them.

Choose moments everyday to savor, record or to just be in!! Be mindful of how much you have the phone in your hand. Mindful of events and extra curricular activities you choose to participate in. Mindful of the company you keep, the language you use and the example you set. 

Here is a link to another post I wrote about the Benefits of Connecting with your kids. 

You want them to truly feel the love and not just you checking off that box in your to do list. 

4. Practicing Teamwork with your Partner

Working with your significant other to achieve joint family goals. Going after happiness with that person mindfully. A part of enjoying and loving life is having people around you to share it with. When those people are happy and loved it makes everything that much better. 

Remember we are focusing on enjoying the journey and not just the end goal here. Date nights, quality time, intentional listening and mindful responses can create good communication and a loving happy team!

Working together with another person is a great time to pull on each others strengths. It is awesome to have help when you try your best and are not 100 percent. 

These are great resolutions. I hope the inspire you to enjoy the journey as you are working to the amazing end goals and Mom resolutions. 

4 Mindful and Resolution Worthy New Year Mom Goals

I have created a downloadable monthly resolution tracking journal. Please use it this year to practice mindfulness while in pursuit of happiness. 

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6 Ways to Promote “Free Range” Kids in 2018

6 Ways to Create "Free-Range" Kids in 2018Free Range Kids means giving them the freedoms of earlier generations.

For example, walking down to a friend’s house, to a park, or even just out in the yard to play unaccompanied and on their own. The challenge comes in doing this without going crazy with worry. That worry is caused by social media pressures and many parent peers or other adults not accepting the free-range idea.

It can be possible to have our children living this way but you can’t just kick them out and expect it all to be fine. Just like any stage of parenthood we have to train them to live and play the free-range way.

I am writing this in hopes to help others and support this concept (or at least a variation of it). I have been struggling with how to give my kids these freedoms while meeting societal norms. Also, my kiddos are only 3 and 5, so we are in the training phase.

I really like the freedoms and development that comes with free-range, but in today’s world it’s not the top parenting choice. I am not into letting my children completely run free in the streets, but rather creating a level of freedom that will encourage them to be independent.

Here are the Basics:

1. Set Positive, Reasonable, and Age Appropriate Boundaries
2. Encourage Outside Play
3. Seek Out Like-minded Parents for your Village
4. Foster Independence
5. Teach Stranger Danger
6. Model Healthy Habits

All of these 6 ideas are intertwined and build on each other. Some of the topics even heavily overlap in my discussion and descriptions. I encourage you to add more ideas about this topic in my comments. I’m always looking for new ideas and points of view.

First things first, set positive, reasonable and age appropriate boundaries.

Set Age Appropriate Positive Boundaries

Kids need boundaries. They test them regularly but they are a safety net for children. Boundaries are a part of making them feel and be safe inside and outside of your home. Boundaries should grow with the age and experience of your child. Examples of boundaries inside your home can include screen time, eating only in the kitchen, bedtimes, etc. Examples of outside boundaries can include staying in the yard to play, asking for permission to walk to a neighbor’s house, wearing protective gear when biking, etc. Any rule you have set can be thought of as a boundary. The main goal is to provide a safe environment, but boundaries should also be used to help foster independence and grow your child into a good human. This is where things like teaching manners can be defined as a boundary as well.

There is such a thing as too many boundaries. This is where I really like the idea of a more free-range parenting style. They should have just enough to keep them safe but still be able to push limits to do self-learning and discovery. I do like the idea of having my kids in a bubble. We all hate when our children get hurt physically or mentally, but avoiding pain is just not realistic. I want them to learn how to be in this world, and being in a bubble will not support that plan! There are plenty of moments where I cringe, close my eyes, or even walk away because they are trying something with a possibility of being hurt.

Kids are supersizing in their abilities to accomplish things and even to decide on the risk.  I know my son functions far more confidently when I am not around. At Kindergarten orientation, he had to hold my hand the whole time. But on the first day, he walked confidently on the bus and through the halls of his new school.  Another example is this tricycle we have here at our house. One day this summer he took it to the top of our driveway (which is decently steep) and let it drift quickly down. He knew to put his feet down to stop and even to ride to the grass to help him stop. I was nervous but just let it happen. He LOVED it and got loads of energy running back up to ride again.

Letting kids go outside to play on their own, without direct supervision, has been shown to have many benefits for kids. Concepts like confidence, problem solving, decision making and even empathy, etc. My kiddos are not quite old enough for me to let them outside for long without supervision. Especially my 3-year-old. Her rational capabilities are still in heavy development, but my 5-year-old has more experience. He knows the boundaries I have set when I am outside with them, and MOST of the time he is ready and willing to follow them when I am not around. For example, stay out of the stream, stay in the yard, don’t climb certain trees, etc. We also practice walking to neighbors’ houses and to the bus stop. He is learning the boundaries of how to do that safely with my guidance so that with a little more age he can be free to go on his own.

Next is Encouraging Outside Play.

Outside Play

Nature seems endless, exciting, and full of adventure – especially for kids. Helping foster an enjoyment of the outdoors totally and completely can push kiddos into the free-range play style. It is better than any video game, inside toy, and sometimes even better than a book! Exploring the outdoors is still one of my favorite things to do. Sunlight and fresh air can be some strong medicine. Ways to model and teach your children a love of being outside can include family hikes, camping, gardening together, outside sports, etc.

We all want our children to be healthy. One of the key factors to this is physical fitness. The outdoors welcomes running, jumping, and movement of all kinds. Playing outside gives the freedom and space to do all those things. Another benefit can be learning how to deal with certain discomforts (e.g. heat in summer, cold in winter) and how to dress appropriately. Bugs and allergies are other things all humans have to cope with at some time or another. More outside time means more learning about how to deal with those pests.

My 5-year-old loves figuring things out and asking questions. He is a science lover if I ever met one. Most kids his age fit that description. It’s important to me to put him out in the world to keep that curiosity growing. He asked me the last night if time travel is possible. I told him not right now but maybe one day. And maybe one day it will be him who helps figure it out!

Here are some of my favorite links to studies about the benefits of playing outside.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/cool-schools-2018/when-canyons-are-classrooms-and-trees-teach-lessons

https://www.familycircle.com/teen/parenting/discipline/benefits-of-free-range-parenting/

Seeking out like minded parents and other adults for your village.

Seek a Like-Minded Village

When other children are around your kiddos and they have close to the same boundaries and rules as your own children it is magical! With family, friends and neighbors around to help guide your children, it can be easier to give into the free-range freedoms. Things like walking down to a neighbor’s house, sleeping over at a friend’s home, playing outside, or even walking to a park unattended are all things that will be easier with other supportive adults around. I’m talking specifically of peer parents we can in-trust our children to and neighbors and family who are trusting of how you are training your children to be respectful and aware of the world around them.

This also means your kiddos friends will be like-minded as well. We humans need others around us to make life so much more fulfilling. Obviously, we want to be kind to all and impart that to our children. However, teaching them how to choose those people whom we become close to can help guide their later life experiences when we are giving in to those freedoms we want them to have. As a parent of a teen, I would imagine it would be easier to trust them on outings if you are comfortable with their friends whom they will be going with. Sow the seeds early of how to choose to be around people who will be good for you!

I know I love when I have friends whom I feel comfortable setting boundaries for their children as well as them setting them for my own. Teamwork! It takes a village.

Fostering independence in your children.

Encourage Independence

This starts by having them ask for what they want as they begin talking, and moves to them going for what they want with their actions – on their own. I have already touched on this topic in the other categories, but it’s so important that it needs to be mentioned in a stand alone category. Independence and confidence come from setting those boundaries and they are all key to the free-range kids.

As a parent, if you know your children are independent and confident enough to take care of themselves while following the necessary boundaries, it is much easier to give them more freedoms.  I know I find it hard to be patient in many of the learning stages – potty training, tying shoes, buckling themselves in the car, cutting their own food, etc. These are all steps to becoming independent. Slowing down and giving our children the time and support to try these things on their own will give them, and us parents, confidence!

My story earlier about my son riding down the driveway on the trike was under the “outside play” category, but it also fits here. He independently came up with the idea of where to ride the trike. I feel like it gives him more confidence to be creative with his outside play. He can find ways inside his boundaries to play on his own when given the chance.

Here are some links about the positives of independent play:

https://modernalternativemama.com/2017/01/20/independent-play-necessary-childs-health/

Stranger Danger

Stranger Danger

It’s wonderful to teach kids how to be friendly, caring, and respectful. If we are sending them out on their own, it is also good to address the idea that there are some people out there who do not fit this mold. As a parent, it is not our favorite topic but one that is fore-front in our brains very regularly. We have to be ready to talk with our kids about the uncomfortable situations that could arise so they will be more ready to confront them.

I don’t know about you, but placing my trust in others with my children is a big deal. All too often, we hear stories of abuse at the hands of people we trust. The world is a scary place. Here is were seeking the like minded village is linked to teaching stranger danger. Kids have to learn their own boundaries and have the skills to recognize and react when someone else crosses them.

Stranger Danger Points

1. Giving children strategies for what to do if they need an adult and you, the parents, are not around. Who is the right kind of person to approach for help?

2. Teaching them how to respectfully and safely get out of an uncomfortable situation that does not coincide with their boundaries. If they find themselves in a situation with a person or place that is not safe, how can they get out?

3. Seeking out friends that fit. Who do they enjoy spending most of their time with? Who has similar boundaries to their own?

4. Learning to notice when a situation could be unsafe or boundary crossing. Are they being aware of the environment around them (people and place)?

These are all concepts that touch on the darker side of letting our children out into the free-range world. I will be writing another article soon detailing these 4 ideas and examples on how to teach them.

Lastly is modeling healthy habits

Model Healthy Habits

For children to follow the boundaries, grow in confidence, and to become independent, they need their parents to show them the way. Model how to speak respectfully to others, take care of personal hygiene, eat well, enjoy the outdoors and physical activities, and show how to make and take care of friends and family. Showing our kids how we master these skills and teaching how to accomplish them is the biggest way we can boost our confidence as well as their own to be out in the world. To be free-range!

6 Ways the Create "Free-range" Kids in 2018

Here are some books about this topic if you are looking for more reading! Please follow my awesome affiliate links. 

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A Parents #1 Wish for their Children

Every parent has wishes for their children! What would you pick if you could only share one? What is the most important?

A Parents #1 Wish for their Children

Recently one of my cousins did a poll on Facebook for a class he is taking. One of the questions he asked of parents was “Name the ONE thing you wish for your child/children in life.” My immediate answer was happiness. I still stand by my answer but considering some recent worldly events it has gained an even deeper meaning for me.

All the political and human drama going on currently involving our borders and immigration laws has me feeling sad. Everyone has an opinion about it, but really no matter what side of the “Wall” you associate with, we can all agree that children are our future. Many are very passionate about what is going on but don’t have any ideas as to how to help change the situation.

I myself am mostly apathetic when it comes to politics. I do prefer to stay in my own world and focus on my own family. This does not mean however, that I do not think about worldly problems or that I live in an “ignorance is bliss” state of mind. I wish all these people crossing our border and working to give that one big wish to their children felt they had a better way to go about it. My goal here is NOT to create a debate about who is at fault or even discuss why certain policies are good or bad. I am here to remind everyone of our common goals and wishes for our kiddos!!!

Here is a list of the top 18 ONE wishes my cousins poll question generated. All are great wishes. Some may even be synonyms for others or even encompass others.

  1. Happiness
  2. Inner Peace
  3. Satisfaction
  4. Self Sufficiency
  5. Independence
  6. Employment
  7. Good Health
  8. Stress Free
  9. Faith in God
  10. Love for Self and Others
  11. Wisdom
  12. Kindness
  13. Belonging
  14. Humility (Humbleness)
  15. Positivitity
  16. Confidence
  17. Serenity
  18. Know Thyself

My answer is still Happiness!

I will explain why. Wishing for happiness for my kiddos means, as a mother, I will be working to teach them to find and keep said happiness. I can help guide them to choose what brings them happiness as well. I can show them the joy of being kind, helping others, working hard, loving, family, etc. This list could continue endlessly. We as parents need to focus on teaching our kiddos to seek happiness not only for themselves, but also for others. Leading by example is the most important.

I am aware there are many people and kiddos out in this world that do not have this privilege, but I alone could never hope to change this. I can only hope that by sharing acts of kindness and love within my small reach, happiness will spread to others. At the very least it will spread to my children and have the ripple effect. All these wonderful 18 wishes can and will aid in creating future adults whom we will want in charge of this world in the future. We as parents just need to try our hardest to guide and encourage our kiddos down the right path.

 

My favorite song I sing to my kids Have it All by Jason Mraz can be listened to and downloaded on Amazon Music (Affiliate Ad Alert) (You don’t even have to do unlimited for this song if you have Prime already!) or you can buy:

 

Please, if you enjoyed reading this add a comment sharing and explaining your one biggest wish for your kiddos.

 

I would love to make the list longer. Testimonies on a time when you taught a great lesson providing your child with a stepping stone towards your wish for them! COMMENT Positivitity!

A Parents #1 Wish for Their Kids

Another blog I have written about the benefits of connecting with your kids has some great ideas on building those stepping stones.

http://savorthemomlife.com/the-benefits-of-connecting-with-your-kids/

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5 Ways to Make It Through When Life Gets Hard

5 Ways to cope when life gets hard and cat sleeping.

1.Ask for help and accept help

This one was hard at first but I’m getting used to it. Feelings of being a burden and guilt come to mind. Sometimes it’s a really hard thing to do! People can be surprising with how ready and willing they are to help. They just need to be asked and directed with how they can be helpful. I know I will have chances to return the many favors that have been bestowed upon me in the past few weeks. Dealing with a broken foot or any other hardship while having two small kids truly requires help. You never know until you ask!

2. Prioritize needs over wants

Ask yourself “what is important to get me through this hardship?” and “what can I let slide, skip or wait to make life easier?” I love being a stay-at-home mom and homemaker. I am proud of my home, my sweet kiddos, and I enjoy doing a lot of the house chores to make hubby’s life away from work a little easier. Since we are currently in “survival mode”, I must choose what I can do and what I need to do. This is the hardest for me! I have high expectations of myself. For example, I love having the house tidy at midday nap time. It helps me focus more on writing and planning my blog. But right now, it doesn’t happen. Slowing down and focusing on the priorities helps me have more patience with my kiddos and, of course, more healing rest for my foot.

Knee Scooter With Kid Riding Along 5 Ways to Cope When Life Gets Hard

3. Always try your best

I am borrowing this from one of my favorite books. Here is the Affiliate Link- The 4 Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom   I LOVE this book and will probably talk about it in many posts to come! Right now, my best does not involve walking. Some days it may not even be getting my youngest down for a nap. One way I have found to achieve this for myself is to set little attainable goals each day. Accomplish those and celebrate with #4: Treat Yo-Self! My current goal or to-do list is way shorter than it would be with two feet, but will I try my hardest and celebrate in the same way! Loading the dishwasher instead of cleaning the whole kitchen. Folding the laundry instead of doing all the washing, drying and putting away. And this last one I probably will make me happier in the future – getting the kids to put their own toys away instead of me doing most of it!

4. Treat Yo-Self

As mentioned above, when I try my hardest it’s always important to treat myself. Cookies and wine are my favorite, but I am cutting back since I can’t walk off the calories like I normally do. Now that school is done I get to treat myself to a morning sleep-in or a new Netflix show to binge. Reading a book,  a new citronella candle for sitting outside, and some fancy bath salts are my other picks! Moms are always taking care of everyone and we must remember to take care of ourselves too!

Here are some affiliate links to my current favorite “Treat Yo-Self” goodies!

5.Have a thankful perspective

I know there have been many studies done about the benefits of practicing gratitude for your happiness. Lately, when I am having a hard moment, annoyed at my current state, I try for a quick thankful meditation or mantra to refocus myself onto a happier moment. It gets me back on track for trying my best. Life is so sweet, and my kids are growing so fast. Focusing on the good makes the hard stuff a little easier. I am also insanely thankful for my amazing family who have cooked, cleaned, babysat and more to help me out. Time to write some thank you notes!

 

Here is a video to show some of that scientific stuff on using gratitude to be happy! It’s one of my favorites and I hope it inspires you as it has for me.

 

 

Here is a quick reminder about my 5 tips to make it through! Please share and pin. Comments to share a personal way you have used one of these ideas when life challenges you are wanted and welcome!5 Ways to Cope When Life Gets Hard

In case you didn’t get the back story on how I hurt my foot read this post to find out!Foot Injury Mom

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Foot Injury Mom- Things Learned Week 1 Using Only 1 Foot with 2 Kids

Case Foot with Ice on it.Foot Fracture Backstory

About a week ago I was moving some things into my basement. My daughter (almost 3) and dog were already down there and out of the way (Thankfully!!!). I am usually hyper aware of my footing on steps. I do not have a great track record and stairs are just dangerous. The last two steps into the basement evaded me! I went down, rolled, yelled some choice 4-letter words, screamed, and punched the floor. Kid was whimpering. Dog was whining. My foot hurt more then any other trip down the stairs before. I crawled up the stairs, kiddo walking next to me. The dog went ahead and licked my face a few times as I reached the top. I crawled to the freezer for some ice, and then to the sofa. Some tears and a few of those choice words later, I knew I needed to go get my foot looked over. Later my Doc confirmed what I feared. A fracture to my second metatarsal. With a big heavy boot, crutches, and orders to not bear any weight on that foot, I needed to survive the week before seeing my foot specialist and learning the rest of my fate. It’s Lefty so I can still drive thank GOD!

 

Things I did to prepare:

-Breakfast food prepped for me and the kiddos.
-3-year-old diapers and clothes downstairs for easy reaching.
-Get up before kids (I at least made it before the 3-year-old!).
-Boot, crutches, ice packs, and the computer wheelie chair for the kitchen.
-Bag for carrying all my crap when I moved from place to place.
-“Let it go” attitude about toy clean up and other things I don’t “need” to do (way harder than anticipated).

Things I learned now that the week is over:

-I do A LOT of stuff around this house every day, and go up and down the stairs way more than I thought!
-Rug burn hurts and happens fast (I need some knee pads!)
-Crutches are way harder to use than you would ever think! My arms and right leg are going to be jacked when this is over.
-Don’t lean on a soap-dish tile in the shower with your knee… yes it broke and fell and hit my bum foot.
-Not being able to carry and walk for my toddler has made her seem 10 times more irrational than normal.
-I must lower my daily expectations of myself.
-All about a Lisfranc injury and how it’s going to get me some bolts in my foot and 6-8 more weeks of this!!!!!

If you want to learn more about a Lisfranc injury check out this link.

Things I already knew but now am taking some extra time to be thankful for tonight:

-My hubby is amazing, supportive and sweet.
-I am surrounded by a bunch of family and friends ready to help.
-Surgery scares the hell out of me, but I know I can do it and will be better for it!
-My kiddos are resilient as hell and, if I’m lucky, the little one won’t remember the summer that Momma couldn’t walk. I’ll be singing “Let It Go” as I try to focus on what I need and can accomplish, instead of what I want to accomplish.

Follow me to see how the next weeks progress and I’ll share everything I learn about how to survive summer with small kiddos and only one working foot!

And here is a link to a previous blog of mine Connecting with the Kids on Days You “Just Can’t” Good reminders!

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How to “Catch” Your Mom Tribe- Mom Dating

 

How to "Catch" your Mom Tribe. The way to catch new tribe members can be broken down into 4 steps.

  1. Places to Fish (Extroverts/ Introverts)

  2. Ice Breakers

  3. Testing the Waters

  4. Hooking Them In

 

 

If you haven’t already read my first article My Tribe: An Introduction <—— Look here!

 

Places to Fish

When and where can you search for new ladies to be apart of your tribe? I tend to think this will be quite different depending on your personality type. Extrovert vs. Introvert. So, its broken down here into two categories.

*Extroverts-

Ya’ll are mostly easy. Really anywhere you go can be a possible pool of ladies to fish from. Your workplace, kids school events, bus stop moms, neighbors, the library, the family sitting next to you at the beach…you get the idea. Just be sure to extend your reach to the introverts quietly waiting to join in.

* Introverts-

It gets a little more complicated for you but still is totally possible. You can cast a line in all those same places, it may just take longer for you to find the right fit or have one of those extroverts reel you in.

One way that doesn’t involve the initial face to face contact include Facebook Mom groups or other similar interest Facebook groups. When I was a brand-new Army wife, at a new duty station, and three states away from home; these groups were amazing. They got me started. A lot of times they have group meet-ups in public places or you can even just take your time and chat through messenger. Another way to expand your tribe could be meeting a new person through a mutual friend or tribe mate. Sometimes it’s easier to start new when that lady has already been caught and vetted by a trusted tribe mate.

Here is another mom blog. She has some great tips for introvert moms!! <——————— Click to Read!

 

Ice Breakers

Once you have found a likely new tribe mate, start to chat about any common interest you can find in each other. Usually for us Moms the easiest and most available topic is our kids! Now that my oldest rides the bus I can chat with the other moms at the bus stop. Before then I had to break the ice with questions about where to send him for school, or what local activities would get us out of the house.

Other topics could be about your neighborhood or pets! One day, back in the army life, a girl called out to me as I was out walking my dog and son in our neighborhood. She was out walking her dog and needing to have that mom tribe connection. I grabbed her name, Facebook “friended” her and ta-da, our friendship began.

When I was a brand-new army wife, pregnant and knowing nothing and no one (could have called me Jon Snow hehe), I turned to the Facebook groups as I mentioned earlier. In one of the mom groups I had been chatting with someone and we got on well enough we decided to go have a pregnant pedicure date. Our babies were born less than a month apart and those boys were first friends!!

 

Testing the Waters

Sometimes you may know right away! “This lady is amazing, I want her in my life.” Sometimes we must scope out things or test the waters if you will. You want to see if she could be a good fit for your tribe. Finding if you have common interests is something I have already mentioned. Common parenting styles is another very important thing to look for. Someone capable of that give and take friendship dance in your tribe. Ways to test the waters could be: taking a nice walk and talk, invitations to play in outside common areas with the kiddos,  play groups, or truly anywhere you can experience each other.

For those introverts out there, Facebook messages and texting can be a great way to do this. I’m sure there is probably a mom dating app out there somewhere already. Maybe I’ll strike it big and create my own!

Sometimes you get the vibe that its not going to work out for the positive and being around this person might be more drama and heartache than its worth. That’s when you distance yourself and try again the next time with someone new. I always try to give people a chance but I am a strong believer in boundaries and keeping my life as positive as possible. It’s OK to say no to someone if they don’t jive with you or your kiddos for that matter.

 

Hooking Them In

Once you have made that contact, moved through the getting to know you phase, and decide they are worth it, just keep up to communication. Invite her to events like Wine Wednesday afternoons, kid’s birthday parties and other play dates. Being yourself is very important. You want these new tribe mates to feel comfortable and make you feel the same in return. The best way to do that is to be you! Plan some fun things around those common interests you have found or let your trust in your new tribe mate lead you on some new experiences and adventures! When “asked out” by one of these new ladies whom I want to learn about, life with its timing can sometimes be off putting and I have to say no. Even though I may not be able to make it to play group or morning walk I make sure to tell them to keep asking me! I’m not saying no because I don’t want you in my Tribe, its just bad timing.

 

 Here is my current and favorite planner for writing down my “To Do” list every day,  making all my play groups, and mom dates! It has lots of space on each weekly page and a large monthly calendar. Plus the design on the front is so pretty!!!

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Creating Happy and Loved Children Using the 5 Love Languages

Happy Kids by Using the 5 Love Languages

One of the top goals parents have is for their children to be happy.

Creating Happy and Loved Children Using the 5 Love Languages.

When children are younger it is simpler for most of us parents to reach this goal of  happiness. Reasons for this include: cheaper toys, easier conversations, and smaller time demands (driving them to events, etc.) As it is with most aspects of life, things get more complicated the older we become. Therefore, we as parents need to work hard to love and teach our kiddos how to work toward that goal of happiness from the start. We want to build them a good base with love so that happiness can grow.

There is a great book called The 5 Love Languages. It is more about adult relationships, but it can be adapted to any human relationship. My Aunt gave me this book as an engagement gift and I refer to it often. The author, Gary Chapman, worked with Ross Campbell to write The 5 Love Languages of Children. Both are great resources and I will be using their 5 main ideas to give you some examples on how to build that loving base for your kiddos to grow happiness. I’ll give some examples of how us moms might relate to the love language and then some for the kiddos.

 

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts The 5 Love Languages of Children

(Affiliate Ads are included) 

Here are The 5 Love Languages:

1. Words of Affirmation-

For a mom this could be: a loving Mother’s Day card, an encouraging text from a friend, or even that very first “I love you” from our kiddos. Ways you can give this to your child include: an encouraging mantra before getting onto the bus in the morning, praise for learning a new skill or really any behavior you want to encourage, and even encouraging words of reassurance when they are disappointing us with their behavior.

2. Quality Time-

For a mom this could be: talking and walking with a friend, watching a movie with the hubby, or having a dinner date. Ways to give this to your child include: family meal times, board games, bedtime stories, and asking questions about their day. Spending time to teach them skills for future independence could also be included in this category. Feeling proud of mastering a skill is a sure way to build happiness.

3. Receiving Gifts-

For a mom this could include: “just because” flowers, a new box of wine from the hubby, or a new book you’ve been wanting to read. Ways you can share this with your child include: birthday gifts and other holiday treats, or really any other “just because” present you may treat them to. Just be sure to do this in moderation. Too much can result in dependence and negative behavior. If they get a new toy every time you go shopping, it will be expected and no longer a treat.

4. Acts of Service-

For a mom this could be: hubby taking out the trash, cooking dinner, or doing dishes. Oh, I also love when he pumps my gas for me! I hate that chore. It is harder to think of examples for our children that are outside of their normal every day needs, like feeding, clothing and sheltering them. Some extra ways to show acts of service for your child include: helping them with a special project or game and taking them to hang with a friend or other special event.

5. Physical Touch-

For mom this could be: romantic time with your partner, a big sloppy toddler kiss, or a warm hug from a friend. Ways to share with your kiddos could be: a goodnight hug and kiss, a reassuring back rub or hand hold, a congratulatory high five or even a boo-boo healing kiss.

These 5 love language ideas are great ways to build the base for growing happiness in your children. As I mentioned under the Receiving Gifts heading, we as parents need to make sure we are giving a good mix of these ideas to our kiddos. There is a possibility of too much of a good thing. Moderation is helpful, and that is why it’s great to have 5 different ways to build that happiness.

Also, every kid is different. Some may really respond more to one type of the 5 languages than another. Some don’t like to be touched, so the hugs and kisses won’t have the same effect. In the books, the authors have included a short quiz to figure out which of the love languages are more dominant in a person. Go try out the quiz with your kiddo to see which language may work best for you both!

Take the Love Language Quiz Here!<———–

Quick Review
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Quality Time
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch

These kiddos of ours are amazing blessings, and it is truly overwhelming when I think of the responsibility that we must help make them the best they can be for this world. Using these ideas to spread the love and happiness are helpful, especially when life throws difficulties and stress our way.

I have written two other blogs about connecting with your kiddos. If you want to check those out for ideas go for it!

The Benefits of Connecting with Your Kids<————-

Connecting on Days You “Just Can’t”<——————

Remember, if you want more info on this topic to check out these two books I mentioned. Here are the links to the books again!

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3 Mother’s Day Reminders for Mothers

3 Reminders for Moms on Mother's Day. 1.Treat Yo-Self! Spend some time and/or money on you.

2.Time is fleeting. Do your best to enjoy it and make mom life fun!

3.Go Back to your Momma roots. Thank your own mother (or the closest thing to one).

So let me break them down, 3 Mother’s Day Reminders for Mothers.

1.Treat Yo-Self

It’s not often we as moms get something new for ourselves, or get to spend some guilt-free time alone. Usually the kiddos are first on our minds. Even though our walking shoes have a hole and leggings are our only pants that fit now, the kids’ favorite snack or sporting event takes first place in our minds, and sometimes the budget. Make sure on Mother’s Day that you take some time or money to get what you need or: GASP: what you want!

It is way easier to have patience when you are comfortable (in those new shoes), relaxed (after some alone time shopping) and excited (to try out that new bottle of wine after bedtime). This concept was especially hard for me when my kiddos were babies. I nursed both until a little over a year old, and this made leaving them stressful! So, I had to do short trips and treated myself to things I needed more often than I did to the things I wanted. Now, wine and escaping are top priority.

We will call this the Mother’s Day evolution.

I’m sure it will evolve again when they are a lot older and it will be about having them with me again. So, follow this rule the best you can according to where you are in motherhood and Treat-Yo Self! (Steph, I always think of you when I say this. Miss you!)

2. Time is Fleeting

Things move so fast in this world, us mothers need to remember to slow down and enjoy sometimes! Starting this blog has gotten me distracted from my kiddos. I have been feeling guilty about not giving them the same amount of attention and maybe relying on the screen time more than I would like. I went to have a visit with someone who has been in my tribe since my birth – one of my many amazing Aunties!

We were talking about one thing or another, and she mentioned how her mother was the best at making everything a game. She told me of how they always had a dress-up fashion show complete with cookies and tea in the bedroom. This was her way of changing over the kids wardrobe for each season. Making the pain-in-the-butt tasks, having to see what still fits and enticing the kids to change clothing styles from warm to cool layers, a fun and playful experience!

This was such a great reminder to me.

With all the stress of things to get done, I had fallen into just going through the motions; forgetful of my own advice to keep that connection with the kiddos. After doing my writing for that day, I needed to write a grocery list and make dinner.

I decided to take a page from my Auntie’s book and try to make these tasks fun enough to enjoy with the kiddos. I wrote the list while they drew pictures of what they thought should be on the list. My 5-year-old loved this and proceeded to draw me 5 pages of blueberries. Then we made tuna salad for dinner, so it was super easy for them to take turns adding ingredients and stirring it up. They loved that mom and dad were the ones who had to say, “thank you for cooking dinner”. My daughter even ate three big bites of the sandwich since she made it. That would never have happened otherwise! I got things done and the kiddos had fun with me.

Grandma Quotes
“Time is Fleeting.”

My grandmother always tells me, “time is fleeting.” It goes by so quickly, we need to remember to enjoy it. Soon enough we are onto the next evolution of motherhood, where they will ignore our homemade fun for friends.

3.Take it back to your roots.

Be sure to remember to thank your own mother (or the closest thing) on Mother’s Day. One of the important parts to growing and keeping your tribe strong is to take the time to make sure those in it feel special, listened to, wanted, and loved. My momma is a crucial member of my tribe. I see and talk to her often. She especially likes to have help with her projects, so the kiddos and I are going over to spend time with her and work in her garden.

I’m sure she has gone through many of the Mother’s Day evolution. Most recently, the evolution where her kids are grown and trying to make it in this busy world. Therefore, Mother’s Day sometimes takes the back burner.  I’m glad I can go spend time with her on this day. I like to think about my grandmothers as well. They have a wealth of knowledge and mom experience, and today is a great day to reflect on that.

I love to hear stories about my Gram Carlita who had 4 babies and ran the show at her home. And my Grandma, I can still hear stories from her! LUCKY!! She is one of the sweetest, most amazing people I have ever met. She had 8 kids, all about a year apart (give or take). I could probably write an entire blog just using her advice and stories alone. Look for some featured posts in the future.

Just remember to take time for the lady that is the mom to your tribe. The one that taught me how to mom, along with a whole bunch of other important life skills. I’m so proud and thankful for mine! Love you Mom!

 

Mother's Day
3 Reminders for Moms on Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas- Treat Yo Self!! Affiliate Ad Links



If you haven’t already go check out this post about “My Tribe”!

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Connecting on Days You “Just Can’t”

We all have those days when sickness, that time of the month or any other stress just makes patience and connecting with your kiddo seem impossible. Even the kids themselves can make this hard. Terrible 2’s are mighty difficult. 

4 Ways to Connect on Days You Just Can’t

Connecting with the kids on days when you just can't.

Here are some fun ideas for when you are feeling like an unmotivated slug and they need you.

This post contains affiliate links. No extra money for you to shop using my link. Thanks!

1. Be Lazy.

Just lay on the floor or sofa, really wherever they are playing. Movement on your end can be very minimal. You may have to hold a Barbie or a car but that’s about it. Bonus points for having a pillow and blanket with you. Pillow forts are great for this as well. They have fun and you can just lounge out in there, maybe taking a few shut eye moments on the sly. Here is a link to a princess pop-up tent we love, and I can fit in there with my legs out the door.

Kid Sleeping on Mom.

2. Simple Distractions.

In the car, during one of those moments when everyone is losing their mind and you can’t stop, turn the radio up and SING! Usually it calms my kiddos right away or I can get them singing instead of screaming. I’m sure most of you have some special song that grabs their attention instantly, and if you don’t have this cued up in your brain or on your phone (for those of us who can’t sing) then you should. Even just going for a drive to change the scenery can be a way to be together but let you have some mental and physical space from kiddo demands. If you have Amazon Prime, they have a great music app you can use to save all your favorite songs to your phone! Download Amazon Music here! The app is free with plenty of good songs if you have Prime!

3. Screen Time (In moderation of course).

Just watch movies and chill on the sofa. My kiddos will snuggle me for a good while before moving on to play or needing a snack. It works even better if you talk to them about what you are watching and it’s something they are super into. Screen time is everywhere these days and the pressure/ guilt about it is mighty real. I try hard to moderate it, so we are not going overtime and creating little screen zombies.

My son loves the Lego games and he enjoys it double when I play with him. I like to watch and play with him, so we can have that connection about it. Talking about the goals we meet in the game as we are playing, or our favorite parts of the movie or show we are watching can be good conversation starters. Our favorite video games are Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Lego Marvel Super Heros.

4. Encourage that independence.

Before hunkering down into the “I can’t move” position, prep some snacks and drinks in easy to reach places so when they need it, they can get it. Be sure to use things with lids. And when they are still little, snacks they can reach but still must bring to you for opening is the key to me for preventing spillage. Here are some of the things we like to use for independent snack retrieval and storage.



These are just ideas I use with my kiddos. Every kid is different and I’m sure y’all have some great thoughts we can add to this list. Comment!!!

We are only human and can’t be 100% all the time. It’s good for our kids to learn to slow down and that parents need to have quiet time too.

Here is a related post I wrote on the benefits of connecting with your kiddos.

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My Tribe: An Introduction

I want to talk about my idea of a “tribe”. It means so much to me and is an important part of my mom identity. This is not just the mom tribe but really the group of women that help support each other through life.

Every woman needs some level of a tribe! You send her occasional goofy memes or snap chats when you think of each other, a girlfriend whom you don’t see often but feels like you never left each other when you do get to meet up, or even the woman you call or see in person every day to discuss every detail of your life (for some, this is mom). Imagine this in a 0-5 scale. The lady who makes you feel special because they were thinking of you -all the way to the one who gives you advice about some of your most intimate moments. These relationships are so important to me.


We as humans need relationships with each other, women especially with other women. I read a blog post almost a year ago about how we are hard-wired to need that community, or village as the author called it in her article (I’ll try to link it up at the bottom of this post for you to check out!). This is something people these days don’t necessarily value as much or take the time to grow and cultivate for themselves. I know for myself it’s a big part of my everyday happiness, and I work hard to encourage the relationships that mean the most to me. Some we may grow away from or be forced to move away from, but they are all important at different stages in life.

In each one of my life-stages so far, I have met some amazing women who make up my support system, or tribe if you will. The groups change and sometimes fall out of touch but they all have made an impact on my life. I know many of them would jump right back into those rolls for me again – today if possible. I like to be picky when picking my friends. “Quality over quantity” they say. When I find a good friend with whom I take turns, encouraging and lifting up one another, I make sure they know it!

 

Some different groups I have found my kindred spirits include

-High School (It was ALL GIRLS! Go Cubs!!)
-College (Of course these ladies were important, its where I became a grown up)
-Army Wives (This is a group that, for sure, I was and still am very proud to be a member. If anyone knows how to support other women, it’s these girls!)
-Stay-at-home moms (I miss my “Wine Wednesday” play groups)
-Bus stop moms (I cried this year when my first baby got on the bus – hugs all around!!)
-FAMILY (We are born with this group, and some are definitely better at being supportive than others. I feel truly blessed when considering mine)

I just want to remind everyone how important these women are to our happiness. Remember to be thankful for them and work for your happiness by seeking out amazing women to be apart of your tribe. Return that favor and be a great tribe member in return. Know that you can distance yourself from those who don’t practice that “give and take” with you. You won’t have anything to give if all the other woman does it take. That’s where being picky about picking those in your tribe comes into play.

Look for a follow up on some cool tips for capturing your tribe. Mom Dating, I like to call it.

 

In the Absence of a Village, Mothers Struggle Most <— Here is that other blog I was referencing.

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