Ah, motherhood! The greatest paradox of human emotion in the history of forever. One minute, you’re yelling at your kid to put on his shoes for the fifth time that morning. The next minute, you’re rocking your sweet toddler to sleep, eyes brimming with tears because your heart is full of love. Motherhood can make you crazy in so many ways…good and bad. While there are many articles on handling a bad mom day or surviving the toddler years, there aren’t many about ways to remember to enjoy your child, even in the throes of crazy town. But enjoying your babies while they’re babies is so, so important.
Hop on the crazy train.
If you’re a mama, you can relate to the crazy part of raising kids.
It’s beds with too many tenants that leave pee stains on sheets and give kicks to the face.
It’s requests to watch Elmo and Frozen every day. All day. Over and over again. Then again.
Spilled milk and crunched cheerios. All over your SUV. And couch. And crevices of your purse.
It’s everything you dearly love. Mixed with every kind of stress. All day, then all night. No breaks in sight.
It consumes your mind, fills your heart, and exhausts your body. Most importantly, it also grows you like you never imagined.
This is motherhood.
It is the one time in our lives when we have kids in the home. Littles (and not so littles) that need us. That love us. That we LOVE from head to toe while simultaneously draining us from head to toe.
The older generation tells us with love:
“Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it.
It passes before you know it.
Savor it now. It’s your one chance.”
Similarly, we politely but somewhat exasperatedly respond:
“Yes, I know. I know. I hear that a lot.
And I want to. I really do. That’s why I had kids. To enjoy them.
But the days, they fly by. And before I know it, they are another day older. Meanwhile, I still haven’t brushed my teeth. Or hair. So savoring them. Well, it’s harder than you know.”
10 Ways to Enjoy Your Child
Can you relate? If so, here are 10 easy ways to enjoy your child and feel like you didn’t miss out on the best parts of their littlest years.
1. Draw an outline of your hand.
Then, lay their hand inside the outline of your hand and trace their hand. Have them look at the differences in the sizes of your hands and remind them that their hand will one day grow as large as yours. But for now, it’s small. So that means they’re still growing, and you like that.
2. Have a staring contest with them.
Tell them you have to keep a straight face with absolutely no laughing. Then, flare your nostrils at them. Cross your eyes. Make your craziest face until they can’t contain themselves anymore. Maybe take them in the bathroom and have them practice making silly faces with you.
3. Turn on some music and ask them to teach you some dance moves.
Act as if they are the expert, then mimic them no matter what they do. Tell them you like their moves. Then, when they are tired, turn on some crazy annoying song and let them mimic you.
4. Interview them.
Get your camera rolling. Sit them down in a chair and ask them about the world. Ask them what a president does or how people float in outer space. If they’re older, ask them what sounds like the most fun place to take a trip. The worst? Ask them as many questions as you can think of about THEM.
5. Have them pick out your outfit—the entire thing.
Then, let them pick out their outfit. A costume. Mismatched shoes. Anything. Maybe take them out on a date at a restaurant. When people ask about your outfit, say, “My daughter dressed me today!” Make them feel proud.
6. Tell each other I love you in animal language.
Ask them how a cow would say, I love you. Then a pig. A goat. A snake. Pull them close and do the same back to them. “Hey, I’m going to say I love you in dog right now. Are you ready?” “Woof, Woof Woooooooooofffffff!!”
7. Say yes to something you always say no to.
They always want to fly a kite, but you don’t want to. Or maybe they want to go to Chuck E. Cheese, but the germs gross you out. They always want to..what?! Just for today. Say yes.
8. Sit them down and tell them everything you love about them.
Affirm them. Then do it some more. Anything they are good at. Bring it up. Make them blush. Make their heart feel good. They won’t always care about your opinions. But they do NOW.
9. Do something old school with them.
And teach them about something that has changed. Perhaps pull up a picture of a VCR or a cassette tape. Teach them how things “used” to be in the “olden” days. While they’re getting a little history lesson, you’re also getting a reminder of how short they’ve been on this earth. And how crazy it is that they only know what a smartphone is.
10. For one whole day, hide your phone.
You don’t have to do anything special other than respond when they ask for you without a distraction. Just for one day. Make that day a day that they see that they come first. That you get it. That they’re WITH you. But they won’t always be. And that while they still are… you’re WITH them. Then, hug them before you respond to their request.….
It is important to be present with your child and give them your full attention. I hope you took these ideas and had a wonderful day just enjoying your child!