I thought about how I wanted to start this post… several times I wrote, and then erased, my opening sentences. I contemplated just saying “Here’s my motherhood update….” and then decided that sounded abrupt (and lazy….). Then I decided I could write a lengthy intro about a recent revelation I had… and decided it was best to share that in the meat of the post…. and then I remembered some funny motherhood quotes I stumbled across on instagram…. I figured it’s Friday, we could all use a laugh at this point (I mean, longest week ever over here for me…. thought it was Friday twice this week….) so I decided I would share them here (and I hope you can see the humor in them too!):
“The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until your children are in bed….” (okay, not entirely true…. but, come on… when there is peace and quiet in the home, and you’re sitting on the couch, finally relaxing, don’t you just melt at the thought of the little rugrat in the other room…. fast asleep??
“1. Going To Bed Early
2. Not Leaving The House
3. Not Going To A Party……
My childhood punishments have become my adult goals” No, but really. #HomeBody
“Parenting was so much easier when I raised my non-existent children hypothetically…..” Hmmmmm….
“You will never go to the bathroom alone again….” TMI? She follows me everywhere!
“A child’s laugh could simply be one of the most beautiful sounds in the world….”
And with that, I give you my thoughts and reflections on 14 months…..
General Thoughts + Feelings: This month I had varying emotions about toddler-hood and being a mom to a toddler. As she gets older, I find that I have so much fun with her… yet, at the same time, it brings with it more challenges…. While little miss’ curiosity of her surroundings grows, she begins to explore and test limits (and yes, she knows when she is doing something that might not be okay… like when she takes a flower off of a plant and moves it back and forth around her mouth…. and then just when she thinks I’m not looking, sticks it in her mouth….)… and that presents an entirely different set of mom (and parenting) challenges…
There have been a few moments in the past month where I found myself frustrated and exhausted. Then, I was at a mom’s group this past week and had a few conversations with people that struck a cord with me….
One talked about how her daughter didn’t have a certain characteristic because God knew she would’t be able to handle it….
Then, another spoke about how her spirited son was given to her for a reason… that she was meant to be his mom and he her son….
And while you may, or may not, believe in the spiritual component of the statements above (I happen to….) they can ring true for most people… and bring a sense of comfort. Little miss is my daughter (and TJ her father) for a reason…. there is something within me, and something within her that were meant to be together… there is something I am meant to teach her… and something she is meant to teach me….
And, as I began to look at our relationship in those terms, my perspective began to change. While I’m her parent, she is still teaching me daily. The challenges she presents to me are teaching moments for myself…. I wasn’t given the gift of patience (ask anyone), and she teaches me to have patience on a daily basis… I’m not one for silly random moments (that’s TJ’s strength)….and that’s something a toddler needs….so, daily, I get silly with her… dance for her while she’s in the bath… make silly faces to get her to laugh…. the list is endless…. and in turn, I hope she is learning to trust others….
learning what a loving relationship looks like…..
and learning to push the boundaries daily….
because, in the end, she is ultimately loved and supported…..
I also find myself looking at her, after a particularly difficult day, and reminding myself that, someday, she will be too big to hold, too big to tickle, and that someday she won’t come up to me asking to be held… that someday she will go off to college and get married… and in those moments, I will miss these small, everyday, and challenging times. When I remind myself of that, I am immediately softened, and am able to be much more present.
Sleeping: While last month I mentioned that little miss was sleeping soundly through the night… this month has shifted. We’ve had several middle of the night wake-ups…. a few abbreviated naps…. oh, and don’t let me forget to mention that she just didn’t nap yesterday. Period. Yet, I also know that these shifts come and go…. that just when you think its become permanent, things change…
Which is why I’m trying not to sweat it…. buuuut, I am keeping a close eye on her napping… and if she keeps missing… or having difficulty with her naps, we may have to make the transition to one afternoon nap. I’m imagining that things will begin to shake out this next month….
Eating: Well, I’ve recently discovered why people have kiddos in the first place…. to eat their tasty leftover food (totally kidding.). She’s still pretty open to most foods (although, she’s developing a slight disinterest in brussels sprouts…..)… and I’ve recently started making her grilled cheese sandwiches (I use this brand of cheese), peanut butter + banana sandwiches, and these chicken nuggets (these may or may not be for me too…..). All things fruit… and most veggies… loves avocado… throws rice everywhere (we don’t serve this much anymore)…. enjoys fish…. and prefers water over juice….
She still loves throwing food over the side of her high chair… yet, we’ve simply started removing the tray of food (it’s removable while still keeping her strapped in) and waiting for the behavior to stop before putting the food back. We also tell her what we expect, and model it for her as well….. I’ll check back in next month on this one… as I’m sure it will be a work in progress…..
Body/Fitness: I’ve been feeling much better in this area since the beginning of the New Year. I’m not sure if it’s been a change in perspective…. as in, yes, my hips have widened and that’s okay….. or if it’s because I feel as if I’ve upped the ante in my workout routine… or maybe it’s a combination…. either way, I’ve felt good with where I am….
As far as working out goes, I’ve started to run more on the weekends, which has helped me feel more like myself. Long runs have always been something that I have cherished, so being able to get back out there and run for miles has helped me clear my head, get the creative juices flowing, and help me feel confident in my physical capacities… I’ve gotten myself back to 8 miles and it wasn’t easy! I also continue to create small HIIT workouts at home, which you can find under the fitness section (most recent here). I’m hoping that as temperatures warm up we can get out on family hikes and bike rides.
Relationships: Lots of fun in this area this past month. I feel like I was able to connect with my girlfriends much more… and even had a night away in LA with one of them. It was such a great day of self-care and girl time… and of course, made me miss my little family more…. which is the ultimate goal! Relax, refresh, and get back to those you love feeling renewed…. and that’s exactly how I felt…
TJ and I are even getting away this weekend for two whole nights to celebrate our anniversary (Harper will be staying with my parents!)…. we are looking forward to heading back to the city where we met…. and made so many amazing memories. There isn’t much on the agenda…. which is exactly what we need!… and who knows… maybe we will actually sleep in until 8am!
Something I’ve loved watching is Harper and TJ’s relationship grow. She loves him so much and is obsessed with saying “dadeeeeee.” She says it all the time…. and even runs to the door to greet him when he comes home from work. I can’t wait to see how it grows over the next several months….
Her favorite word is “Ouch” for everything….. I mean, everything….
It melts my heart when she climbs into my lap and hands me a book to read to her (and then walks away three pages in to get a different book….)….
She loves hide and go seek…. and putting clothes over her head and then pulling them off….
She loves to give big, open mouth, kisses…. so sweet….
Tantrums…. yes, they’ve started. It’s kind of cute though… like “sorry I ruined your day putting away your toys….” I saw that quote and could relate. She has full on started laying on the ground and crying. Lord help me….
Her dance moves continue to develop…. she make some so proud (insert wink face here….)
Her curiosity. I just love how everything fascinates her….