Mornings with children are not for the faint of heart. They signal a time of excitement (because that’s how many children are) and yet, a time of separation and resistance to moving forward in an orderly routine. They are often rushed. And let’s face it. We are never at our best when we’re running late.
In our house, each morning I aim to find a healthy balance between drill sergeant and camp counselor extraordinaire. Getting 3 kids fed, dressed, brushed, pottied and into the car (without destroying our relationship) in under 45 minutes is a feat I don’t take lightly. Especially because one of my kids has no interest in this routine.
For him, I’m always searching for the next shiny object that will motivate him to get his butt on the potty and hang out with me until the deed is done. The bathroom is my office. We have a tray for his lap and a host of books, card games and toys to lure him forward and keep him busy. But, ho hum, “THIS IS ALL SO BORING!” he informed me the other day. Which explains why we were running late the last three days.
Enter tracing paper idea. [Read more…]
Learn 3 Hot Tips for How to Handle Roughhousing, Wrestling and Play Fighting. In this short video, I talk about the benefits, the house rules and what NOT to say.
Not sure? Get a copy of mine to print and post on your fridge for inspiration. They look nice (thanks to my loving and talented husband) and they are definitely a place to start when you need a few affirmations and reminders. Now go out and Rock Your Inner Mama.
For me, summer camp represents a time and place filled with special memories, deep learning and great fun. Many memories have stuck with me. This morning, I woke up- struck by an old favorite.
I don’t remember the exact scenery, but I remember the lesson. It was an old Jewish tale about a Rabbi (18th century Hassidic Rabbi Simcha Bunem, thanks google!) who said we each have two pockets. In one pocket, we carry a note that says, “I am dust and ashes.” In the other pocket, we carry a note that says, “For me, the world was created.” There’s a time and place for each of these notes depending on the situation. Sometimes, we need to reach into one pocket and check our ego at the door, find our own humility and remember that we are but a speck in the universe. At other times, we reach for the other pocket when we're feeling discouraged or worthless and need a gentle reminder that we are each unique, significant and central to the lives of others.
Recalling this story, I felt newly empowered to dance between the many dichotomies that parenting presents. Not least of which includes the struggle between enjoying these precious years and wishing they’d pass more quickly.
From now on, I’ll keep one note in my pocket that says, “Cherish every moment, for these tender years go so fast.” In the other pocket, I’ll keep a note that says, “This too shall pass.” That way, when one son is biting and the other one goes weeks without eating a vegetable and the other one isn’t sleeping through the night, I won’t feel badly pulling out the note that says, “This too shall pass,” because I’ll always know there’s another note waiting for me when I’m ready to read it. And when I’m ready, I’ll become instantly present to cherishing the gift of the early years.
What parenting moments pull you in two directions?
What will the notes in your pockets say?