Welcome to #TakeOverTuesday! This week our guest blogger is Amanda, a stay at home mama to 2 beautiful girls. Camila is 3, and loves dinosaurs. Alenna is 9 months, and loves mama. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 7.5 years (awwww, we love love here at Delicately Balancing Life!). Her blog is all about sharing their story of raising hope, faith, love, kids, family, health, and everything in between at home. I hope you enjoy her post. Check out her blog at www.raisingathome.com to read more from Amanda.
By: Amanda Elize @raisingathome
I feel like my first year of being a mom was a real wake up call. I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing; I mean who does though? It’s a whole new world for EVERYONE. So if you were feeling like me in your first year you aren’t alone!
I also didn’t realize the magnitude of what we had been entrusted with. We had been given this tiny being that we were solely responsible for. It was our responsibility to raise this little human to be a good, kind, contributing individual to this world. I don’t think that I really understood the importance of parenting until my oldest turned 2, and all the flood waters broke through.
My sweet, innocent, loving little girl had suddenly turned into a volatile, screaming, tantrum throwing toddler. The terrible twos never lived up to their name more than it did in that 2nd year. This is when I decided that I really needed to step up my parenting style. These are three simple things that I changed that made a world of a difference in keeping my sanity as a stay at home mom and attempting to raise joy in our home.
1. Intentional Parenting
Intentional parenting means being present and knowing just how much your attitude, mindset, tone, words, actions, etc. affect your children. Kids are smart! They know what is going on and they copy EVERYTHING. When I start hearing my 3 year old mimicking my tone, I know that I am doing something wrong. Kids learn what they know; does that make sense? I kind of just made that up! Ha! But it’s true. They learn what they see and hear every day. When I started becoming intentional with my parenting, it gave me more of a purpose. I had more of a sense of the responsibility that I had as a parent. The responsibility to raise a child who is kind, who is independent, who is loving. And who one day, God-willing, will become a little wife and mama too. It is my duty to teach her how to do those things; and to not necessarily teach her how to do them right (because Lord knows, I am not always right as a parent) but good enough.
2. Joyful Parenting
Oh Boy! This one is a tough one, but makes a world of a difference. Again, kids learn what they know. I learned early on that the saying “When Mama ain’t happy ain’t no one happy”, is so true. As mamas, we set the whole tone for our families. This is a TON of responsibility, yes, but how amazing is it to see your children happy because YOU are happy. My husband and I took our 3 year old to a birthday party a couple of months ago and received a small but hugely significant compliment to us about our daughter. Someone simply said “Look at her, she is just so happy. She is a really happy kid.” So simple but so significant to this point. My husband really took this to heart more than I did at that moment, probably because he was analyzing it more, he is a child therapist after all. And as we were talking I said “Well, why do you think she is so happy all of the time?” and he simply said “Because we are.” This hit me like a ton of bricks when I really thought about it. It is so true, she is happiest when she sees mommy and daddy happy and loving each other. That is when she feels most secure. So since that day, I’ve made it a point to be more joyful in my parenting. Parenting is such a privilege that not all people get to experience. I have challenged myself to be grateful for this privilege and to try to raise my babies intentionally, with joy.
3. Take the Time to Learn from your Littles
This! It’s huge! I’ve quickly learned that I DO NOT KNOW EVERYTHING when it comes to parenting. And I make mistakes, a lot, HUGE mistakes. And my littles are always watching! My 3 year old has gotten to the point in her life where she will correct me:
“Mommy, stop getting upset with daddy. You LOVE him!”, “Mommy, you’re not supposed to say that. That’s RUDE!”
And she is so RIGHT! In those moments it can be easy to say “You don’t understand, you’re still too little!” but the point is, she’s really not too little. To her it is black and white, right and wrong, and rightly so because that is what we have taught her. And sometimes when we think like our kids we can learn a lot from them. I can learn that maybe I do need to be more patient with my husband. Or maybe I should watch my words more carefully. So this is why it is important to not be so quick to silence our littles, but to be quick to listen to them and learn from all that they are seeing and taking in from the world.
Parenting is a whole new world of learning, trial and error, correction, constant improvement, exhaustion, crying because you don’t know what you’re doing (haha!), and so much more. I’m sure that we will have to change things up again a bit more as our littles continue to grow and learn new things over the years. But I think these 3 simple practices are timeless and will remain a constant in our family as we continue to evolve.
When we take the time out to be intentional in our parenting, spread joy in our homes, and learn from our little ones it can leave a lasting impression in raising our babies not to be perfect, but to be good enough.
I hope you enjoyed this little snippet from our lives, please feel free to drop a comment about simple ways that you attempt to improve your parenting style!