What's Your Parenting Motto?

Monday, September 16, 2019

I'm about 6 years into this parenting gig. As any parent can tell you, it's not always easy (understatement of the century?!) and it challenges us in ways we never imagined. Raising little humans is a big task, and it demands to be treated as such: we are entrusted with little hearts and impressionable minds, after all.

That's why I've recently embraced a little phrase that I repeat to myself often (most of the time in my head, sometimes out loud) and that I've found helpful in many aspects of parenting. Maybe you will, too?

Lead With Love.

Sounds simple enough, right? Of course, it's a given that we love our children and would give our very lives for their chance to lead their own. So "leading with love" seems obvious. But this little parenting motto isn't simply about loving our children, because I don't believe that love ever goes away no matter how frustrated, overwhelmed, or clueless we might feel. 

For me, Leading With Love has become an intention, followed by a direction, followed by an action. For example, when I'm dealing with a tantrum that seems to know no end, or when I'm facing kid attitude, or when I'm walking my three year old back to bed for the fourth time with bleary eyes -- and especially when I feel like I'm at the end of my fraying rope, and we've all been there -- I've found that if I remind myself to react with love first, things usually work out much more smoothly and happily for everyone involved, including myself. It's so easy to lose our tempers, to say something that feels deserved in the moment but doesn't settle well later, but when I try take a minute and remind myself of my little motto, it's resulted in less tears, less confusion, and less guilt later on. Simply put, it just feels better to Lead With Love. 

Leading With Love can also be interpreted as how we lead by example when it comes to our kids. Over and over, I've witnessed how these little people watch exactly what we do. How are we leading them -- literally? Are we approaching those we come into contact with with love? Are we expressing our feelings, even in times of high stress or frustration, the way we hope our kids will? Don't get me wrong -- nobody is perfect or can react in the ideal way all the time. I strongly believe there's a lot of value in showing our kids that even grown-ups don't always make the best choices. For me, if Leading With Love is always the goal, I'm more likely to do it -- but if I don't one day, because I'm human, then my kids learn that it's ok not to be perfect all the time. Mistakes are also a (vital) part of life. And, while "Lead With Love" has truly helped shape my parenting, know that I also have other, less lovely sounding, parenting mottos like "this too shall pass" and "ehh, why not?" ;) 

Do you have a parenting motto? I'd love to hear it!

Weekend Favorites

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Happy Saturday! With the start of school, I find myself more anxious than ever for the weekends to roll around. My girls savor this time to reconnect, relax, and play to their heart's content... and I love it! Speaking of school, Hadley already caught some cold germs from preschool (two days in) and guess who definitely isn't in the running for mom of the year award after forgetting to pack Carrie's (fully made, I might add!) lunch? That's right... this girl! I may or may not have called Steve sobbing. Not even sure I can blame that one on pregnancy hormones. ;) 

BUT, besides those hiccups, school has been going great for my little girlfriends, and for that I am so thankful. 

Moving right along to this Friday's favorite things:

One. Have you ever been obsessed with a soap? No? I had never been either, but then I discovered Mrs. Meyer's Apple Cider hand soap and I now go out of my way to find a reason to wash my hands (which isn't hard, haha). I find mine at Target! The Acorn Spice scent is also yummy, but Apple Cider is just plain amazing. You won't be disappointed.

Two. I was literally laughing out loud reading this honest piece about the stages of newborn-hood. If you've been through it, give it a read! I promise you won't regret it! 

Three. Comfort food. Does anyone else just get in the mood for warm, cozy food this time of year? (Send any crockpot recipes my way, please -- those will be winners with this extra crazy season of life upon us!). Two of our favorite easy dishes are this baked ziti and simple baked potatoes with melted cheese, crumbled bacon, and broccoli. 

Four. I'm new to packing lunches every day, but we've been really liking these bento boxes. Does anyone else's kids' lunch come home looking like raccoons broke into it, though? I also spotted these healthier alternatives to Lunchables (nothin' wrong with Lunchables, but for the same price I figured I'd try these!) at Target. 

Five. The Target clearance section is legit lately. I picked up this simple market stand set up for EIGHT BUCKS. I figured we can set it up on Christmas Eve with a big bow and some play food tossed in the bins. My girls love anything make-believe!

Have a wonderful weekend!

We Have a Kindergartener!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Last week, we sent our first baby off to kindergarten. 

Carrington was so excited to head off on the big yellow school bus -- I couldn't quite believe I was standing at a bus stop with my child, watching her climb the stairs, waving goodbye. Our kindergarten program is full day, so it's a huge change from the 2.5 hours of preschool/4 days a week that she had before. No more lunches together, unstructured days, spontaneous outings, lazy mornings. Man, I reveled in all of those things with my first girl. They are tough changes for this momma heart to accept, and yet I know without a doubt in my mind that my almost-six-year-old is ready for more.

She's ready to meet new friends, to learn to read, to do arts & crafts projects to her heart's content (something I was having a particularly hard time keeping up with this summer, as much as I tried!). She's ready to expand her knowledge about all sorts of subjects she's curious about -- she's so ready to learn. And if I'm being honest, she's probably got a few things she can teach others, too. ;) I marvel at how much she already knows and can't wait to hear what she discovers, all she absorbs.

Hadley has been taking it pretty rough, but then it's only been two days and she hasn't started pre-school yet. She has a tough time accepting that sissy gets to go off on the bus each morning and she can't. She misses her all day, everyday playmate... her best friend. It's a long day without her big sister, and we're both feeling it. It hurts my heart to see her missing Carrie, but at the same time we knew it was an inevitability, and I'm excited for her to begin pre-school and meet new friends and teachers of her own. She's ready for her own thing, too! I'm also looking forward to a bit of one-on-one time (ok, maybe with baby sis in tow!) with my Haddie and plan on treasuring it fully knowing how fast it all goes.

Have you sent a kid off to kindergarten or full day school for the first time? Was it a difficult transition? I'd love to hear your thoughts! I know we're not alone with all of these crazy, mixed emotions. ;) 

Fall Bucket List

Monday, September 2, 2019

Happy Labor Day! Can you believe it: the official end of summer? This was the fastest season -- and year -- I think I can ever remember, and I have no doubt fall will feel the same way. We're going to have a busy one over here! I tend to be a restless, get out, get-it-done sort of person so I am hoping to balance that part of me (thus the bucket list!) with a momma who can sit back, embrace and enjoy the moment, and take it all in. 

Here's what's on our Fall Bucket List this year. What's on yours?

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