Staying Connected

Sweater: Beau Hudson c/o | Shorts: Topshop similar style here | Tennis Shoes: Converse

Hudson's Sweater: Beau Hudson c/o | Shorts: Beau Hudson | Shoes: Converse

Today's blog post is a little different than normal, but something I am passionate about. Motherhood. One word that looks so different on and for everyone. 

I had the opportunity to write a blog post recently about mothers bonding with their children during the craziness of life. As a millennial mom there are so many things that have my attention, yet the most important also will be being a mother. So here are some things that I do that help me keep being a mother the main thing while still trying to accomplish all the needs of everyday life. 

Disclaimer: I have only been a mother for 2.5 years and I by no means have it figured out or will try and pretend like I do. This is just what has helped me along the journey. 

If you are at home with your kids on your day off, be with them 100%. Try not to think about work or stress about it (key word: "try").
If your at work, be at work 100%.

 This has helped me to stay focused and not feel like I am all over the place. We all set boundaries in our life for different reasons, we need to set boundaries with our children too. Meaning, protect the time you have with them, because you will never get that exact moment back. One boundary I have is my phone. I set specific times to dedicate to my phone while Hudson is napping or asleep at night. Now this doesn’t mean I am unreachable, it just means that I am not scrolling through social media or emails while I should be digging in the dirt with my little boy. Life is not an emergency, it was meant to be enjoyed.
You will also get a lot more out of your children when they know you are only focused on them.

This has also helped me not to stress about deadlines or the list of things I have to do, because I know I have set time aside for it to get done and I can enjoy my little guy. It helps me utilize my time wisely.
I make a list of things I need to get done by the week. Then I organize them by priority and schedule them by days. This prevents me from over committing in a day (or week) and taking away time with Hudson.
Making lists also helps me get things done more efficiently then when I don’t. Sometimes I feel like I have so much to do I don’t even know where to start and before I know it, an hour has passed by and I have accomplished nothing.
I also do the same with a calendar. I have a calendar for the month and then one for the week. I write down appts, meetings, play dates, and my blog deadlines. If it seems like a full week that I can not manage, I cut something out. This gives me plenty of time to cancel and adjust my time by priorities. For example: if I have a big week with a bunch of deadlines for my blog, I don't try and schedule a dinner date with a girlfriend, I schedule that another week when there isn’t a lot going on.

I’m not taking about a trip to disneyland. Just something that you know your child would love and enjoy to do with you. It doesn't even have to cost a lot of money. Sometimes let it be a surprise and other times let them pick. When I was little my mom would write "mommy and me dates" on little pieces of paper and put them in a jar and we would get to pick one and whatever was on the paper is what we did. It was the best!

Here are some things we love to do: 
*A special lunch in the park

*Making a craft (or working on a school project)

*Going for ice cream or frozen yogurt

*Painting together

*Going to the store and letting your child pick out a special candy and popcorn for a movie night 

*Trip to PetSmart to look at the animals and fish

*Getting your nails done (if you have a girl)

*After school coffee or smoothie date: my mom would do this every Friday with us kids and I

will never forget it!

*Saturday morning breakfast at Starbucks (or donut shop): We live within walking distance to a Starbucks, so we go for a walk and I get my cardio in too!

*Bike Rides

*Swimming: if you don't have pool, check to see if your city has a community swim center with fun slides. You can also buy a family swimming pool for $30 (best investment we ever made).

*If you have a couple of children who are older, having a one-on-one lunch or dinner date with them. Hudson loves to do this at Chick-fi-la.

*Have a Friday night camp out in the living room or on the floor in your child’s room (Hudson loves when we do this with the mattress!).

*Get some glow sticks from the dollar store and bath crayons and paint and have a bath party!

*And maybe your a working mom who just wants to be at home on your day off, set up a picnic lunch in the backyard.

Telling them is great, but actually showing them is another. Children (humans in general) won’t always remember what you say, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
What I mean by this is, when you pick up your child from school or baseball practice, ask them how it went and actually listen. Engage in a conversation with them. Keep asking questions. This lets them know you have an open ear. Sometimes you have to sit and listen to their crazy stories, and actually pay attention. When you do it in the little things, they will trust you in the big things (example: if they are being picked on at school, or struggling with something). The more this happens the more of a bond and trust is created. A trust and bond you will want when they become teenagers, who naturally close themselves off. 

Prior to having Hudson, I spent a few years working with Jr. High and High School girls (total of ten years with girls ranging in ages from 3-30+). Sometimes I would have different girls in my office struggling with the same issues, but I could tell which girls had a bond with their parents and which ones did not just by the way they talked. 
That space has to be created and it’s not too late to start.

Hudson is two-years-old (almost three) and he will tell me to “sit with me.” What he means by that is he wants me there so he can tell me all about his dinosaurs and what cool line he made with all his trucks. If I am too busy looking at the TV or down at my phone while even sitting there, all I am communicating to him, is “what I am doing right now is more important”.

You will be a better mom because of it. We all make mistakes, WE ALL DO!
 It is so easy to compare ourselves to other mothers, even other women. All that does is disable you and rob you of every ounce of joy in you. You were given that child for a reason and God chose you to be their mother. No one can do it better than you.

Your doing a great job. If you go to bed at the end of the day and feel like you could have done better (I do this all the time!) then try again the next day. Don’t beat yourself up. One thing I have learned in my experience with working with children and being a mother is, children are the most forgiving human beings in the world! 

Your a rockstar mama!

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