I would consider myself a new mom. My kids are under the age of 5, so yeah that’s pretty new to me. I have yet to experience most of the “situations” I’m sure to encounter in the coming years. I don’t even want to think about the adolescent years and I have two girls — Yikes! In the meantime, I try my best to give them all that I believe they need and want. Sometimes I may go a little overboard. It’s not that I’m trying to overcompensate for the things I didn’t have growing up — because I had an amazing childhood — but I think as a parent you just want your child to have everything that they desire. Unfortunately, I think that this just sets up our children for future failures. When they cannot get what they want, it becomes a tragic event (insert temper tantrum here) when it really shouldn’t be. It should be a motivating event, that if they really want something they better work hard for it. Josh and I have recently noticed our 4-year-old constantly asking for things. It seems like every other word is ‘I want’ or ‘can I have?’ It’s starting to drive us crazy because we see this house filled with toys, a trampoline, swing, zip line and tree house with slide in the backyard and yet she’s never content with what she has. I think we live in a time where our kids are in constant need of visual stimulation or the need for something new. In the past few months, I’ve tried to only buy Olivia a toy for a special occasion and I find myself saying “no” to the grocery store knick knack I know she’ll get bored of once we get home. This way she’ll learn to appreciate when she is rewarded. I also feel like we don’t let our kids just be bored. Remember growing up before internet? How did we survive!!!???!!!! If we just let them be bored, they will eventually find something to occupy their time. It’s during these times that their imagination flourishes. How many of you built forts out of bed sheets? Or acted out a play? I was heavy into Barbie and My Littlest Petshop. I would pretend that Barbie was a veterinarian taking care of all the animals. I grew up wanting to be a vet and sometimes wish I would have had the tenacity to pursue that in college. I’ve also realized that what our kids crave is our attention. Our kids don’t care if they are at the most amazing water park or hanging out with the water hose in the backyard. I mean, yeah who doesn’t want to go to a really fun water park, but my point is that they want time spent with us, their parents. They want to experience things with us. They want us present during playtime. Maybe this changes as they get older but these are the times that they will remember when they are adults. Not the newest video game or the expensive pair of shoes. This is something I work on constantly. Sometimes I find myself checking the latest sales or seeing what’s new on my IG or Facebook feed. And you know they notice it, even if we think we’re being discrete. I’ve been super lucky that my husband is anti-social media. I think he only has an email address and that’s it. So on the weekends, after house work, he’s always making time to play with the girls. Usually walking alongside Olivia while she rides her bike or jumping on the trampoline. I love how he initiates these memories. He is truly amazing and we have a great time as a family.
On this particular day, we filled up our kiddie pool and let the girls spray each other with the hose. Followed by a swing on the tree swing and jumping on the trampoline. They had a blast! And we enjoyed laughing and watching them just have a good ‘ole time. It’s times like these that we get to enjoy each other and you know what? It doesn’t cost a thing! (Yes, the things in the backyard cost money but they’re more than paid off with memories) And it makes no difference to the girls because they’re having fun.