Monday, July 22, 2013

Best/Worst Mother in the World

There've been a few articles and blog posts lately about how easy it is in the age of social media to put your best foot forward and portray only the best of your life and experiences to the virtual world. 

(Look at us, we always have fun and are very excited about everything!!)

Honestly, I don't know how different this is from normal life...I think we all wish to portray our best selves to those around us, and that we do our best to do exactly that from day to day. 

All that to say, I hope I'm not fooling anyone into thinking that because I occasionally hand sew things for my son or request educational toys for his birthdays that I'm some kind of super mom. I think it goes without saying that I am a temperamental redhead with barely a patient bone in my body. Any time I am kind to my son, I truly count that as a feat of the Holy Spirit.

(Look how nice I am when there's a camera on me!)

This morning I was particularly tired and ornery. I shouted at my son and brushed aside his feelings and desires because they seemed foolish or inconvenient to me at the time. I had to give myself a time out; I prayed a desperate prayer for God to make me better or at least help me make it until the kid's nap time so I could take a rest too.

Naptime proved to be a refreshing time for both of us. Calvin woke up from nap very jolly and cute and I had gotten a power nap and break so I was ready to get back in there and be better. Grace abounded.

We got to hang out, take a walk, and eventually make dinner together. At least one "SuperMom" feat I'd like to accomplish is to have my family enjoy cooking together and also to make a habit of sitting down to enjoy the food we've made and revel in the blessing that every meal should be (maybe this is the Italian in me?).

In a world where I feel like the worst mom a bunch of the time, it's kinda nice to feel like maybe I'm getting a few things right, even in the midst of a snappy, grumpy day. For me, the smile on my kid's face as he "paints" olive oil on pitas makes me feel, at least for that moment, that I'm the best mom around!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hands Off My Toddler

I've been thinking lately about how much fun Calvin's toddlerhood has been (at least for me!) compared to babyhood. Don't get me wrong, I had the cutest, smiliest little chubby baby I could ask for, and I loved nursing him and rocking him and all those other baby things.

But now that he can run around and amuse himself and understand humor and talk a little bit, I'm really starting to feel like the mother of a "kid" instead of a baby. And I've taken what I hope are the appropriate steps backward from the type of mothering that a baby needs as opposed to a toddler.

I've heard that this is kind of a new wave of parenting style, which I'm sure has a pithy name like "Hands Off Parenting" or something. But basically what it means for Calvin and I is that I leave him alone now more often to explore the backyard while I do dishes or work on my laptop in the kitchen (for instance). I'm not checking on him every three seconds like when he was 9 months old and starting to crawl. He can entertain himself for bigger chunks of time. I've even made him a fun backpack so that HE can carry around his diapers and wipes for a change, and I can just carry a regular-sized purse around!

The best part about this is that I can take him more places with me and feel like we are both actually enjoying ourselves and each other. Perhaps this is just me growing into motherhood, I'm not sure. But I am seriously enjoying being the parent of my sweet little two year old!

I'm considering this time a sweet calm before the storm of eventually adding another child to the mix. I'm not sure if I'm ready for it, but we'd like to pull the trigger soon before Calvin (and Mama!) gets too much older.