I’ve been think a lot about my use of time as a mom lately and what amounts up to quality time spent with my kids. It seems like there is always something I can be doing more of: laundry, homework, activities, family time, me time, spouse time and one on one time. With the gift of having more luxuries in this time of our life we are also forced to face the fact that there is so much more distraction to combat.
As I am a mother of four active children that love to express themselves and need their special time I have often felt like I am not giving them enough of what they need. Perhaps that is because the real-ness of mom guilt is ever present no matter what the moment your baby is born. Let’s push shame right out the window and let me share with you something that has made my “mom life” so much better. Moving with my kids.
- Take a cue from your kids: Our kids are naturally programmed to move. From their first wobbly head bobs to the triple speed running down the hallway, they are ready to be on the go. One of the healthiest things I have done for myself is to allow myself to take up their tempo. Roll along with them on the floor as babies, help them toddle as they are learning to walk, and trying a new sport that they are really excited about. Moving with our kids at their speed will help them to feel more connected to us on a physical and emotional level.
- Do something new: It may make you feel silly at first to try a headstand if it’s been a while, but it is such a fun way to show your kids that you care about their newest talents. This should be approached within reason as I know from experience doing the splits without warming up to it can leave a mark. lol. But why not try out some new yoga moves together or try balancing a fidget spinner on both thumbs? I think these are the times that I think my kids think I have a cool factor. Shaking off the stress in the kitchen to “Its raining Tacos” or dancing together playing the latest dancing game has made for a lot of giggles and fun memories.
- Enjoy the outdoors: My littles love to be outside. If we are having a cranky at home day, you know what I’m talking about, everyone’s moods are instantly improved when we take a step outside. This summer we started taking the little ones for a lot of hikes and we were surprised to hear that they enjoyed that time spent together more than they did at the local amusement park. As parents we often feel like we know the kind of entertainment our kids are looking for, but sometimes it is when we slow down and step outside that they really find what they need.
- Rise and shine: Recently my husband has been reading the book, “Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimp to Warrior the Navy SEAL way.” I didn’t know much about it at first but my kids have absolutely been loving it. Our children are currently 9, 6, 3, and 1 and the oldest three loved listening to it every night. Because of the influence of this book my husband and I have started waking up early with our oldest and doing workouts together as a family. Every morning that we have chosen to have this time together it has improved my son’s temperament tremendously. The book talks a lot of learning what self discipline is and what we can teach our children about happiness through accomplishing hard things. It has already had a profound influence on our family and has made us all a lot healthier.
- Share a memory: My kids love when I share experiences that meant a lot to me as a child. An example of how I incorporate this into movement is to think about something I loved doing as a kid and sharing it with them. It could be my love for dance, learning to snowboard with my family, or going sledding with my brothers. They like to hear about my struggles and my triumphs and to know that it is okay to fail amidst the trying and to laugh along the way. Teaching my son how to have confidence behind a ski boat means a lot more when I can tell him about my initial fear and overcoming it through the encouragement of my family and learning that failing is just part of the process.6.Let go of your inhibitions: I am still learning to push myself to push forward and not be afraid. Fear of going after the ball, getting out in the swimming pool with my warrior stretch marks, or dancing and being silly in a public place. Our kids take queues from us to know if an environment is safe and okay to be themselves and enjoy who they are. Wear clothes that allow you to move and be comfortable in your skin like the new Total Freedom Jeans from Lee. My kids love to run and move at a moments notice and I love being in clothes that allow me to do the same. I love these jeans for my boys especially because they have a comfortable stretch to them that they can run in and still feel cozy enough to snuggle up to watch a movie. 7.Encourage your child to shine: I have found it to be true time and time again that when you allow yourself to shine you give others permission to do the same. I am trying my best to teach this to my kids so that they can be comfortable in their own skin and make way for others to be their truest self. This is an ongoing lesson as I feel this is something we combat even through adulthood. Cheering your child on as your child tries new things will give them confidence to keep trying and rising even when they fall. As Nelson Mandela said,
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”