A huge thank you to my sweet friend Jaclyn for inviting me to join in on the Rocking Motherhood Challenge! If you haven’t read hers yet, please visit her at www.jaclynbree.com and connect with her on Instagram ☺️. She is such a genuine person with a beautiful heart and I’m so thankful to have connected with her. She just welcomed a second bundle to her bunch too, (yay!!!) so be sure to send her some extra love! 💛
If you’re not familiar, the Rocking Motherhood Challenge is a way for us Mommies to sit and reflect on all of the ways that we’re rockin’ it at motherhood. So often we feel that we fall short and this is an opportunity to take a second to refocus and celebrate our efforts.
After being tagged, I took a long time to come up with a list myself. I may have taken the cake when it comes to tardiness, #lateasusual #spanishpeopletime lol but here it is finally 😂 So many days I feel like I’m constantly dropping the ball with this whole mommy thing, but after some deep reflection, I found that there a few things I can be proud of.
10 WAYS I’M ROCKING MOTHERHOOD
1. I never let a moment go by without my son knowing that he’s loved.
I tell my son often that’s he’s loved, wonderful, patient, strong and smart. I highlight all of the beautiful traits that he possesses so that he always knows that he’s an incredible little dude. Every day when we snuggle for naps or bedtime, (especially on the tough days when time-outs are frequent) I remind him of all of the things that he did right and why he’s still such a good boy. I want to teach him that it’s human to make mistakes but that making them doesn’t take away from the amazing person that he is, it’s just part of being human and our love is unconditional…I want to teach him to self-reflect in order to grow as a person, and I want him to learn to do this in a gentle and forgiving way. Most importantly, I want him to know without a doubt in his mind that no matter what, he will always have his parent’s love.
2. I validate his feelings.
Even if he’s having a full-blown tantrum I always let him know that I understand, even if we aren’t allowed to express ourselves that way. You’ll hear me say, (even if its in a stern tone,) “You are allowed to feel angry and frustrated and upset, you have every right to feel that way…but you are NOT allowed to scream and throw a tantrum. I know that you want to keep playing (or whatever influenced the melt down) because you had so much fun, but it’s time to clean up now.” I give his feelings a name, I give him the vocabulary to express himself, and I let him know that he is understood. Then, I try my best to guide his behavior in a healthy way.
3. I teach him to take deep breaths when he’s having a meltdown.
He sees me do this when I get overwhelmed and he’s learned to do it, too. It actually helps and it’s so incredibly cute watching him do this. Also, as a plus–when I breathe with him, it helps me out out as well. Deep breaths. 😂
4. I hold myself accountable and model behavior that I want him to repeat.
My son is with me every day, so he sees what I’m doing at any given moment. He sees me pick up toys at certain times of the day and has learned this by example, he sees the types of foods I eat and how I view my body, he sees how I speak to daddy when I’m frustrated or upset, or how I hug and kiss and show him love. If I fall short in front of him, I always take a moment to tell him how mommy messed up and why it was wrong. Then, I always apologize and my husband does the same. If I want him to be a decent person, I need to show him humility in myself. It wasn’t until I met my husband who taught me the power of humbly apologizing, that I ever practiced this. My family never did this. I want my son to see me apologize when I’m wrong because I want him to learn that this isn’t a weakness, but rather a strength and quality that people who seek growth possess. I want him to see me make smart and kind choices so he naturally does the same. I want him to watch me eat healthy foods so that he does the same. My husband and I work hard to set the foundation for healthy habits in all areas of his little life, physically, spiritually, socially, and emotionally.
5. I try to make everything a learning experience.
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, and although I don’t miss being in the classroom anymore, the teacher in me truly can’t look at anything without seeing an opportunity for learning. I believe in child-led exploration so I never force my son to focus on anything he’s simply not interested in yet. I might want him to know his colors, but he is super interested in shapes. I’m cool with that. I also try to be resourceful, so in order to create learning scenarios that also help ME out, sometimes working on math with my son means sorting clean dinner utensils from the dishwasher instead of sorting plastic colored bears. Other times it’s having him help me put laundry in the washer and pushing the button so that he feels included, but also learns that boys can do laundry, too. 😉
6. I read to him daily.
I have such a love for reading– I have since the day I learned how. When I was teaching pre-school and kindergarten, I saw that many children didn’t know which way to turn the pages on books. They could manipulate an iPad but not a book. It made me realize that they simply didn’t receive much exposure to these things or have a lot of experiences with them. I tucked that memory into the back of my head and pulled it back out when I became a mother myself. I even read to him when he was in my tummy. I want to nourish his passion for reading,writing and imagination; and in order to do this I need to show him that books can bring comfort and fun, that reading is a time of bonding and enjoyment. I make the funny voices and noises to show him that reading can be an experience and he can join in on the fun, too.
7. I balance TV-time.
This means that some days we don’t watch it at all and avoid electronics altogether…and other times Mommy and Daddy don’t have a babysitter, so we let him watch 2 movies back to back on the weekends so that we can get alone time. Balance. LOL but on a serious note, to my in-law’s dismay (lol!), I won’t allow him to have his own iPad because I want him to choose hands-on activities that he needs to manipulate and figure out in order to achieve satisfaction. iPads can be cool and great for learning but they come with so many bells and whistles that demand a reaction. The problem comes when you take these things away and good ole’ fashioned wooden blocks just don’t cut it anymore because “they’re boring.” My husband and I have seen the monster he turns into just when we won’t let him hold the phone for FaceTime… We want our son to keep his imagination and be encouraged to learn through exploration, without something singing and flashing at him in order to keep him interested. There can be so much sensory overload and the toys he loves most right now are the Melissa and Doug wooden toys that he gets to figure out himself, or the $3 wooden blocks from Target. I’m very much proud of that.
8. I discipline my kid.
To be clear, I don’t believe in spanking because I don’t think it makes sense to hit a child when you are also teaching your child not to hit others or you. I remember how this made me feel as a child and it didn’t change my behavior, it only made me sneakier about it in retaliation. I also don’t believe in screaming at kids if you would get them in trouble for having a tantrum. Okay, I’m not perfect–I’ve definitely screamed at my son but I always realize it doesn’t work and always makes things worse. I do realize; however, that I don’t want to spend the majority of my days battling my son and so I’ve learned to nip behavior in the butt (figuratively speaking) in order to teach him boundaries. Time-out doesn’t work for all kids but thankfully it does for mine. I always am firm while putting him in and gentle taking him out and I always discuss why he was in timeout/why we can’t do whatever he was doing. I teach him that it’s okay to make mistakes, that the important thing is to learn from them, and I always apologize to him when I mess up. I want to teach him compassion and empathy and think modeling it is the best way for us.
9. I teach him about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and invite him to pray with us daily.
He prays with us at every meal and also while Daddy is at work. He knows to join hands and bow heads and to wait for the other person to finish praying before speaking. He’s seen me praise God when I’m happy or sit down in prayer in tears. He might not understand completely what this all means yet and that’s okay, but I recognize that motherhood is a divine gift and that our son ultimately is not ours, but His. I honor this truth and want my son to know who his true Father and King is and to help establish this personal relationship with the Lord. My husband and I want to nurture this at a young age. I want him to know that Jesus is with him always, that he can talk to Him like a friend, that he SHOULD talk to Him like a friend and can do so as casually as he feels comfortable, and that the Holy Spirit isn’t only inside churches. Growing up, we weren’t church goers and I believed for a long time that I was undeserving of something as pure as Jesus. I realized that as soon as I started talking to Him, even if it wasn’t in a traditional way, He listened, and He showed himself to me. I want my son to know that from the start.
10. I take this job very seriously by not taking myself too seriously.
Like many women, I didn’t realize just how much of a perfectionist I was until I became a mother myself. This role humbles you that way and makes you realize that perfection isn’t real and if it were, it probably would be too rigid to make life enjoyable. I’ve learned to be more flexible with my son and to work with HIS needs, not mine, and to not focus on how this looks to others. We do what works for our family and I recognize every other family is doing the same. I’m probably never going to consistently get ahead of my laundry pile or have the house spotless for 5 days straight, but I’m still a good woman, wife, and mother. Showing my son that these things are okay and that I’m actually NOT perfect, hopefully will teach him to have a realistic outlook on life, to be easy on himself and to not to chase perfection…Also, maybe it will help him keep a realistic expectation of women and people. 😂 We’re not perfect… but we’re still perfectly fine and we are so very deserving of love.
Your turn! 🙂
To keep this going, I’d like to nominate some awesome mommas: Ellie from Adventures with Ellie and Kristen from Coffee and Kisses for Mama! If you haven’t already, give them a follow on Instagram here and here 🙂 They really are a breath of fresh air and so often inspire me<3 I think they’ll do the same for you.
- Thank the blogger that tagged you and link to their blog.
- List the reasons you believe make you a good mother.
- Tag some bloggers to join in the #RockingMotherhood Tag.
- Grab the #RockingMotherhood badge and add it to your post or sidebar.