If you are like me, the holidays have left you more worn out than refreshed and now it’s back to the home routine, only your children are not the same ones you left with. They have been spoiled by family members for a week and now they are more wild than ever. They have had so many people around them to play with all day long and they ate and drank whatever they wanted. Now they are home and it’s a new year.
Am I recommending saying yes to all these new found freedoms? Not quite but I am saying that I would like to seriously consider what I have been saying no to and reflect on my parenting style a bit more.
Coming back from the holidays our family was wiped out by colds and the flu leaving everyone a little miserable. Our 4 year old missed his first week at school and I was VERY challenged to take care of him and his little brother while I was also down and out this week. However, with my immune system being down, my resistance level was also lowered and I found myself agreeing to play more games of “Trouble”, or “Crazy Eights”, or Marvel Hero Dominoes, Bible Matching games and a whole lot more.
I still said no to juice for every meal and maintained a nap time most days for the 3 of us (at least my youngest, while I would “rest”) but I found that in general my little guys were content just for me to prioritize them over my day to day house chores.
Today we went and played outside in the snow and had a blast. It was so wonderful to see my baby boy crawling through fresh snow and then lying on his back staring up at the sky as I chased my oldest around the yard throwing snowballs. Yes you heard that right… fun in the snow DESPITE the sickness.
I want to say yes to as many things as I am able to without taking away teachable moments and discipline at their proper times because I want to give my children the freedoms and memories that will make their childhood a happy time, not one of me yelling and doing dishes and laundry.
One trick I found was that I had an all or nothing mentality before so if I was in the middle of the dishes, I wanted to finish all of them and then start the laundry BEFORE I would consent to play with my kids. But what was harmful about stopping somewhere in the middle, playing for 20/30min and then resuming my chores? To me it’s a no-brainer now.
The result? My oldest baby (the 4 year old… I’ve got to find a better pseudo name for him!) told me for the first time ever that he wanted to marry me! Now that is a win-win!