15 Things Moms Can Agree On (Hopefully) (Well, Maybe?)

This post was inspired by a post from treehugger.com which highlighted 26 Things We Can All Agree On. After I read it, I began contemplating the subject of motherhood with its diverse outlooks, beliefs, and countless ways we’ve amassed to raise our children. Aside from our individualities, are there any fundamental, concrete principles that all mothers can agree on? I hope so! Let’s face it, we all have an opinion, but at the end of the day what binds us is we all answer to that word, “Mom.” Or Mommy or Mama or Mom Mom Mom Mom Mom! or Madre or Mamacita or Ma or…well you catch my drift.

Spit-up, throw-up, early mornings, late nights. Infants, toddlers, teenagers. Just when we think we have it all figured out, motherhood throws us another damn curve ball. Well at least she keeps us on our toes. I for one am up for the challenge. You?

15 Things All Moms Can Agree On (Hopefully) (Well, Maybe?):

1. Motherhood is tough. This ongoing journey of ups and downs and winding roads is ever-changing and ever-challenging. Motherhood is an enormous task which reaps enormous rewards.

2. LOVE is all you need. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I. LOVE. YOU. Tell them. Show them. Repeatedly. Again and Again and Again.

3. Mistakes are inevitable. They happen. More often than not. Let’s recognize the ones we’ve made and look to a future of not repeating them.

4. Every child is different. But wait a minute, my first baby slept through night no problem. Uh huh. Doesn’t mean a thing. The sooner we realize that not all kids are the same, the better off we’ll be. Agree?

5. Mom Guilt. We all have it. We all recognize it. We all need to get over it and stop putting so much undue stress and pressure on ourselves. What’s the deal with us doing that anyways? Oh right, mom guilt.

6. Children are our teachers. There is so much we can discover about ourselves from our children. We just need to take the time slow down and learn the lessons. Patience, tolerance, spirit, hope, passion, honesty, excitement, acceptance…

7. Time goes by too fast. Days are long, but the years are short. A first-born will soon be taking a first step. Savor every moment. Yes, even that moment when the baby is crying incessantly and the toddler is yanking on your leg telling you that she just flushed your keys down the potty. Okay, well not every moment.

8. Self-confidence – We need it, desperately. It’s right there inside you. Find it. NOW.

9. Mother’s change the world. We are raising future generations. This requires no further explanation. 

10. We are all in this together. Although we are highly diverse in appearance and culture, our instincts at the core virtually remain the same. To teach, to nurture, to bring up compassionate, hard-working, intelligent, healthy, responsible human beings that contribute something positive to society. Not too much to ask for, right? If you’re doubt, please refer to #8.

11. A Step-by-Step Guide to Motherhood DOES NOT exist. In motherhood we learn from that thing called EXPERIENCE.

12. We CAN NOT please everyone. Not even going to try to.

13. Sleep is a necessity. For mom. For dad. For kids. For sanity.

14. Taking a [hot/cold] shower may equate to a week-long vacation. I was going to attribute this one to new moms especially, but I think all mothers can agree that five minutes in the shower has the ability to renew and recharge us – even if we have ‘mommy brain’ and think we can hear someone calling our name the entire time.

15. Balance is something we all strive for. On the outside. On the inside. Within our family, within our friendships, within our careers, within ourselves.

“Motherhood brings as much joy as ever…Nothing else ever will make you as happy or as sad, as proud or as tired, for nothing is quite as hard as helping a person develop her (his) own individuality especially while you struggle to keep your own.” – Marguerite Kelly and Elia Parsons

Have more to add? Please do so below! ♥

This post was re-blogged from Mommy OM archives 2012–One of my favorites 🙂

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Six Green Activities for Kids

wagon

Turn off the television. Power down the computer. Hand over the Nintendo DS. It’s time to unplug and get our heads thinking, our hands doing, and our bodies moving. Here are a few activities that can help develop a generation of kids that are mindful of their environment, themselves, and others.

1. Take a walk. Take a stroll, a wagon ride, a jog. Play tag, hide-and-go-seek, climb a tree. It really doesn’t matter. Just get your kids together and get outside. What better way to take in mother nature than to be surrounded by it? Point out the sunlight and how it feels on your face. Be conscious of your breath as you inhale the fresh air. Look up at the beautiful blue sky and twirl in circles. Round and round, again and again. Go on, get out there.

2. Read. Read. Read. Set aside the Kindle and Nook and head out to the local library for story time. If you don’t live close to a library pick some children’s books from your own collection. Sit down with the kids and have them turn the pages, point out characters, and pick their favorite parts. Get them involved in the story by letting them act out scenes from the book. Ask them questions about the story and listen closely as their imaginations run wild.

3. Yoga. Yoga gives kids (and adults too!) strength, flexibility, discipline, and balance. Yoga is a joyous way to connect with your mind and body. The challenges presented with each pose help to promote confidence and self-compassion. There are so many fun yoga poses for kids to do as well. Some of these include: Tree Pose (Vrksasana), Butterfly, Fish Pose (Matsyasana), Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana), Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), and Child’s Pose (Balasana).

4. Arts & Crafts. There’s nothing like covering the table in paper and pulling out the glue, crayons, paint, and glitter. So many fun memories to be made by drawing and creating original works of art. For added texture and style you can include yarn, buttons, popsicle sticks, aluminum cans, water bottles, and so on. Check out Pinterest for more ideas.

5. Garden. Ready. Set. Garden. Grab an old window box or use a beach pail. Have the kids shovel in some soil and plant some herbs together. If you have the ability to grow your own garden, get the kids involved with planning which fruits and vegetables or flowers to grow, when and where to plant them, and then break ground together. Plan a day to visit the local nursery and have the kids pick out their own gardening gloves and shovels. Gardening projects are a great way to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle.

6. Prepare food together. Start by shopping at the local farmer’s market or ideally your own backyard garden. Teach your children the importance of supporting local food. Help them connect with their food by explaining how it is grown, packaged, and delivered. After the food is picked or bought, get the kids in the kitchen and show them how to wash it. Then prepare a dish together. Finally, sit down at the table and relish in the beauty of nourishing your body with healthy sustainable foods.

Ethen the Grouch

We are in week three of pre-k for my little one and I must say that he has turned into quite the monster (Think Oscar, not Elmo). What a terror this kid has been lately. I say no and he says yes. I say go and he says stop. I say jump and he says sit.  He tests his limits now more than ever. Oh and he is cranky, cranky, cranky, grouchy, grouchy, grouchy. Where has my sweet little baby gone? I’m hoping he’s just working out the kinks of being away from mommy throughout the day. Apparently he only works these kinks out while at home with me. Score one for mommy! Obvious sarcasm! On a serious note, his teacher tells me all the time what a kind, loving, gentle little boy he is. That’s the Ethen I remember, but I can’t seem to find lately. Here are some of the things he’s been up to after school:

1. Pulling down and unrolling ALL of the toilet paper while using the bathroom.

2. Coloring the front porch with crayons.

3. Tracing his hand with a Sharpie marker on Ella’s brand new doll house.

4. Throwing all his puzzle pieces on the floor, stomping on them, and screaming, “Bob the Builder, Yes we can!”

5. Repeatedly saying  poop, butt, diarrhea and any other potty word you can think of. Over and over and over again.

Can you say rebellion? I’m thinking that’s what it is. To counter this I’ve decided to lose my mind. I’m just kidding. Actually I’m doing all I can to make sure he is well rested and well fed. I’m making sure he gets extra love and cuddle time from me and daddy and Ella. And finally, I’m crossing my fingers and publicly hoping this passes soon for the sake of all the moms and dads everywhere who suddenly have poop, butt, and diarrhea talking pre-schoolers armed with Sharpie markers and unraveled toilet paper.

Where Did Everybody Go?

My week has been nutso. This morning I took a deep breath and looked around – Where did everybody go? Oh that’s right, school. Yep, school is back in session and I obviously forgot how to handle it. I must have hit my head pretty hard (without realizing it) because I feel completely crazy, unorganized, forgetful, and tired. My mind and body won’t let me get into the groove of having two little ones off in the world of academia.

My Ella is now a big shot first grader and she is loving every minute of it. Granted it’s only been about 72 hours since she took her first steps into the classroom. I’m sure I will be side-swiped in about a month when the novelty of having her own desk wears thin. Ethen is finally starting pre-school. Yesterday was “meet the teacher day” which only lasted an hour, and I honestly had to take his temperature when we returned home because he was so exhausted and lethargic I thought he had come down with some rare illness (bubonic plague?) during that 60 minute time span. Maybe it was the 5:30am wake-up and the 30 laps around the kitchen and living room earlier that morning screaming, “Today is my first day at pre-k! Today is my first day at pre-k!” that really did him in. He was a perfectly healthy 98.4 degrees. Turns out all he needed to remedy his tuckered out body was a cuddle from mommy, a sip of elderberry, and a scenic-route wagon ride. Works every time.

Needless to say, I haven’t remedied my own pooped-out-poopiness this week. I’m completely off-balance and drained. Anyone up for pulling a grown woman in a wagon this weekend? But seriously, I hope to get my ass on schedule for next week and be here every day writing more about my mommying adventures…and health and life and love…and the sanity craziness of it all. 

Much love mamas!

5 Signs of Summer at My House

1. Watermelon — Our fruit of choice this summer.  I swear I must have sliced and served at least three or four watermelons this weekend.  Not for a family party or a fruit salad for 25 guests, but for my two little, we-can’t-get-enough-of-it, watermelon-loving kiddos.  My kids will eat watermelon for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack.  Is this normal?

2.  Flip Flops — Flip flops are a sure sign of warmer days, but at my house the foyer looks like the summer shoe clearance section at Old Navy.  Flip flops, flip flops, everywhere!  Polka dots, pink, orange, green, Toy Story, stripes, red, white and blue.  Some with ribbons and bows and ties, others with flowers and sparkles and gems.  Where did they all come from?  Did I really purchase all of these freaking flip flops?  How many pairs do I think my kids need?

3. Little Bags of Crap — Bags containing plastic toys and pads of paper and super balls can be found year round at my house, but in summer they can be found EVERYWHERE.  We have little bags of junk around ever corner.  In the garage, in the family room, in the backyard, under the dining room table, in the kitchen (Don’t think Hoarders, it’s really not that bad).  I keep cleaning them out and they just keep popping up.  Bags filled with hair clips, plastic necklaces, pool toys, Squinkies, board books, crayons, Hello Kitty Band Aids, chalk, doll clothes, toy cars, hats, sunglasses – you name it.

4. Target — I LOVE Target.  Apparently I love it a bit more in the summer time.  From their fun dollar aisles to their awesome glass punch bowls and Tiki Torches – Target has me hooked.  I’m sure I’m hardly alone on this one.  Maybe if I stayed out of there, I wouldn’t have so many little bags of crap to worry about – duh.

5. Longer Days — My kids are early risers no matter what.  When school is in session, I can count on a stricter bedtime ritual.  When it comes to summer vacation, it’s no-holds-barred at our house.  In summer, I become more free-range with the kids which is great for them, but poops me out entirely.  At least we don’t live in Alaska where it’s sunny until 1:00am.  How do you guys do it up there?  Really, the lower 48 wants to know!