Preschool “Mom” Jitters

Aug 28, 2015 by

In just a few short weeks our little three-year old will be entering her first year of preschool. I can’t believe how quickly time has flown by, it seems just like yesterday she was a little baby crawling on the floor.

The rush of emotions is unreal. I am happy, yet sad and worried as to how she will transition from daycare to this new school. I know all will work itself out and she will quickly adjust (always did), but it still scares me. Maybe it’s the change of scenery and routine for me – not sure, but I know I will have a lot of tears in the weeks to come.

Sometimes I look at her and see a little one year old and other times I see this sweet, little girl who can light up a room.

As we gear up for preschool, I prepare her and myself for this new change. We talk about what we will have to do in the mornings and how she will be making new friends. She knows she will be leaving her current daycare and going to a new school, but of course, she’s three – she doesn’t know how the change will be until she experiences it.

Each week we go out to breakfast and drive by her new school. I believe it’s very important for children to get “pre-exposed” to new surroundings before being thrown into one.  I am sure to some extent it helps with stress and worry on them. I can recall when I was a child and my mom driving by the school a few times before I attended, it defiantly helped me to process the change.

So, any moms out there with some pre-school jitters? How are you processing the change as well as encouraging your child to feel excited and eager to start a new chapter in their lives?

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Growing and Trusting Myself as a Mom

Aug 14, 2015 by

I’ve been wearing my mom badge for the past three years, four if you count being pregnant. During these past few years, I have learned a great deal about who I am and how I need to trust more.

Below are some ways in which I’ve accomplished that as a mom:

– I’ve become more patient, realizing that getting frustrated and upset doesn’t solve parenting problems.

– I’m connecting more with my daughter. There is a difference between communicating and connecting. I’ve always communicated with her, but to really understand where she is coming from and how she feels about situations, connecting is very important.

– I’ve learned to not worry about what other people may think about parenting decisions. I am her parent, and my husband and I know her best.

– I’ve realized that the answers to my questions do not always come from other moms, but rather my gut. I need to continuously work on trusting myself by reflecting in.

– I’ve learned that marriage is harder work as a parent, and as such, spending quality time with my husband, communicating with him without kids around, only helps our marriage grow.

– I’ve learned that no “difficult” kids phase lasts forever and it’s important to grow from these phases a better, more patient mother.

I know I have a long ways to go, but I think this whole “mom” thing is getting easier as the months go on (did I really just say that). It’s not from my daughter getting older, rather I think it’s from me learning more about what works and doesn’t as a mother.  How have you grown and trusted yourself since becoming a mother?

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Communication is Key!

Jul 10, 2015 by

As I write this, I am doing the happy dance, jumping up and down and throwing my hands in the air. You’re probably wondering, why? Well, that is because we had a wonderful weekend traveling with our daughter to see family in New Jersey.

Our daughter is a little over 3 years old and we all know how traveling with a toddler can be. I am just so happy on how well she acted and behaved. She’s a very sweet, sassy and funny little girl, who of course, has the normal tantrums and meltdowns. We did something different for this mini vacation and that is we COMMUNICATED with her prior to leaving.

We geared up our communication with her the weeks and days leading up to traveling. We talked every night about what we were going to do on vacation, how we were going to behave, interact with our cousin and family. We talked about expectations we had for her and the expectations she has for us (she wanted to sleep in our bed!) I have to say it helped us tremendously. She understood going into the trip that she was to ask us for help before she had a tantrum, that she was going to listen to us by the pool and that in return we were going to be so proud of her and let loose! Of course, we told her slip ups happen, it’s OK to cry, be upset and frustrated, and want quiet time. However, what we emphasized was how she acted from having a feeling.  She understood behaviors from emotions can have negative consequences. When she was upset, we told her to have some alone time or that we would give her a big hug and talk about her feelings. Seems like a no brainer, but it really did work for us.

Between her excellent behavior this past weekend, coupled with us growing some more patience and understanding of a three year old’s feelings, I say it was a success. Traveling with little kids gets easier, the more then grow, the more they understand and comprehend the world around them. She was a doll, like she always is for the most part, and we really enjoyed our time away with her.

How do you prepare your kids for traveling? Do you give them a “pep talk.”

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Teaching Your Child Respect for Animals

Jun 26, 2015 by

Over the past few months, I’ve noticed a change in my daughter’s behavior towards animals. She is beyond excited, eager and curious as to the kind of animals we meet, how they act and where they live. It’s a wonderful time for our family to truly begin explaining why animals exist and how beneficial they are to us.

Yesterday on our way home from doing errands, we stopped by our local farm to visit with some chickens and cows. She quickly perked up as I pulled into the driveway, followed by having a huge smile on her face, which totally made my day.

We pulled in and were greeted by chickens and bunnies. They were so adorable! The farmers noticed we were spending more than just few minutes outside, so they asked us if we wanted to meet their 4-day old baby calf. Yes please!

Our little one was so excited and happy that she could actually see a little “baby cow.” She just stood for minutes as the farmers fed the calves. It was a wonderful, humbling experience.

When we walked out of the barn, I told her we would be back sometime within the next few days. Well, if anyone knows my kid, you know that waiting a few days was way too long for her. As we were eating dinner, she got up from the chair, opened the fridge and started taking food out for the farm animals. I told her that they have food there, but she insisted on packing them some carrots and hamburger rolls (adorable!). So, we did what any family would do, drove her back to the farm right before bedtime, so she could feed the pony and say goodnight to the cows.

As we fed them she asked if I could go to Stop and Shop and pick up more food for all the 39 cows and 100 plus chickens. I said sure, I will get more food for some of them. As I am writing this, I already have four pounds of carrots and two loaves of bread in my trunk. I think you know where we will be tonight!

All in all, I want to educate my child about respecting and caring for animals. I want her to be able to appreciate them and understand their role in our big world.

How have you introduced respect for animals with your children? Do you have any pets, do you go on any farm trips like us?

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The “Juggle Game”

Jun 12, 2015 by

My husband’s employment requires him to have some busy work periods throughout the year. This past month, particularly, is his busiest. For at least a few weeks his hours are morning – until midnight. Before children, it didn’t impact me that much. I could go out with friends, do some shopping and just relax at home. Now, with a three-year old girl, missing her daddy dearly, it’s a lot of work for me. Let me first get it out there by saying that single moms are angels, they work so hard and I couldn’t imagine how they do it all. They really are the best multi-taskers. Let’s give them a virtual round of applause, shall we?!

The first week of him working late was a big adjustment. Our three-year old was acting out and crying at night for her dad. It took me a few days to figure out how best to explain it to her, and I think our “talk,” coupled with her getting used to the fact that he’s working late has helped.

Nonetheless, I got up each morning, worked, picked her up at daycare, came home, cooked/cleaned, played with her and did the bedtime routine. Even though it’s been a big juggle, I feel as if her and I have grown closer the past month from it all. I have a stronger bond with her and really do love it.

However, when times got difficult for me, I’ve learned that taking a “time-out” can really help one’s sanity. I just tell my daughter that, “mommy is going to rest for a minute, I’ll be right back.” For the most part, she’s been OK with it and when she hasn’t I’ve learned that I need to just walk away. There is no point in me arguing or yelling, it doesn’t work and only makes it worse. When our daughter is older I want her to recall that when I was stressed out, I chose to walk away and unwind, rather than yell (for the most part).

To all the moms out there, pulling extra weight while the husbands are working – what gets you through it? How do you keep your cool while still juggling it all?

 

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