On Skipping Grocery Pick-up

I love to listen to podcasts and audio books. I’m a young mom, and don’t have a lot of friends or social outlets at this point in my life, so I tend to listen to something audio when I need a break from the being-home-alone-with-toddlers-24-7 overwhelm.

I like mom podcasts, and enjoy learning about parenting. Being a mom is hard, and it’s helpful to find resources to work through issues we’re facing with our kids.

So last week I turned on an episode and the ladies commented about how hard shopping is with young kids, and how lucky they are to live in an era of grocery pickup, because they don’t have to live through the struggle with toddlers that their moms did.

Oof. First of all, shopping with toddlers is so hard. I am extremely thankful that pickup orders are possible, it’s so convenient to drive up, pop the trunk and drive home.

BUT. I think avoiding social situations like shopping with young kids is doing them (and yourself) a big disservice. Every outing is a training opportunity and avoiding the hard situations means that your child isn’t going to learn how they are expected to behave in a store, restaurant, or place of business. Instead of learning early, it’s going to be impossible to run errands or shop as they get bigger/louder, because they just didn’t learn how to behave in a social setting. (And the tantrums will get bigger if they’re not addressed and worked through as toddlers.)

All of this is to say:

1. Don’t be afraid to take your kids with you, even when you know it’ll be hard. The work will pay off later when your kiddos are able to be respectful in businesses, and have FUN learning life skills with you! (And don’t worry, shopping is stressful for me too right now, I’m right there with you, there is a 100% chance that either Tori or I will cry in the store or the car on the way home. )

2. Let’s give lots of grace to the mamas in the store/restaurant/church who are dealing with those toddlers meltdown. She’s made the decision to push through the hard and embarrassment of meltdowns and tears to help her kiddo learn how to navigate social situations, and snarky comments/judgmental stares and unsoliced advice are not helpful or edifying in anyway! In fact, having someone tell me “you’re doing great,” or “keep it up, it gets easier!” Is literally something that will brighten my entire day!

Keep it up mama!

Love, Becca

Letting Kids Play

I love taking my kiddos to the park. I love the excitement, the time outside and watching them explore and discover their new abilities .

I am that mom at the park who hovers. Not full helicoptering, but always close enough to catch one of them if I need to. It’s nerve-racking as a parent to watch your kids run around on equipment up in the air, and hurtle themselves down slides and over bridges.

But I’ve become fully convinced that I have to let my kids play. I have to let them test their abilities, and see what they can do. It’s exhilarating for both of us when they do something hard, and then accomplish it! When their little faces light up, and a giggle bubbles out of them from pure joy!

It’s good for kids to learn how to do things for themselves, and how to push through even when it’s hard.

Obviously, this is within reason, especially as my children are toddlers, but I’ve been so surprised how much more they really can do, when I’m not always stopping or redirecting them.

Today Liam was riding his bike home from the park. We got to a small hill, and he got a little m nervous, afraid that he’d fly down the other side. We encouraged him to take it slow, and use his feet to keep himself stable. He easily made it down, as we knew he would. And I wish I had caught his little delighted giggle on camera! He was so proud and excited to do something like that in his own! Makes the moments of anxiety worth it, seeing my kiddos proud of their little accomplishments!

Toddler Activity Advent Calander

I have been thinking about Christmas for several months, and about different traditions surrounding that time of year. Now that Liam is a little older, able to be involved and understand a lot more, I was looking for some traditions to start. Something that would be both fun and meaningful. I decided an Advent calander sounded fun, but the more I looked, I just couldn’t find one to buy that fit what I was thinking. There are lots of candy Advent boxes, but I didn’t want him to come to expect candy every single day. And I didn’t love the toy Advent calander, as we live in a very small space, and we tend to be very minimal, and intentional about what we being into it. (Clutter builds up so fast! )

So after looking at a ton of ideas online, I decided to try to make my own, that fit my toddlers personality, and the mix of fun, and “the reason for the season” that I was wanting!

I found all of the components for this at The Dollar store, and all together, it cost about $7 to make. Most of the activities on ours are free, and the couple that cost money are less than $10 each, making it exciting, but won’t break the bank, which is important to us!

What you need:

-tiny clothes pins

-pretty marker

-copy paper

-yarn

-thumbtacks

-decorations (I made the trees out of yarn, and found the tiny ornaments there too.)

1. Write out your list of activity’s on slips of paper, and make tiny envelopes (you could probably buy some!).

2. Label the envelopes 1-24, stuff them with your activity’s.

3. Tack 4 or 5 strands of yarn to the wall, (you’ll do 4 strands of six envelops across, or 5 with 5 envelopes on 4 strands, and 4 on the last one, I ended up liking this look better.)

4. Attach envelopes using the tiny clothes pins.

5. Then add any decorations you want, and enjoy a fun, inexpensive advent calander! (Plus most of these activities are free, and feel free to add your own activities that work best for your family!

1. Read Christmas books

2. Watch Rudolph the red nose reindeer

3. Bake cookies to take to the neighbors

4. Make a Christmasy craft

5. Go look at Christmas Lights

6. Decorate a gingerbread house

7. Read the Christmas Story and talk about all the characters

8. Make Christmas cards for grandparents

9. Decorate a Christmas ornament

10. Go out for Hot Chocolate

11. Mail a Letter

12. Decorate sugar cookies

13. Color a Christmas picture

14. Go shopping for a gift for Sibling

15. Have lunch with Daddy at work!

16. Watch a Charlie Brown Christmas

17. Watch The Snowy Day (Amazon)

18. Watch a Merry Pooh Year

19. Go to the Library and read Christmas books

20. Homemade hot chocolate night

21. Decorate the tree

22. Make a Christmas garland

23. Take pictures in Christmas pajamas

24. Go Look at Christmas displays in stores (Costco etc.)

Let me know if you end up making one! I can’t wait to start this with my son! His birthday is at the end of December, so it’s also a countdown to that, which makes it double fun!

We are also also planning to go through the book Waiting for Jesus, from The Daily Grace Co, and do readings out the the Jesus Story Bible.

Love,

Becca Weston