I used to kid myself and say that I wasn’t hooked on coffee. I would say that I only drank it for the taste, or for the warmth on a cold morning. Now, three kids into this journey and I’ve come to grips with the fact that, yeah, I’m hooked.
I still maintain that part of the draw is the taste (lots of sugar and whole milk for me please!), and the warmth that consumes me on a chilly morning, but being a mom is a hard job, and this mama needs her caffeine!
Coffee has become part of my routine each morning, as it does for many. My littlest guy, Brayden, who is 9 months old, is an early riser. He is consistently up before 6:00 am, and since it is summer break right now, the older boys still have another hour or two before their own plans for the day pull them from their slumber.
With everyone else still fast asleep, baby bear and I head downstairs, boil some water on the stove, grind the fresh beans, and let it all brew in the French press (this is the one I use and it makes some damn good coffee!) before heading out back for our habitual bird watching and coffee sipping.
Its this half hour or so each morning of enjoying my coffee, taking in the beautiful display of nature that surrounds us, and most importantly, bonding with my little man who is growing at the speed of sound, that helps set the pace for my day.
We’ve all heard it a thousand times before: “enjoy them while they are young, they grow up so fast”, and the saying couldn’t be more true.
With each of my kids, the time seems to be going faster and faster. I was talking with my 7 year old, Jacob today, and referenced my youngest and said “when Brayden was a baby…”. Jacob looked at me and giggled, and said, “mom, he still is a baby!”
With life moving at hyper-speed, it’s hard to remember to pump the breaks to slow things down. Sometimes it takes words spoken from the mouths of babes to put everything into perspective, and remind us of how important it is to slow down and enjoy the little moments, instead of rushing towards the next commitment on our calendar.
Being a mom is such a rewarding job, but it isn’t without its challenges! In order to triumph over the challenges, we need to embrace the rewards, even when they may seem few and far between. Having a great connection with your child can be one of the best rewards of being a mom.
Connecting with our kids can seem harder and harder to do as they get older. On the outside they act so big, and so independent, but on the inside they still crave that connection that they can only have with their mama.
Here are 5 ways to reconnect with your child:
1. Take time to really listen
So often when our kids try to talk to us, or show us something really great that they did, we are busy multitasking (as moms have no choice but doing a lot of the times), and fail to give them our undivided attention.
Next time your little one wants to tell you something, try to stop what you are doing and really listen to what they have to say.
Giving your child the stage to talk will open up the line of communication, which will hopefully carry over when they are older and we are desperate for them to let us in on what is going on with them.
2. Laugh together
One of the most endearing qualities of a child is their innocence. They haven’t yet had to worry about deadlines, bills or other stresses of adult life. Hold on to that innocence as long as possible!
Try to carve out 15 minutes each day when you can play together, and just be goofy. Make silly faces, make up a funny song, or for kids a little older, play a game of “would you rather…”.
If you’re not used to this kind of play, it might seem strange or even awkward at first, but I promise you will come to love these times you share together.
3. Put yourself in your child’s shoes
It is so easy to get frustrated or angry when your child makes a big deal over something we perceive to be small potatoes. We often forget that our children are just that: children.
They haven’t been on this earth as long as we have, and haven’t yet experienced as much as we have, so to them, it IS a big deal, and they lose trust in us when we brush off their feelings, or worse, punish them for them.
Before reacting to a tantrum or tears in anger, try to take a deep breath, kneel down to their level and give them a hug instead. Most likely, the tantrum will continue, but your child will gain security in being able to communicate their frustrations to you when you are willing to listen and validate their feelings.
4. Teach more, punish less
This one piggybacks on number 3. Our children are put in new and different situations every day, and are trying to navigate them as best they know how. Part of learning the ropes of life is pushing your boundaries, and seeing what happens in return.
We want our children to grow up to be respectful adults, of course, but we also want them to grow up to be strong, confident and assertive adults.
When your child pushes their boundaries too far, instead of jumping to a punishment, try to turn it into a learning opportunity. Your child will still learn the lesson you would have liked them to learn with a punishment, but they will learn it by connecting with you, rather than being pushed away from you.
5. Read together
If your child is old enough, have them read to you. If they cannot yet read, have them look at the pictures in a book and tell you their own story about them. Read to you child. Read your own pleasure reading in front of your child. And start incorporating reading into your daily routine with your child early on.
Reading, in all forms, is SO important! Not only does reading help to build your child’s literacy and intelligence, but it also provides wonderful bonding time.
My oldest two children, ages 4 and 7 love story time each night. They look forward to all of us laying on the floor in one of their rooms, each of them choosing a story for the night and listening to the words come to life from the pages. And although he can’t tell me yet, I know that my 9 month old already enjoys story time too.
Life moves so fast, and as the saying goes, they grow up so fast! If we’re not careful, we will turn around and they will be walking down the isle of their high school graduation! Take some time today to reconnect with your child. You’ll never regret growing closer to your little ones, and they won’t either.
What is your favorite way to reconnect with your little one? Share in the comments!