Here’s a pep talk for the first 3 years, the “early childhood” years.
It’s exhausting. It’s phenomenal. The world will never be the same on many levels. And, while the days can creep by and blend together, it’s also when life starts speeding up. Don’t forget YOU in all of that, it’s so easy to do. Don’t forget your relationships with adults, especially your spouse or significant other. Build a genuine support team of positive friends who can laugh along with you. Take hundreds of pictures. It’s hard to cherish every moment as we’re told. But many of the moments you don’t like, you will probably laugh at later. You’ll say, “How did we ever get through that?”
The coolest part of learning in the early and preschool years is that EVERYTHING is learning! The sponge analogy is true. Don’t be hard on yourself. Don’t panic. Don’t stress. Don’t feel like you have to make everything you see on all these teacher-mom blogs. Grasp an overall philosophy and look for teachable moments as you play through your day. You’ll have good days. You’ll have bad days. You’ll have a whole lot of medium days. That’s normal!
You grow on the medium days. I learned to pray differently on medium days. I used to stifle all the little prayers and reasoned Jesus was way too busy with world hunger and violence. But becoming a Mom, I learned to pray through the chaos and the crunch and the fuss and the stuff. While it didn’t resolve world peace, it sure made my world more peaceful.
Tips for Medium Days
Phone a friend: someone who understands, someone who gives you energy when you talk to them.
Bring out something new and random for the kids to play with: luggage, an empty box, the summer inflatable pool, tape, cover a table in paper and color, walkie talkies, build a fort, flashlights, bubble wrap, foil sculptures, shadow puppets…etc. It’s good to have a stash of “new” toys (toys or stuff they haven’t seen for awhile…this works for dogs too) Rotating toys is awesome survival tool.
Get outside if you can, but only something that fits your mood. Recognize your medium days and proceed accordingly.
Watch Shufflin Grandpa. Then turn on some music and dance. Dancing brought some of my low days to medium, and some medium days to high.
Make yourself a tat sleeve out of your kids’ temporary tattoos.
Team up: Is there someone you can have a playdate with? Someone who understands if you all stay in your pajamas?
Find 1 new activity online, not 10. Not today. Just 1.
Bake together, if that’s a happy thing for you. Some of you need to save that for a high day or when you have extra hands or pass that task to grandma.
Send some funny pictures or texts or emails to your significant other or friend.
Work on your Revenge Plans.
Many times I have hit the “slide show” button on the computer with kids on laps and laugh.
PS. Sometimes bringing out luggage, as mentioned above, turns a medium day to a low.
Finally, watch this. My kids love it. Try not to be the dog on your medium days. Try to laugh like the mom in the video. She starts out all mom-like “ok, kids we’ll do one more sequence and then stop.” Then, she laughs her guts out.
Tell us, what tips do you have for those medium days of the Early Childhood Years?