let them be little

LTRLHdr

Ashley from After Nine to Five and i are hosting the Living the Right Life series to share how we are making changes in our lives to bring true happiness and joy. we also are opening it up to all of you to link up your own thoughts and feelings of how you are living the right life for you!

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last summer, i learned a very important lesson in parenting that has changed my perspective ever since.

when we went to visit Adam’s family in California last summer, Elijah would make huge messes or throw temper tantrums or run away from us at the park {just like he does at home} and i would get really frustrated and embarrassed especially to have him misbehave in front of my in-laws.

but then my mother or father-in-law would gently say, “he is just curious” or “he’s just an active, happy boy” and let him proceed to toss all the toys around or run around at the baseball park and didn’t seem to worry about it at all.

my concerns and embarrassment slowly started to dissolve as i watched Elijah experience new things and learn to enjoy the world around him without me hovering over his shoulder saying no constantly.

it might seem really silly. and maybe you other seasoned parents {or just more relaxed parents} have already learned this for yourselves. but my in-laws’ simple gesture and kind words really made me think twice about my expectations for Elijah.

before all of this, whenever Elijah pulled out all the books of the bookshelves or scattered all the dvd cases or threw all his crackers on the floor, i would get SO annoyed with him and sit there with him trying to teach him to
not make big messes,
play quietly,
& only play with your plastic toys.

pretty dumb & unrealistic. 

after we came back from California, it really did all of a sudden hit me that
he’s just a happy, curious, active little boy
and i should let him & encourage him to be that way!

so our house isn’t clean every second.
so there’s goldfish crumbs on the floor from snack time and i have to vacuum everyday.
so our books & dvds are never in perfect order.
so Elijah’s clothes get dirty and sticky.
so I get dirty and sticky.
so the bathroom floor gets soaked during bath time.
so my laptop has pen marks all over it. [actually i was pretty upset about that at first… but i’m over it.]
SO WHAT??
as long as he is safe and he’s not hurting anything, what is he really doing so terribly wrong?
what is wrong with just being a little kid?

he’s only going to be this age once.
everything else is replaceable, but not his childhood.


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of course this doesn’t mean that i want to raise a little hooligan that gets whatever he wants and can make huge messes without any consequence. that’s not what i mean at all.
but at the same time, i’m also going to try and not freak out when one graham cracker gets crushed into the carpet by his Lightning McQueen car when he’s busy pretending he’s a hot shot race car driver.
because in the grand scheme of things, it’s not worth the frustration. 

i cannot even begin to tell you how much my stress level has gone down since i’ve tried to keep this perspective.
i cannot even begin to tell you how much happier Elijah is when his mom isn’t always concerned about messing up books and pulling out all the shoes.
and how he’s more free to let his imagination run wild & play to his heart’s content.
[and actually, since i stopped getting upset when he pulls down all the books, the novelty of playing with the books has worn off and he doesn’t even touch them anymore.]

i feel like i’m slowly getting rid of the paranoid, uptight mom i used to be and really coming into my own groove.
and i love it!
and Elijah loves it!
and life is so much happier when i just simply remember to
let them be little!

they are only this small once.
i am only 2-year-old Elijah’s mother once!
{he’ll never be this age again.}
i have to keep reminding myself to truly cherish it.


10 comments:

Amber Marie said...

happy birthday elijah boy! looks like a fun party. can't go wrong with sugar and more sugar :) and it is very true that the more relaxed you are as a mother (not with rules but just in general) the more enjoyable motherhood and childhood is!

Ashley said...

I was much more uptight with my first but once my second came along I adapted this attitude and I feel so much better and so do they. They are only little for such a short time and I want them to enjoy their experiences. :)

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

Love, Love, love this post!!

eryka {from abcde} said...

I love this post Megan! You are such an example to me on how to be a GREAT MOM! :)

XO

kirstyb said...

ahhhhh so cute x

Amanda Kristeen said...

I love your post! I can see how it would be especially hard with the in-laws. How great of them to say that. Elijah sounds like a very happy little boy. :)

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

You know I don't have kids yet... But several of my close friends/family do... I keep hearing them say, "Before I had kids I was not going to be that mom that lets their kids out in public with dirty faces. Or doesn't make sure their hair is combed. Or..." But then they had kids. And those little things seem less important I guess... Sounds like what you're saying too!

Kylie said...

I'm pregnant with our first, and wondering what kind of mom I'll be versus what I want to be. And I definitely want to be the kind of mom that can let my kids be kids and foster their creativity. Thank you for this post :)

Alexis Kaye said...

you are amazing megan! I need to log away all your mommy lessons for me to remember when I have my own little ones! You're doing a great job :)

Alexis Kaye said...

I just did a post I think might fit. If it doesn't feel free to delete it :) seriously I won't be offended!