Thursday, June 27, 2013

Just Do it... Traveling With Young Kids

Having had numerous traveling experiences with my two little ones I thought I'd share some tips that have really helped me along the way.

1. Just do it. Don't let the idea of traveling with young kids intimidate you. There will be tough moments, but it's worth it.

2. Start them young. We went on our first traveling adventure when our daughter was only 5 months old. She's almost 3 now and seems like a seasoned pro. She can do long bus rides, plane rides, boat tours, hiking trails, you name it. 

3. Use what you got. Don't get weighed down with random toys. It's amazing how entertaining an empty water bottle can be for a 6 month old.

5. Show your children grace. After 5 hours of hiking through a jungle and checking out some ancient ruins, it makes sense that your 3 year old is throwing a tantrum at lunch. Don't let that one tantrum make you forget abut the 5 hours of awesome that she just was.

4. Spend a little more on the hotel. You'll be spending a decent amount of time there with nap breaks and resting. Spend the extra buck or 2 and get the hotel with the pool.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Heaviness of Raising a Girl

A sweet friend at work is pregnant with her first child and just found out she is having a girl. After the initial congratulations, I asked her how she was feeling about it.

She told me that she was scared. She was excited, but scared.

Having a daughter just seemed so much heavier of a job for a mama.

Not the physical running around part, but the day to day interactions, the desire to instil a positive self-confidence in this little being; to raise up a young woman who respects herself and knows she is beautiful.

As my own daughter begins to transition from toddler to little girl, I am faced with this reality. How am I portraying the idea of a woman to her? How am I describing beauty to her? How am I lifting her up in a way that fosters a confident and positive strong will? When I write it all out, it does seem all that more heavy.

All the sudden, we as mothers of little girls, are forced to examine how we view ourselves. What is the self-image I am projecting? Because she is watching.

Everyday, she is watching her mama. She is listening to what I say, whether it's about her, someone else, or myself. She is watching me put on my makeup and brush my hair. She watches my interactions with her dada. How I let him stop me each night in my dish washing frenzy and hold me for just a few seconds.

I want so badly for her to have a strong sense of self, to have a positive self-image, to know she is truly and deeply loved and to know that what she looks like on the outside will never change that.

I don't ever want her to think that she needs to change herself to fit in, or to look just right in order to please others. She is already just right the way she was made.

This world will try to sway her and TV and movies will try to tell her what is beautiful, but in all of that I hope she remembers her mama.

I hope she remembers all those days of messy hair and no makeup. The days where the clothes didn't matter and flip flops worked just fine. The days where her dada showed her tired mama that he loved her in all her realness in front of a sink full of dirty dishes.

Because this is what I have control over. I have control over how I view myself; how I portray myself; and it matters.

Not just for me, but for her.