by Beverly Smith, Kindermusik Mom
Every day is a challenge when you’re a mom. Some days are worse than others and sometimes those harder days seem to multiply. This week my challenge has been a stomach bug that caused us to miss Kindermusik. Last week it was Isabelle’s tantrums that made it hard to do a play date. A few weeks before that it was sleep regression due to us moving houses … the list goes on and on. We all have bad days as mothers, but it’s how we face them that makes them bad or good.
This morning, I was awakened by a child who was sick – threw up – in her bed, for the second day in a row. After cleaning the mess and giving her a bath, I faced it head on with a trip to Starbucks for a treat. The trip also got us out of the house. My daughter was getting stir crazy too. She was upset we couldn’t go to Kindermusik, her weekly treat, and I was sad to miss the social interaction. The coffee helped me to feel ready for our day and get some form of social interaction with the outside world. The ride made her happy, so it was a win win. Sometimes all you need is an little adventure to turn your day around. We’ll make up our class later in the week and Isabelle will get some much needed rest at home. Today, my coffee cup was half full, not empty.
I’ve discovered that a positive attitude is great for you and your child. When a negative attitude takes over, not only do you feel defeated, but it makes your child upset too. Your child feels your stress (literally, as the heart’s energy field is shared and perceived) and it can make them feel upset and insecure. That’s why it’s important to remember the little treats that make the hard times better. For me, it’s coffee or even a simple walk. For the hardest times, I schedule a girls night or date night out of the house.
Other options can be playing upbeat music, praying, meditation, calling a friend, watching a fun movie with Isabelle, baking, dancing, even a shopping trip alone can give you a good reboot. Whatever brings you joy, do it! Get the essential stuff done and then do something to lighten up the day.
You can’t take care of anyone well until you’ve taken care of yourself. Don’t feel guilt about giving yourself a treat because you need to take care of yourself, too. Mommy guilt is real, but let it go and find your happiness.
by Beverly Howard, Kindermusik Mom
As a mother and as a teacher I have discovered that, although I have a great amount of patience for children, I struggle with waiting for the big moments– the “ah ha” moments. Every child will reach every milestone at their own pace. We are made to possess different talents and abilities. Some of us are artists, some are “book smart”, some are socially advanced, and a few lucky people excel in multiple areas. Rarely is any of this by choice.
When my daughter started attending Kindermusik she was at an age where I knew she would be engaged mentally, but the physical engagement would be minimal, especially at 6 months old. However, as she became a walker and moved up to the 1 year old class, I was a little worried because she wouldn’t participate much in class. She would always do the moves with me at home– whether it was spinning, rolling over, or simply clapping– but never in class. I was lucky that we had a great teacher who assured me that it was perfectly normal and that she was probably observing and learning in class so that she could later do it at home.
I think that is precisely what happened. I observed exactly that today and had an “ah ha” moment myself. I watched how excited she was to get the opportunity to do something she has talked about for months– riding in a real combine. Up to the moment she got into the combine she was very excited, and then she got quiet. I watched as she looked around and quietly took it all in. The whole time she was quietly watching, with a smile on her face. That is when I realized that she is an observer. She learns by watching and waiting to figure it out before reacting. As a person who learns best by doing, I am not used to this quiet, patient type of learning.
The new semester of Kindermusik started a few weeks ago and Isabelle had her own “ah ha” moment. The light bulb came on for her that day. She actually did the moves as we did them with the music and even vocalized what she was doing! I wanted to explode with pride! I realized then that I need to let her learn at her own pace and try to be more patient for these types of milestones. Just like I had to be patient in the classroom with each my students as they learned how to read, count, and write. Children need time to explore, become confident, and process new things. Every child has their own way of learning and their own special strengths. Celebrate their strengths and patiently work on their weaknesses– they will get there on their own time. When they do, it will mean so much more because of the hard work it took to get there.