I put my phone away…completely away….before my son gets into the car after school, every single day, no exceptions. It doesn’t matter how important the call, doesn’t matter how interesting the text….I put it away before he gets in. I can say with absolutely certainty I have NEVER greeted my son after school with a phone in my hand. Never, not ever. This is one thing I CONSISTENTLY do right. A little “rule to live by” that I’ve never broken.
And guess what? I have others, too!
Yes, in a world full of Mom Guilt, and Constant Realization of How Far I’m Missing the Mark, there are actually SOME things that I do really really well.
Some of these things come very natural for me. I don’t have to make a rule of thumb for them, or remind myself to do them, they’re just inherent in who I am, and therefore they just HAPPEN.
Others of them are not natural for me at all, but they are so important to me, that I force myself to do them, and…lo and behold….unlike the other 75% things I attempt to implement, but can’t seem to remain consistent with…when it comes to these, I am completely consistent.
I’m going to share a few of them with you, and here’s why: I want YOU to share YOURS with me. Like, seriously. Will you, please? We all do some things wrong, and need to improve in certain areas, but we ALSO are all probably doing some things really right. Why not share them with each other, and all become better moms in the process? Isn’t that clever?
Maybe as you read through this post, or as we BOTH read through the comments together, we will discover something we’ve never thought about doing until now. Or maybe we will be reminded of something we USED to be consistent with, and now we’ve fallen off the bandwagon, and this can serve as a good reminder.
Here are a few of my “Best Practices”:
- I am over-the-top excited to see my kids every morning. I may be yelling at them to “go away!!!!”by 10 am, but straight out of bed? They’re greeted as though I haven’t seen them in months.
I tell them “I love you” at least 50 times per day, per kid.
I tell them every single day something very specific I really like about each of them. My oldest is well aware that I think he is the smartest kid I know. My Middle hears daily from me about how much I adore his “kind heart”, and my youngest knows that God most definitely gave him the gift of JOYFULNESS (and also that he is an incredibly fast runner).
I teach them new words. As many, and as often, as I can. After having taught the word, I mention it again a few days later, and make sure they still remember what it means. I love words so much. I really want them to, as well.
I talk to my oldest son about every topic under the sun…keeping things on a level that is approrpriate for him…but also, allowing him to understand the real world, and not live in a Baby Bubble.
When they ask a question, I REALLY answer it. I want them to WANT to learn. I struggle with consistency when it comes to sitting down with my two preschool-aged boys and working on colors and shapes and sounds (its so BORING!) but if one of them, ANY of them, asks me a question about World War 2, what does “organic” mean, our family tree, or “how exactly does a bank work”….they’re probably going to hear more about it than they bargained for.
I pray for them. Each of them, all day, all throughout the day, for every little worry or thought or concern that pops into my head
I INSIST on them having each other’s backs. If you are TRULY defending your brother who was in a TRULY bad spot…I’m ok that you just punched that kid in the nose.
Just recently, I made a list of movies that I really wanted my oldest son to see..movies that I feel like are inspiring, build character…but mostly ones that lead to REALLY GOOD conversation. The Sandlot, we paused a million different times, talking about Benny, and how cool it was that he, being the “It Guy” and all, took the new kid under his wing, and WANTED to help him have friends, and succeed. That’s what a leader does. Remember the Titans? Oh my gosh, you could talk all day…and we did…about respect, and equality, and hard work, and friendship. Wonder. The Blindside. The War. My eight-year old and I have our very best conversations while watching these.
We read before bed, every single night. And for those who still nap, we read a book every day at nap time, too. Sometimes we read more than just that, but we always at least read at those times.
So, these are a few of the things that I do, and do well, and do consistently, that have become somewhat second nature to me.
Now though, I’m super curious to hear…
What are a few of YOUR “Best Practices”?