Let’s be real, those summer time holidays aren’t as fun with little ones. Of course they have their moments and everything is special because maybe it’s their first Independence Day or they’re big fans of fireworks. But it gets to a point where all you […]
Let’s be real, those summer time holidays aren’t as fun with little ones. Of course they have their moments and everything is special because maybe it’s their first Independence Day or they’re big fans of fireworks. But it gets to a point where all you just want to do as a parent is enjoy a nice meal with family and friends outside. But we don’t really get that, instead picture something like this.
A quickly scarfed down hot dog, maybe a sip of lemonade or beer and you just running after your toddler making sure they don’t hurt anyone. Why are you worried they might hurt someone? Because thanks to one of their uncle’s your three year old has a sparkler. Why would they give him a sparkler? Well, they thought it would be fun….it wasn’t funny.
Personally the Fourth of July was always a favorite of mine, BBQ’s, baking pretty pies, fireworks and even maybe a carnival or two if we can find one but my children couldn’t careless about such things. Besides the above scenario, they aren’t impressed by the holiday. If it were Halloween we would be in business with G and Bodhi would be happy with food, food and more food. But it isn’t October and Bodhi can’t eat anything. I mean he can, but the list of what he can eat and the list of what he wants to eat are completely different. So sitting at our home or a friends house with no other kids, no fun activities and no foods that are Bodhi approved doesn’t seem like an exciting evening for them. Plus they are both completely unamused by fireworks, I know they aren’t human we are working on it. So to keep them and us happy, this holiday season I’ve put together a little survival kit.
Fruit Purees: Are always a “must” especially with babies but even G can be distracted when a good fruit puree is around.
Decorative straw kit: Now hear me out, this has nothing to do with fun and festive drinks. I got these beauties at T.j Max. fully intending not to use them for anything but toddler activities. Instead of fun decorative straws we turned them into magic wands. Like I said earlier, our child is Halloween OBSESSED so playing magicians is a norm in our home.
“No Crabby Attitudes” Sign: Okay so this one is really more so for time out purposes. I found this wandering through Home Goods. Having a sign that works with the theme of the holiday is always helpful for G. He is a theme guy and besides his father the only dude I know who can stay in character for more than a week if needed. My boys are comedians so I need to use that when thinking of fun activities and yes, even punishments.
Granola Bars: These are the best reward/distraction. Some times I can stop a tantrum right before it happens if I have the proper reward. Of course pick something that works for your little ones but for us it’s granola bars. He told G a couple of weeks ago he wasn’t allowed to have them, ONLY because they were like the only food Bodhi could stomach so now they are all he wants. What is it with toddlers and the forbidden fruit thing? Either way for the time being they are the perfect snack to calm down any tantrum.
Little Wooden Ship: I got this as well as the fabric organizer you see in the picture above from our local hardware store (Newtown Hardware). It really isn’t like your typical hardware store. The buyer for the store is fantastic and there is literally something for everyone. You can go in for a box of nails and leave with new fabric for your chairs, scone batter, and even toys for the kids. When I saw this little ship I knew I could find a use for it! For the fourth I intend to use it at sort of a hide and go seek game for G. This will keep him occupied/happy while still giving me the time I need to meal prep and entertain guests!
Fabric Organizer: This will serve as a place for his crafts on the Fourth. Between colored pencils, glue, glitter and construction paper I’m sure it won’t stay organized for long. But whether it makes him or mama happy, at least it will be festive and keep up with the theme.
Joanna Gaines did it, Lucille Ball, Julia Roberts and countless other women before me have done it. They brought their children to office with them every day. I mean just stick a pack-n-play right next to you and hustle kinda deal. I know a lot of women might read that and think, “Wow, how lucky is she!?” But trust me it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Now I know a lot of you are going to tell me to be quite and just be grateful that I get the opportunity. But you only see if from the outside, and well like most people we all think everything is perfect on the other side of the street.
Well, I’m going to be real with you, no ones perfect and just because I bring my children to work with me doesn’t mean I have to spend every single day feeling grateful. Of course I’m happy with my life and where we are at the moment but if we didn’t have things to work on well then life would just be boring. So be honest some days everything just sucks, it’s not always some beautiful bonding experience between baby and mother that I’ll show on my Instagram feed. I have to shh them all the time, especially when they are trying to ask me questions in the middle of a call. I have to ignore them when they say they want to go outside and play because we can’t go outside we can’t even leave the one room.
They don’t actually get to do anything of value, in fact they get the worst part of me. There are days where I’m so frustrated I just want to throw my computer against a wall. It is a constant battle between my career and motherhood. And while that is all true of course I’m grateful to be able to witness their first steps, hear their first words and see their smiling faces. But I can’t help but wonder what do they get? Somedays I answer with nothing, nothing but a stressed out mush of woman who won’t play with them.
Okay, okay I know a lot of the above was a little pity party thrown by me for exclusively me, myself and I. But it needed to be said, I guess what I’m trying to spit out is, we as moms are all struggling. Whether you’re a working mom or a SAHM or a new mom just learning the ropes, it isn’t easy. But it isn’t supposed to be. Recently I received a private message from a fellow mama asking me what my secret is and how do I make it looks so easy. I cried, I honestly cried when I read it, I don’t want to be that person for my readers. I don’t want to be another mama faking it for products and endorsements. For the past two years I’ve put myself out there to show that its okay to not be perfect and it seems like I’m not doing such a great job of that.
So I’m going to make a promise to all of you that I’ll try to keep up with my most authentic self. But only if you make a promise that next time you see a mom on Instagram, or in person and everything looks perfect and her kids are well behaved just remember this. Either, A.) She just got done screaming at them, B.)They are having a good day (you’ve had those we all have let her be) or C.) She’s taken 4 years of photography and has like 250 photos from that one moment, and only 1 of those 250 photos was an actual winner. Point is ladies, we need to stop being so hard on ourselves, stop with the comparisons and the competition and let each other live. Our kids don’t actually care how much money we make or that you’ve told them to be quite while you’re on a conference call. Most likely they are just going to keep talking anyway. Just remember you’re doing a great job and to them those moments where you feel like your hair is about to fall out are some of the most magical moments to them.
Soon we will be saying our sweet goodbyes to May and a nice big, “Hello!” to June. June brings the start of summer and a very special holiday. Father’s Day, and this years Father’s Day is a pretty special one in our home. See I hate to admit but I’ve been a bad wife, this will be the first year we can afford to get Sammy a gift. Years prior I’d bake him something special or cook him his favorite meal to show him how much we truly appreciate everything he does for us. See between becoming new parents and spending every cent on diapers and formula, and then the next year turning into the year of spending with a combination of getting married, buying a house, and having another baby (Yes, all in that order). I was never able to get the money together to get him the gifts he deserves. But oh boy have I saved for this years gift, every year Mother’s Day comes and goes and I end up with a mountain of gifts and flowers and then he gets shafted. Yes I know I’m the one that did the pushing but let’s be real here my husband does more than his fair share of parenting. So this year is super special, really it feels like Christmas a bit. Sam does so much for us not only as family but for me as the most amazing husband and best friend. He calms me down and keeps me ground while I work through my postpartum anxiety. And always know how to make each boy feel special and loved in their own way. He isn’t quick to anger and he likes to find the truth and good in every situation. The least I could do is get him the gift of his dreams, and of course while I know he would say, “the only gift I want is us together as a family.” Still I know he won’t turn down whatever we give him.
While I already have a thing or two in mind for him this year, there is also the amazing and well-known Nordstrom’s Half Yearly Sale going on, lucky duck! So even though I won’t be spilling any beans on what he is getting just yet I am leaving you with a list of affordable gifts that will be sure to put a smile on Dad’s face without breaking the bank!
– Gifts For Dad Under $60 –