I follow Petra K. McEwan, MD* on social media. She shares different advice on motherhood, self care, and marriage. I joined her 7 Day Motherhood Challenge this Mother’s Day. Across the 7 days, she challenged participants to learn something new while taking time to truly focus on their children. Our daughter is 2 and I hope Dr. McEwan does a challenge like this every year so I can see how things grow and change.
Day 1 was to focus on your child(ren’s) favorite things. This was hard for me because our daughter loves almost everything. But, after looking through some pictures and thinking about what really makes her eyes light up, I knew what some of her favorite things were.
She loves having picnics either inside with a movie or outside under the sunshine. Her favorite picnic meal is either a cheeseburger and fries or pizza; this girl would eat pizza every meal if we let her! She loves being outside no matter the weather and she has a new discovered loved for hunting for worms after rain storms. She has a teepee that she goes to when she’s upset or needs a minute to calm down. It is also her go to place to read. And coloring, I couldn’t forget coloring. Whether it is with markers, crayons, paint, whatever leaves a mark, she will color with it! I think that is one of my favorite things about her is her creativity.
Day 2 was to show your child how much you love them. I think my daughter would prefer if I started to limit it! I love hearing her giggle as I chase her around the house asking for a cuddle or a kiss. And I especially love when she turns around and does it to me or randomly comes to me and gives me a hug or kiss. Day 3 was to slow down and have some quiet time together. Usually, quiet time was only after dinner due to busy schedules during the day but with quarantine it has become part of our daily routine and I love it! I told her we needed to have some relaxing time so she grabbed her new coloring pad and asked me to watch her. She loves when we sit with her when she colors even if we aren’t coloring with her. This allowed me to truly focus on her, watching as her creative ideas flowed.
Day 4 was to be creative. Well, this day was not a challenge for me. We do art pretty much everyday between coloring or a step-by-step craft. On this particular day she was really into her dress-up clothes and couldn’t decide what princess to be. After going through all her choices she decided to be all of them! She had on 4 different skirts, 3 tops, and 2 head bands! I couldn’t help but giggle. She wore that ensemble for almost an hour before she started leaving layers around the house.
Day 5 was to be physically active. It was cold (have been having a lot of colder weather in the Midwest lately) so we ran around the house and did her favorite movement song “Run Baby Run”. This particular song includes jumping, spinning and of course running and was stuck in my head for the rest of the day! Day 6 (Mother’s Day Eve) was to learn something new. We had a gorgeous day so we took advantage of the sunshine and played outside. We have always put her in the toddler swings but she insisted on swinging “like a big girl” on the regular swing. Well she rocked it! As my husband knelt behind her giving her gentle pushes and prepared to catch her if she fell, she held on and copied my younger cousin on the opposite swing pumping her legs. Have a feeling we wont be using the toddler swing much any more!
The challenge ended with Mother’s Day being day 7. The Chicagoland area had a wet, cold Mother’s Day with some snow flurries thrown in there as well. But, my husband and daughter made it the best day. And while I sat back with my coffee watching the snow, my heart went out to all the mom’s this Mother’s Day. I know that for many of you life isn’t what you expected it to be. Some are dealing with loss, death, or estrangement while other’s are in need of a miracle. Some mom’s have the weight of the world on their shoulders being a single mom, a mom in the military, a widow, or a military wife. I know Mother’s Day can be hard but I want to say thank you. Thank you for showing up, for loving, for giving, for caring, for fighting, for believing, for being there, and I thank you for doing all the hard things. Mothering is not easy but know that I see you and know you are not alone.