Gifts for Dad ➔

My daughter will be four in a few weeks and planning her birthday party caused me to look back and think about our four years together —the good, the bad, and the ugly. It astonishes me, as I sit here in a rare moment of quiet, all of the life lessons my beautiful, stubborn, funny, smart (did I mention stubborn) daughter has taught me. These are the seven most important life lessons to remember and cherish I’ve learned in my journey as her mother.

  1. Sometimes you just don’t feel like getting out of bed.

My daughter, without a doubt, is not a morning person. She will whine, bargain, and plead to not get out of bed. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s not bright enough in her room to wake up. It’s too bright in her room to wake up. The excuses are limitless and epic. I will whine, bargain, and plead right back. However, the realization struck me the other day— sometimes you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. My patience in those early morning hours is so much greater now that I empathize with how she is feeling. She still has to get out of bed though.

  1. It’s okay to have a bad day.

I used to feel guilty if I was particularly tired or didn’t give my daughter one hundred percent of my attention that day. You know what though? We all have bad days and that’s okay too. We’ll get through that day and try again the next. I read somewhere or someone once told me—don’t give one hundred percent of yourself all day, all the time, nonstop. If you do, you will become exhausted, overworked, and resentful. Instead, give ninety percent to your family and responsibilities and save the other ten percent for just you.

  1. A change of scenery can work wonders.

One of the scariest things in my life right now are my daughter’s tantrums. Yelling, throwing things, you name it, I’ve seen it. A change of scenery can work small miracles. Getting outside for a walk, breathing in some fresh air, can change any bad attitude; mine or hers.

  1. Take the long way home.

My daughter loves to take the long way home from school. I can think of a million and one other things that need to get done and going the long way isn’t one of them. However, slowing down to appreciate the natural beauty around us is irreplaceable each time we take the long way home.

  1. Naps are wonderful.

My daughter is at the point of giving up naps. I should be grateful she took them this long, but all I can think are naps are wonderful things. We should all be allowed to take a mid-day rest no matter our age.

  1. You don’t need to spend a ton of money.

Some of the best things in life really are free; a beautiful blue sky, a hot day at the beach, jumping into a leaf pile, walking hand in hand with my daughter. You can’t put a price tag on any of those things.

  1. Enjoy every moment.

Four years has come and gone so fast. There were days I couldn’t believe how slowly the clock ticked by, but the years have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Before long my daughter will be in school full time and my time with her has been so short.

 

So until then, I soak her up and enjoy every minute; the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Jamie Galvin

Jamie Galvin lives in Massachusetts with her husband and her two very active kids. She loves to write any chance she can to escape the chaos.

There’s Just Something about a 4-Year-Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
4 year old girl smiling outside

There’s just something about a 4-year-old. The way their bubbly laughs and sweet little faces still have some traces of babyhood while they’re transforming into more and more of their own unique person right before your eyes.  The way they ask questions about everything under the sun, listen wide-eyed to your clumsy answers, and believe every single word you say. It’s so innocent (and scary) the way they believe absolutely anything you tell them—just because you’re “mommy.”  The way their still-a-little-chubby hand finds yours. And the way they still come running to you for a hug and kiss when they’re hurt. Or...

Keep Reading

Find the People Who Will Root for You

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Empty sports field, color photo

My son participated in tryouts out for a new travel soccer team at the end of a recreational fall soccer season one chilly evening in November. He has been playing recreational soccer since he was three years old when we started with the local club. He has been asking about joining a travel team since kindergarten. In recent seasons, I watched him struggle in the recreational league. I watched him wanting a little bit more in the sport as he developed his passion—he was ready to grow.  We knew he loved soccer, and it was something he had always wanted...

Keep Reading

You Don’t Raise Your Babies to Be Little Forever, but I Thought I’d Have More Time

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Little boy peeking over wooden fence, color photo

I can see the yellow blur of the school bus passing in front of my window. Soon my little boy will excitedly burst through the front door with his picture of a giraffe from art class. His big brown eyes will meet mine as I get a toothless “I missed you, Mom” grin. He will tell me everything he had on his tray for lunch, recount the whole soccer game at recess, and share all about that hilarious thing his friend said on the bus. He will then sit on my lap as he takes each school paper out of...

Keep Reading

No Man in a Girl’s Life Holds More Influence than Her Dad

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Father and daughter on amusement ride, color photo

As I sat outside Walmart watching my husband of nearly 16 years walk in with my 9-year-old daughter to buy me a box of tampons, I realized how blessed I am.  This is real life. Not only does he not care about running into the store and picking up these items, he asks our girls if they want to join him, and they use this time to talk. They talk about real-life—about growing up, changing bodies, what tampons are even for, how they can wait years and years before they need to start dating, how he will be waiting outside...

Keep Reading

My Little Girl Has Big, Brave Dreams

In: Kids, Motherhood
School paper with little girl's handwriting, color photo

My 6-year-old daughter wants to be a soldier.   When we heard from the ultrasound tech that we were having another girl, that was not exactly the career path that popped into our heads.   There’s something absolutely terrifying knowing your child wants to do something big like this. I’m sure I’d be petrified if I had a son with the same ambition, but there’s something extra scary about it being your little girl. There’s something weighty about raising a daughter who wants to be a soldier. But honestly, it’s not a surprise at all. RELATED: God Has Filled Your...

Keep Reading

As My Children Grow, I Miss It All—Even the Sick Days

In: Kids, Motherhood
Toddler on mom's shoulder

I whisk my daughter through the doors of urgent care and cradle her head as I stand behind three other mamas clinging to their babies. We’re each rocking in different ways but moving nonetheless. The silent, comforting rhythm of motherhood. I see sad, sick eyes from the babies with their heads nestled into the necks of their mama. I’m tired from the sleepless night, and I shift from foot to foot. There is hushing and humming and back-patting. A pacifier drops to the floor. All of a sudden my daughter feels heavy. A vague sinking feeling comes over me, like...

Keep Reading

Life with Autism Is Full of Ticking Time Bombs

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother, father, teen daughter, color photo

Many of us who live with autism are familiar with the comings and goings of the ticking time bomb—one that disappears for periods of time, so much so that we might forget about it. Then, suddenly, this bomb drops at our doorstep in the form of a returning or new obstacle, so intense that it causes us to pause our lives, alter our plans, maybe even change our current paths. For our family, the new challenge has been sudden, piercing, sporadic screams. Not constant, not even often, thankfully, but jolting nonetheless. So here we were, in the midst of our...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Build Strong Kids

In: Kids
Young girl with gymnastics medal, color photo

My kids are heavily involved in sports. My son plays for an elite basketball team and my daughter competes on an Xcel gymnastics team. It takes up a lot of our time and a lot of our money. Even though prioritizing youth sports seems to be an American norm, we still sometimes receive criticism and judgment as to why we would spend so much of our time and resources on it. (“Don’t you know the chances of your child going pro is less than 1%?”) As I sat at my daughter’s gymnastics meet, listening to the parents cheer so excitedly...

Keep Reading

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You, Mama

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother with two kids at home relaxing

From the moment our children are born, other people make it challenging to stay in the present moment—they start asking questions that look forward instead of at the now we are in. Can you believe how big she’s getting, where did your newborn go? Oh my goodness, he’ll be walking any day now! Are you thinking about preschool? What will you do when they’re both in school? What will you do when your baby goes to college? While these questions may come with good intentions, they’re not helpful at all. We moms need to be allowed to be fully in...

Keep Reading

Dear Child, God Sees All of You—And So Do I

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Mom and young son painting together

Math has always come easily to him. Even from the beginning stages when we counted wooden blocks on the living room floor, the numbers just came to him. “How many blocks are there?” I asked him, pointing to the scattered row of blocks. I expected him to count them. He was only three or four years old. “Six,” he answered promptly. “Yes . . . but how did you know that?” I asked hesitantly. He had not taken the time necessary to have counted them. “Three and three are six,” he replied. And on it went. The math came easily,...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections