Monday, August 17, 2015

Parenting Tiny Humans Is Hard, Especially In Summer.

Parenting tiny humans is hard. It’s always nice to hear you’re #doingood
and this sponsored post with Minute Maid and Social Stars is all about that.

We’ve all seen the commercials and magazine advertisements- school is out for summer and suddenly there are images of happy families frolicking up and down beaches and campgrounds all across America. Everyone looks healthy, well-rested and there’s nary an “I’m bored!” to be heard. Siblings gaze happily into each other’s eyes and it’s clearly evident there hasn’t been a single fight over video games or Lego pieces all day long.

I don’t know about you but the majority of our summer days look nothing like that. To be honest, I’m pretty certain the last several weeks of July found us still in our pajamas at noon. I’d like to think that I started out strong, having scoured Pinterest and family magazines early on for ideas and activities to get us through the routine-lacking, school-less summer months but the truth is, that idyllic summer vision fizzled mighty quickly after the third week.

Most days I find myself reaching for a third cup of coffee around noon, wondering how we’re going to make it through another sweltering hot day. We’re on our fourth (fourth!!) blow up baby pool of the season and yet, with another several weeks to go before school starts up again, I have a feeling it won’t be our last.

With two of our three boys entering the school system this coming year, I wanted this summer to be filled with a handful of extra special moments that we’d be able to look back on and laugh at when the busyness of the school year overwhelms us. I say “handful” because let’s face it, with three kids under five, a handful is all I’m realistically capable of.

Many of those moments just happened to take place at the beach, the one place where we were able to gather as a whole family uninhibited by work projects and conference calls to spend globs of undivided time together. While our days at the beach looked nothing at all like the moments in those commercials and magazine advertisements (I bet their days didn’t start at 6am with fights over who got to sleep on the bottom bunk and who got more syrup on their waffles), they were just what we needed to recharge our parental batteries so to speak and remind ourselves as parents that we’re doing an A-O-K job at this parenting gig, after all.
We were even able to spend some quality one on one time with each of the boys, something that I always say I want to do more of but have difficulty making come to fruition. It’s almost impossible to put into words what it’s like spending one on one time with your child whom you’re so accustomed to seeing grouped with his brothers most of the time.

It’s like seeing a completely different version of someone. Layers become stripped away and in a sense, they start to quite literally shine. During my time at the beach with the boys, I noticed tiny idiosyncrasies about them that I may not have otherwise taken note of during the chaos of a typical day. I heard nuances in the sweetness of their tiny voices and fell in love with the way their eyebrows rose and fell with the telling of an exciting story, the way their tiny bottoms wiggled when they ran and the way they looked up to each other in even the most ordinary of moments.

Listening to our boys squeal with laughter while they tried to outrun the waves, watching them build veritable sand cities together and sitting together as a whole family unit on the deck every morning talking about our favorite parts of each day will be special moments that I’ll always remember and I hope they will too.

Naturally I’ll also remember the sand fights and what a toddler meltdown looks like after several hours in the sun, one ice cream cone and sand in places even I never knew existed but even those moments are all part of our summer story.

It has to be said that not all special moments require getaways with picturesque beaches and deliciously tanned baby legs although those luxuries are ones I’ll never turn down. So many additional special summer moments happen right in our home, most days right in the kitchen. Whether I’ve gathered the boys around the table for an exciting Pinterest-inspired science experiment or we’re sitting down as a family to oven S’mores, we don’t always need to travel far and wide to take a minute and do a little good with our kids.

The video below is a great example of how Kayli, mom, video-blogger and host of The Mom’sView, takes a minute to whip up some special frosty treats right in the heart of her home with the help of Minute Maid and her two children. You can share with a friend as an easy idea to create some extra fun moments this summer and tell them they’re #doingood.

They say “the days are long but the years are short” and I find that sentiment to be achingly true especially during the summer months. As temperatures rise and the days become quite literally longer, it’s hard work keeping kids entertained while maintaining a healthy balance between fun and learning.

As a parent, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, particularly when the “b-word” (bored) creeps in. Minute Maid wants you to know you’re #doingood regardless of how you might feel and that even the smallest special moment makes a difference. We all need a little parenting affirmation now and then, maybe a little more so during the summer months. I encourage you to take a minute and let a fellow parent know that they’re #doingood too.

After all, we’re all in this together. But, seriously, how many more days until school starts?  

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