6 Ways To Let Them Be Little //

April 20, 2017 in #MomLife,children,family,life,life with a toddler,mommyhood,parenthood

As busy moms (and dads) the days can feel really, really, long. With young kids it’s hard to keep our expectations in check. The reality is that babies and toddlers (and preschoolers) can be little tiny terrors. They are exhausting, bossy, and mouthy, small humans. But they are also wonderful, sweet, kind, caring, and oh-so-very smart.

But it seems like I am always bouncing between losing my mind and being in awe of their greatness. And so, in those less-than-awesome-moments, I’m constantly reminding myself that I need to Let Them Be the little people that they are.

Here’s how you can Let Them Be Little

1. Let them have your attention. Put the cell phone/tablet/computer down when they want to snuggle. Ari is in this stage where every time he hears and sees a Huggies commercial on TV, he says “Aww Mommy!! Look!” and insists on giving me a giant snuggly hug. Because, babies. And it’s in these moments that I realize just how spacey and in my own head I can be. But life is about hugs and tiny moments like this.

2. Let them crawl into bed with you. There’s much debate about bedsharing, and I even have friends who think I’m absolutely nuts for not forcing Ari into his own bed. But I also know that he won’t be 15 and sleeping in my bed. They grow up. So I enjoy it while I can — all of the kicking and fussing and blanket-stealing — it’s all worth it.

3. Let them get messy. I’ll admit it — I’m very type-A when it comes to messes with kids. I despise playing with PlayDoh and paint, but these are actually constants in my daily life. But I try to keep it as ‘organized messes,’ meaning that they are able to be isolated in their nonsense and still get creative. Because these messy moments? They not only create memories, but also confidence in ‘doing’ things for themselves.

4. Let them melt down. Listen, I’m not talking about the “I want this candy/toy,” meltdown in the middle of Target; but a productive meltdown. Our tiny humans are just learning to cope with everything we’re throwing at them. And life can be difficult, ya’ll! Even when you’re three! In these moments I try (keyword: try!) to take a deep breath and give Ari some tips on how to express himself with words (his favorite saying is “Mommy, I’m just so frustrated!”). Just let them feel all the feelings and encourage them to communicate with you.

5. Let them use their imaginations. Over the last year (particularly between the ages of 3 and 4), I’ve noticed how crazy amazing Ari’s imagination has gotten! I constantly overhear him playing make-believe with his friends and, while I don’t always understand the allure of zombies, I can certainly appreciate the active imagination. So even if you don’t understand what the heck they’re thinking (boys are weird, ya’ll), let them be with their crazy thoughts. Even if it’s annoying (note: it will be annoying sometimes).

6. Let them know love. That’s the biggest, ya’ll. Just show them love. They won’t remember the Pinterest projects and crock pot dinners. They will remember the feeling of being safe and loved; they will remember the hugs and kisses; and they will remember love. So give it freely; give it often; and give it unconditionally.

In all of my life I never expected to have this many thoughts on raising kids, but I also never expected to feel this much love for two tiny humans — so I guess it just comes with the territory. Where there is love, there is worry; and where there is worry, there is love! So just do yourself a favor — come to terms with where you’re at with your life with little ones. Just breathe and just do the best that you can. And just let them be little, friends! xo

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Vanessa April 20, 2017 at 7:37 am

Oh my goodness I absolutely love this! I so needed to hear this today. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in everyday life and I forget that my littles need a fun mommy and not stressed mommy. Thanks for sharing this!

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Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries April 20, 2017 at 11:50 am

This is great… I always let me daughter climb into bed with me. She appeared this morning at 4 am and I picked her right up 🙂

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Carrie Ford-Coates April 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm

#3! I have contained areas for play dough and anything with crayons/markers etc. She still gets her messy sensory fun, just in an area that I won’t get grumpy about the mess. Agree a child can never be loved enough 🙂

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Amber Battishil April 20, 2017 at 1:13 pm

The meltdown tip is so true! I think that some days that a meltdown is needed to restart their attitude and release negative energy. It’s so important to try to help them learn to deal with all these new emotions and feelings.

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Belle April 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm

These are such great tips! I need to improve how I communicate with my daughter when she’s having meltdowns.

Belle | One Awesome Momma

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StephTheBookworm April 20, 2017 at 1:51 pm

GREAT advice, especially putting down the phone or laptop. I really struggle with that.

I’m type A too about messes in the house, so that’s been one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to deal with since having my son. I am trying not to cringe when he gets toys, Play-Doh, etc. everywhere!

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Melissa @ Disco Bumblebee April 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

This is wonderful! It’s so hard sometimes not to get caught up in the grown up world and pass that on to kids. Such a good reminder to slow down. We love to snuggle up in bed and read books and just laugh, it is one of my most favorite things to do with kiddos!

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Sheila Jo April 20, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Hurray for childhood imaginations! I don’t understand the awesomeness of zombies, either, but there are plenty of popular books and TV shows to prove that other people get it! 🙂

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Kelly April 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm

This is such a great post Rachel. I need a gut check on this from time to time and was so glad to read this today. You rock.

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Sara April 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

The messy part is by far the hardest for me. Great reminders.

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Logan April 20, 2017 at 5:04 pm

I love this! Sometimes we forget to let them act their age and lower our expectations. This are great reminders!

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Davi April 20, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Such a sweet post. Number 1 was my favorite. Now that I have little eyes on me, I’m so self aware of holding and looking at my phone because I don’t want my kids to remember that part about me.

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Amanda Maxwell April 20, 2017 at 9:53 pm

The idea of letting them meltdown is golden! I mean sometimes I just need to let it all out so I can only imagine how my 3 year old feels. Thank you for sharing.

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Kerry April 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm

This is lovely! I love it when my toddler crawls in bed with me. She much prefers to sleep on her own so I cherish the times she does it. This is also a great reminder to slow down and be present with our children.

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Nicole Kamai April 21, 2017 at 1:18 am

Yes to all of this! I love snuggles, bedsharing (sometimes), and actually getting messy. You can always clean up, that’s my motto!!

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Cecilia Harvard April 21, 2017 at 3:02 am

Really needed to read this today! Thanks so much for sharing.

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Danielle April 21, 2017 at 5:53 am

Yes, yes, yes to all of them! My daughter totally says “mama, I’m just so frustrated” too. 😉

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Melissa @ Modernly Old Fashioned April 21, 2017 at 7:16 am

Great reminders! It is so easy to get wrapped up in the everyday “stuff” that taking a minute to remind ourselves to let the kids just be kids is so very important! Thank you!

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Annette Dattilo April 21, 2017 at 7:55 am

I so loved reading this. They are all so true and we as parents need these constant reminders to encourage. Thank you for sharing this. Xoxo

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Ashley Markwood April 21, 2017 at 9:04 am

i love these tips! I always try to keep my computer/phone time to when she’s napping so she can have my full attention! So important I think!

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jehava April 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

I love this. Such a great reminder for this mom. Thanks!

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Crystal April 21, 2017 at 11:21 am

Very good reminders, especially for an OCD mom!

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Victoria April 21, 2017 at 12:12 pm

These are great tips. I’m constantly reminding my friends that the kids are only little for so long and to enjoy the bed snuggles. I know we do. Time goes by too quick

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Sarah | Digital Motherhood April 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Great tips, it’s sometimes hard to remember that they are still so little.

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Bethany | Messy Blessed Life April 21, 2017 at 8:06 pm

This is an awesome list! I definitely needed the reminder today to take in all the little moments. The last one is the best though. Even though I know I’ll mess up some things, at the end of the day I hope my kids know that I love them. That’s the most important thing. 🙂

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Gina April 21, 2017 at 10:20 pm

These are such good tips. I’m right there with you on #3. Sometimes it’s such a struggle, but it’s so important.

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Katherine April 22, 2017 at 1:35 pm

I love having them crawl into bed with us in the morning, its the best!

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Shani | Sunshine & Munchkins April 23, 2017 at 10:46 pm

This can be so hard to do! But I seriously looked at my daughter today (she’s 5) and she seemed so BIG and it was just another reminder to me that time passes so quickly and she’s not going to get any littler.

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Linh April 24, 2017 at 12:05 am

Just loved this post! I completely agree 100% with all of this. I have to remind myself to say ‘yes’ more often and let them live without having so many rules and boundaries every once in a while. Being present is SO important and something I have been trying to do more often.

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Justine @ Little Dove April 24, 2017 at 12:29 am

Let them have your attention–I think that’s huge! That’s something I’ve really been working on a lot lately also. And let them know love, you’re so right, they don’t care as much about all the Pinterest-perfect moments as they do about just being with you and feeling loved.

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April Kitchens April 24, 2017 at 8:44 am

Such great tips. We do all of these, but I prefer that she gets messy at grandmas house lol.

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Victoria McGill April 24, 2017 at 10:44 pm

This brings a tear to my eye. They grow far too quickly and I will try every day to keep as many of these as possible.

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Mamma's Cooking April 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

This is such a great reminder, even for my elementary school aged children.

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Breyona Sharpnack May 9, 2017 at 10:47 am

I think rushing childhood is very damaging and what’s the point in rushing it!? I don’t want to miss out on the little things because they grow up so fast on their own

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