Little Smiles from my children make my heart fill with warmth; and I realize those little things matter when parenting. It is not always easy to remember our smallest of gestures can make a child beam with delight. So, what are those little things that make our kiddos so happy?
Surprising Katie at school to have lunch with her. Wow! Simply sweetness for the Momma’s soul! One thing I have learned after becoming a parent is that no matter what is going on in my own life, I can always look to my children for unconditional love and devotion. Something as simple as soft butterfly kisses on my nose fills my heart with a kind of love that there are truly no words to express. I love to put notes in lunches, add their favorite treat once in a while and hug them so tight as they walk out of the door each morning. Taking a step back to breath as I watch them grow into beautiful young girls has defined every sense of the word patience. It is not when they are screaming and yelling while I am working to make ends meet; it is having to let go of their hands while they discover this great big world and make their own perceptions become reality. -Lori, Owner of A Day in Motherhood
Is it the fact that she is cheering with the local high school cheerleaders or that her Uncle Joe is taking her picture? Or is it just because she is doing something that is all about her little awesome self? She makes my Heart SMILE! Standing behind my baby girl while she discovers activities of her own instead of just being “big brother’s little sister” at his games; has been amazing. Just when I thought my life was hectic and busy and wondering how I would fit all of in during the week, my cup runneth over. That cup does not run over because time only allows for a certain number of activities to be crammed in a week’s time. My cup is spilling over with utter joy as I stand behind my baby girl and watch her follow her dreams. Watching her build confidence in her ability stains my face with tears when I step back and let her spread her fragile wings. Give children a chance to become everything they have ever hoped to become. – Beth, Virtual Assistant, Real Mom Reviewer
Is it the simplicity of showing affection that makes their little hearts sing with glee? Having a child on the Autism Spectrum is incredibly difficult; yet also a rewarding experience. Joe does not normally play with others; he feels more comfortable with parallel play. Teaching him to respect others in taking turns and sharing has proved to be a challenge. He still needs to know “why” and “how,” and while it seems that other children pick up these answers more easily, it is important that I assure myself that he is where he needs to be for now. My amazing son has changed us in more ways that I have ever thought possible. The way we think, our reactions, ways we interact with others; this wonderful child has enriched our lives so much it brings tears to my eyes. Joe does enjoy hugs and he does a great job at expressing his affection towards his family. His adoration for animals is exemplified as he able to relax and cuddle with our pets; though losing a pet seemed to be much harder on him than his sister. There is nothing that makes Joe happier than cuddling with a furbaby or getting a squeeze from us every now and again. In turn, there is nothing that makes me happier than seeing Joe just delightfully being my number one little man. – Bonnie, Real Mom Reviewer
Sharing your time with your children and their friends… super stardom comes from just a few minutes of your time to make a whole room of faces a little brighter. When parents volunteer their time to a group of children they are given a unique opportunity to see their child, along with other little faces, beam with enthusiasm. My daughter talked about this event for days before it happened; her little heart was so excited to share her daddy with her entire class. The day finally came for him to actually read to the class; with a grin from ear to ear, she was as proud as a peacock. How could a 20 minute gesture affect her so deeply? It may have not seemed heroic or special, but for Sophie, it was a wonderful gift… the gift of time. A true gift does not come in package form, or even a fancy bag or a box. Time is a present that can never be returned or bought, and children treasure those moments. She will remember this day for the rest of her life, and I dearly hope for her to return the gesture one day and share this gift, of time. -Kelly, Real Mom Reviewer
Encouragement to explore our beautiful surroundings as they reach out for amazing new adventures. With a new eye, and a lump in my throat I have watched this beautiful daughter of mine discover the elements that surround our home with serene, peaceful beauty. As each year passes, I snap pictures of my children while they reach out and attempt to define the materials that make up our world. Nature, and all of God’s creatures have afforded my children the chance to learn about life beyond our home. This thread of cohesion between busy life and nature has become loosely affiliated. It is essential to treat our surroundings with love and delicate affection as we allow our young children to tread new ground. The natural smile that glistens my daughter’s face is a testament to the serendipity offered from our willingness to let them explore while we watch from afar. -Bonnie, A Day in Motherhood writer/reviewer.
Playing hard and playing fair. Children deserve to learn the rules and accomplishments from teamwork and life. This little guy saved my heart when he was nine months old; while I lost my dear mom, my best friend to brain cancer. There are times when you cannot quite put your finger on how to explain life, the curve balls, fairness and progression. My son is outstanding, innovative and undeniably compassionate about playing for a team and playing fair. He has learned there are ups and downs to life just like playing a sport, but that being a good teammate and never giving up brings the greatest of all happiness. This kiddo is truly a gift to my heart. To see him flourish as a polite young boy, making friends with new children who brighten his understanding of what the future can hold is the promising reward of parenthood. -Beth, Assistant, Real Mom Reviewer.
Celebrating each day… Take time to fill their hearts with special words of love and admiration. Birthdays and holidays are precious, special times as our children meet milestones; and with family gathered near, we celebrate those events. It is the tiny moments in every day life that leave us grasping for just the right words to use to enrich their wisdom and development. Think wisely about the words you choose to fill their minds as they develop into mindful, peaceful, respectful children. Learning the true meaning of trust requires characteristics of understanding safety and reciprocal loving, tender words that match actions. Children absorb each day as if time lasts forever; make each day memorable by taking a moment to express your devotion to their world. Embrace them not only on the greatest of occasions, but every day. My keen awareness of how my child positively responds to my gracious behaviors makes the sunshine a little brighter in my heart.
Sharing the aspirations and dreams with our children across the generations give us the opportunity to foster a strong sense of family. Our children are rich because of the strong family support system we have developed over the years. Having extended family and multiple generations participate in special moments in their young lives teaches them the importance of tradition, love and respect. Extended family shows them how many people care for them; it gives them a secure foundation in life. I feel very blessed that my parents, mother in law, brothers, sister in laws and sister have been such a big part of my children’s lives. My children never miss an opportunity to share the day with family, their willingness and excitement is contagious. Through their young, unknowing wisdom, I have become completely aware of my own needs to cherish this time while my parents and mother in law are still here with us. Life can be too short and lessons learned from multi-generations is beyond valuable for their visions of the future and the possibilities as they grow. -Kelly, Real Mom Reviewer
As time slips through our fingers so quickly we try to teach our sweet learners everything we can to encourage a prosperous future. It is critical to listen to their thoughts as they process the worldly information… and just let them be little. With time passing comes growing up too fast, sending them off too soon and memories that are too fleeting. But, as they grow, we grasp the deep appreciation for being able to be in this position. To watch them grow and blossom, to watch them stumble and get up and to love them through it all. As Megan plays dress up and changes ten times a day, I realize that the piles of clothing on the floor represent her creativity and are not a chore. I happily pick them up, smile that they were worn by her and put them away. Childhood is way too fast, but motherhood is faster. Hold on to it with both arms, letting them extend to soak up even more. Let them be little… and let yourself be absorbed by it. – Lori
Seemingly impossible, we forget to try to imagine the world through the eyes of our children. Everything is new, everything more exciting than the day before. It it the glimmer of innocence and hope that drives us to want them to learn and grow to their utmost potential. Take time to allow them to perceive the world as they see it in this moment. Max shows me every day that there are reasons to be smiling; whether it be a bath, some birds flying overhead, or even an evening spent baking cupcakes. As adults, we shrug off these simple occasions and even tend to find it burdensome to discuss them over and over again. Truth is, they smile because they are learning about this wonderful life with brand new eyes and a clean slate ready to absorb the answers to their many questions. Openness and willingness to encourage our children to find the beauty in mundane actions is affording ourselves to see the world through their eyes. -Kelly, Real Mom Reviewer
A collaborative effort by the team at ADayinMotherhood and all of our children.