How I'm Parenting Differently with Baby #2
Have you ever seen the movie Yes Man? I feel like that’s the life I want to convert to as a mom. I’ve been working on it and I’m far from perfect but I’m getting there, slowly but surely. It’s one of the biggest “failures” I’ve had as a parent to Ava (for lack of a better word) and it’s something I really want to focus on from the start with baby boy as soon as he enters this world.
I feel like as parents, we have this “because I told you so” mentality all the time. We operate with the idea that kids are mischievous, always getting into trouble and so from a young age, the word “no” seems to be the best term to use whenever they want to do something that’s out of our ordinary routine. I won’t get into the word “no” right now, as I’ve already done so many times in the past, but if you want to read the post I wrote on “the one word parents need to refrain from using” you can click here to read it.
Last week it rained here in Southern California. Like it really rained. And if you watch our stories or really know anything about the kinds of shoes Ava loves, you’d know that she is rain boot obsessed. She will choose rain boots every day of the week, rain or shine, winter or summer. And with the endless rain we had last week, Ava was stoked to finally put her rain boots to good use (we usually have to make our own rain with the hose just so she can use them).
It was pouring, we just needed to get from the car to the house and there I was, wanting to sprint my way over with Ava in my arms, hoping not to get either of us too wet. And before I could get her out of her car seat, she said the one thing I was dreading…
“Since I have my rain boots, can I jump in the puddles?”
“Not today, Ava.”
...and then I paused.
Why did I just say no to something that would bring her so much joy? Were we in a rush? Nope. Would her boots get ruined? No. Are her clothes washable in the chance they get wet or muddy? Yep. Would she track mud and water into the house? Probably a little.
So why had I just told her no?
It was just my instinct and most likely, it was because I didn’t want to inconvenience myself.
Yes I may need to changes her clothes when we got inside the house but that would take a total of 2 minutes. And yes she may track a little mud and water into the entry way too but hey, that would take only another minute to quickly wipe up with a paper towel. No big deal, right?
No big deal whatsoever. Maybe a slight inconvenience, at most.
But you know what, this was a big deal for her.
Just 4 minutes of inconvenience for me (maybe 4 minutes) would bring so much joy to my little girl. Jumping in that puddle for a mere 30 seconds or probably less would bring a smile to her face and when there’s a smile on her face, there’s a smile on mine too. When Ava’s happy, I know I’m doing something right as a mom and these are the memories she will continue to cherish forever and ever - these little memories and moments of happiness are everything. These moments define me as a parent - they define me as the parent who says yes to adventure and fun and happiness. These are the moments I want to give Ava -- I want to be a “Yes Mom.”
So next time you are about to say “no,” just think about the “why” behind that no. Are you saying no just to say no? Will a small inconvenience and maybe a couple minutes of your time be worth the happiness you’re giving your child by saying yes? Is there actually a reason behind your “no”? Because for me, its typically just instinct and I shut her ideas down without even thinking about it.
I want to be a “Yes Mom.” Now that’s the kind of mom I strive to be.