Tag Archives: inspiration

I am (uplifting them)

iam7

Here’s a wonderful project that I am so happy to see!

I am (uplifting them) is a new social media project that proposes to use social media to uplift our kids instead of to shame them.

iam

Page creator Stephanie says:

I am saddened by the amount of kid-shaming photos and stories I see all over the internet. My proposal is that we flood the world wide web with kid-positivity and uplifting stories and photos. So, grab a kid (preferably your own; if not get permission) and ask them to finish the sentence, ‘I am…’ Write down what they say (I guarantee it’ll be positive) snap a picture of them holding it and post it everywhere! Post them here as well and let’s see how many uplifting, positive things we can learn about our children!

iam2

iam3

Want to take part?  You can join in on Facebook or Twitter and invite your own kids to celebrate how fabulous they really are.  :)

iam4

iam8

iam9

iam6

I’m off to see what my kids want to put on their signs!

 

11 Comments

Filed under happy stuff, neat stuff elsewhere

You’re (Still) a Fabulous Mother

Photo by Victoria Bayer

(One of the nice things about having written A Magical Childhood for so many years is that I have lots of archives to dig up and share again every once in a while!  Here’s a favorite of mine from May 2010 that I thought deserved to be said again.)

I’ve been hearing lately from mothers who say how stressed they are and what terrible mothers they think they are.

What?  Oh pah.

If you’re thinking along the same lines, I’m  here to tell you to stop it.

You rock.  You’re a fabulous mother.

How do I know this?  Well, first off because you’re beating yourself up and only people who care feel guilt, which means you’re a caring mother.  So that right there tells me a lot about you.

Second of all, you’re the sort of mother who reads books about making lives magical for her children.  That sort of says a lot about you too!

Third of all, most mothers are more fabulous than they give themselves credit for.  It’s a mother thing.  We also tend to think other mothers are exponentially better than we are at absolutely everything.

And fourth of all, no matter what sort of beastly mother you think you are, I’m willing to bet that your child still thinks you’re the best mom in the world.  Even if said child won’t admit it.

You’re a fabulous mother.  You’re loving.  You care.  You  have things you rock at.  Many of them.

Do you sometimes screw up?  Yep.  So do I.  Do you sometimes yell or throw shoes at the wall?  Maybe.  I have.  Do you have times when you lose it a lot and feel like a troll? It happens.  But it gets better.  And you’re still a fabulous mother.

Here’s the wonderful thing about being a mother.  Every second is a fresh start.  If you screw up you can not screw up the next minute and it goes an awfully long way.

Hug your kids.  Say you’re sorry.  Be silly.  Let things go.  Try again.  It’s all part of the crazy ride of motherhood.  None of us is perfect at it.  But most of us are far more fabulous than we give ourselves credit for.

And while you’ve been reading this, another fresh start has begun.  Go do something good.  Not just for the kids, but for you too.

Now, go off and be fabulous.  You can do it.  You do it again and again.  You’re raising people who will make the world a little better, in part because of your mothering.

Thanks for that.

6 Comments

Filed under This and that

A Little Playful Inspiration

Have you visited the blog Let the Children Play I find myself frequently pinning Jenny’s lovely posts because they are so wonderful for simple, magical, child-led fun.

Here’s a few examples that have inspired me for our lazy days at home…

“This sunny day we set out a couple of shallow boxes and containers filled with sand, along with a basket of goodies to create little worlds.”

series: how to create an irresistible outdoor playspace for children

“Within the Reggio Emilia schools, great attention is given to the look and feel of the classroom.  Just feast your eyes on some of the wonderful images of Reggio Emilia inspired preschools I have found lately…”

A space of comfort and privacy:
 

A space of beauty and wonder:
 
I subscribe to Let the Children Play by email, and it’s lovely to have these simple and whimsical ideas dropped into my inbox each morning.  I highly recommend going over and taking a peek.  Click on Popular Posts to see some of the viewer favorites, but don’t stop there.  Click on related pages at the end of each blog post and you’re likely to find more than you can possibly keep up with to inspire you.  :)
Happy Thursday!

1 Comment

Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

On Finding Balance and Letting Things Go

Letting small children plant 60 marigolds will test your limits of perfectionism and impatience!

Magical Mama Esther wrote recently and asked:

I would love to see you comment on being able to let things go. I regularly read your blog because I want more magic in our home. But I just can’t let the cleaning/organizing off of the front burner. I want my children to remember a fun, relaxed home, but I am afraid that they will mainly remember Mom always wanting the house to be clean. Any suggestions?

Good question!

I’m not sure I’m the one to ask, as I tend to have the opposite problem.  I am too good at letting the housework go while having fun!  :) 

Whether you’re trying to get more done, let more go, or otherwise change how you’re spending your time at home, here’s some things that can help:

  1. Make lists.  Lists keep me on track for getting writing done, keeping up with housework, doing laundry, prepping meals and so on, but they also keep me on track with kid things.  My lists almost always have entries like “One-on-one with Jack” and “Read to Alex.”  Those items are just as important (or more so!) and putting them in writing helps us  remember that.
  2. Start a record.  When you know you’re recording the day-to-day things, it makes you a little more accountable.  Find a way to start noting the special things you do in the day (or whatever else you’re working on improving).  You can start blogging magical moments, check in on a parenting list, jot things down in a journal or even resolve to write at least one happy family memory on a daily calendar each day.  Knowing that you’ll be checking in is a great reminder to fit that special time in.
  3. Talk to yourself as if you’ve already changed.  I use this little trick on myself to get myself doing more housework sometimes.  I’ll purposely repeat things in my head that I want to be true, such as “I just can’t pass a mess without cleaning it right away” or “When I’m antsy I always have to tidy something.”  Neither of these are typically true in the least for me, but when I start to hear them in my head I do start to live by them!  Say the things you want to be true often enough, and they will become a part of how you are.  If you want to make more magical moments with your kids, some good thoughts to insert might be ones like, “Today’s too nice of a day to spend inside cleaning!” and “I can’t wait to do some silly crafts with the kids!”.
  4. Pretend your someday self is watching.  Will you one day regret spending so much time on housework and missing out on those magical moments with the kids?  Then get in the habit of seeing scenes from that far-from-now self who’d be beating you up for missing your chances.  This is also a good way to get past annoyances a lot of the time.  I often look at the present as if I’m looking back on it and see how I’d react, and the answer is laughter, patience or empathy far more often than it’s anger if I look at it with that distance.  Some day, this moment will be a memory.  What kind of a memory would you like it to be?  What lesson will it have taught you or your children?
  5. Practice.  Whether it’s being silly, tidying up or taking time to make things special, the more you do it the more naturally it comes.  Never mind the times you didn’t do what you wished you had — every time you do is something to celebrate.  And then do it again.

One of the wonderful things about parenting is that we get so many thousands of chances to do it right every day.  Every minute is a new minute where we could do something fun, silly, messy, loving or special.  Don’t focus on what’s missing, just fill the next minute with something wonderful.

What about you?  If you have tricks to help you keep up with all that you want to, please add them in the comments!

12 Comments

Filed under the little stuff

You’re a Fabulous Mother

(photo by Victoria Bayer)

I keep hearing from mothers this week about how stressed they are and what terrible mothers they think they are.

What?  Oh pah.

I’m  here to tell you to stop it.

You rock.  You’re a fabulous mother.

How do I know this?  Well, first off because you’re beating yourself up and only people who care feel guilt, which means you’re a caring mother.  So that right there tells me a lot about you.

Second of all, you’re the sort of mother who visits blogs about making lives magical for her children.  That sort of says a lot about you too!

Third of all, most mothers are more fabulous than they give themselves credit for.  It’s a mother thing.  We also tend to think other mothers are exponentially better than we  are at absolutely everything.

And fourth of all, no matter what sort of beastly mother you think you are, I’m willing to bet that your child still thinks you’re the best mom in the world.  Even if said child won’t admit it.

You’re a fabulous mother.  You’re loving.  You care.  You  have things you rock at.  Many of them.

Do you sometimes screw up?  Yep.  So do I.  Do you sometimes yell or throw shoes at the wall?  Maybe.  I have.  Do you have times when you lose it a lot and feel like a troll?  It happens.  But it gets better.  And you’re still a fabulous mother.

Here’s the wonderful thing about being a mother.  Every second is a fresh start.  If you screw up you can not screw up the next minute and it goes an awfully long way.

Hug your kids.  Say you’re sorry.  Be silly.  Let things go.  Try again.  It’s all part of the crazy ride of motherhood.  None of us is perfect at it.  But most of us are far more fabulous than we give ourselves credit for.

And while you’ve been reading this, another fresh start has begun.  Go do something good.  Not just for the kids, but for you too.

Now, go off and be fabulous.  You can do it.  You do it again and again.  You’re raising people who will make the world a little better, in part because of your mothering.

Thanks for that.

Here’s hoping today is exponentially better.

Happy Thursday.

10 Comments

Filed under the big stuff

Refrigerator Love

Strange things make me happy, like my refrigerator.

No, not the fridge itself — the doors don’t stay shut and the door shelves fall off if they’re not arranged just right and I have been known to cuss and stomp my feet at it — but the stuff on it.

Like this.

Jack made it for me for Mother’s Day when he was four (with help).  It makes me smile to see it every day.

And this one that Victoria made at the same age.

I was sick, pregnant and devoid of makeup with the world’s worst haircuts for each of us, but it makes me smile every day when I see it.

Then there’s this dragon that Victoria drew and a series of pictures from when we all tried to cram into in a photo booth last year.

There are magnets that remind me of happy trips, homemade decorations and an endless supply of art by the kids.  And it all makes me happy.

Alex loves to take everything off the fridge that he can reach, so all my special happy things are out of his two year-old reach.  But down below, there are magnet gears and magnet animals and all sorts of wonderful magnets to make him happy, too.

Maybe it’s silly to stage your refrigerator to make you happy, but I love it.  I smile every time I open the door… when the shelf doesn’t fall off.


2 Comments

Filed under happy stuff

Thought for the Day


"Peace does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise,
trouble, or hard work.
Peace means to be in the midst of all those things
and still be calm in your heart."

~Marcel Morin

(I love this quote and try to remember it
during especially noisy, crazy-making times!)

(Are there any times any more that aren’t
noisy and crazy-making?!)

:)

Happy Tuesday!
Treat yourself to something neat today.
I insist!


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Thought for the Day

Don’t forget, every single day, to take the time to make the day mean something.
We only have so many days to enjoy this magical planet and these beautiful kids.
For goodness sakes, don’t waste them.
Look at the stars.
Dance with your sweetie in the driveway.
Smell everything.
Feel everything.
Savor life or you’ll miss it accidentally.

Happy Sunday!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Month of Winds and Magic

Daryl read in a book once that "September is the month of winds and magic."  I’ve never been a big fan of September because it marks the end of summer and the eventual coming of winter.  Here in Minnesota we don’t always get much autumn in between!  But I have to admit it has grown on me, especially since hearing that quote.

We have been insanely busy, and I imagine everybody else has been too.  This is just too nice of a month to zip through, though, and it’s almost over!

So here’s my little assignment for all of us. 

Slow down.  Go walking.  Play in leaves (or dirt, if you’re in the southern hemisphere!).  Take pictures.  Breathe.  Play outside.  Pay attention to the colors and the sounds and the magic of this amazing month.

It is magical.  Let’s not sleepwalk through it, no matter how much laundry there is and how many obligations we’ve signed up for.

Will you join me in a little magic making????  Please do, and let me know how it goes!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Shine

Magical Mama Sharon passed on this wonderful little mini movie that is actually a Thai commercial.  She wrote:

I just love your blog and know how strongly you feel about encouraging your children to be the best.  I think you will love this inspirational video.  It’s actually a Pantene commercial although I’m not sure what it has to do with hair.  But I love the message it sends and I shared it with my daughter and her friends.

 
It’s beautiful!  What a wonderful little story and the music is moving too.  Thanks Sharon!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized