View past “first-time parent observations” posts here.
- I did not expect the deepest of joy from the simplest of things, i.e. her big smile going down a slide or her stringing words together to make sentences or when something makes her belly laugh or her reading books with John.
- Water solves a myriad of problems — a bath, sprinkler time, water table on the deck, etc. Big fan.
- It’s pretty incredible to watch her problem-solve (socks and shoes) and make her own choices. (She’ll sit down next to a basket of books and for 30 minutes flip through every. single. one.)
- Resisting the urge to constantly swoop and fix is becoming a part-time job.
- Ongoing game plan: Seek the Lord, heed wise counsel if needed, be on the same page with your spouse… then make decisions freely and confidently. This is much better than burdening myself with every opinion and definitely better than comparing our parenting or child to others.
- Being outside is always a great choice.
- A phrase we’ve been using a lot is ‘keeping the threshold low.’ Meaning, even when it’d be easier to give an extra episode of Owlegories or an another round of time playing DJ on my phone, I drew lines early on and do my best to stay in them, even when Anna reacts emotionally. This keeps the emotional response manageable and honestly short-lived because I’m keeping the threshold low, making the bit-harder choice in the moment for the betterment of our long-term life.
- I L-O-V-E being a mom. I hope and pray my delight in her is something Anna remembers and finds grounding in. I like this word from Wendy Mogul: “I’ve been seeing worried parents for decades now. Parents worry, and kids are mostly fine. Just do this one thing: Be enchanted by whatever’s currently enchanting your child.”
- Regularly reminding myself: pay attention to her growth. Where are areas I could stop filling in conversations blanks for her or stop doing things for her she can do for herself? (Anticipating baby #2 has been super helpful with this.)
- Her filling in blanks to hymns we sing or books we read regularly is one of the coolest things.
- I want to capture moments of our life together but I don’t want my phone to be an extra appendage. And I don’t want to adopt a posture that to fully enjoy the moment I have to photograph it. Anna’s not changing as much as she was as a 6 month old, so getting some fun shots at the park on a Tuesday mean I don’t need to be photographing her the other 3 times we go that week. I can simply be present to her and marvel with God.
- She knows her colors, letters, numbers, shapes and we’re starting on days of the week and I’m beyond impressed. Mostly because I think it’s easy to underestimate kids and we shouldn’t.
- Putting all her socks and shoes in a drawer in the kitchen was one of the best decisions I made. After we got home from church last weekend she sat on the hearth, took her sandals off, and PUT THEM IN THE DRAWER. Without being asked!
- I knew from friends that motherhood would require sacrifice. They’re right. Most days I’m content to aim for choices in my “off time” that make my “on time” more enjoyable, more energized and more helpful to our family life.
- We don’t do it every week, and of course my attention is more diverted, but I like having her in worship services with us.
- I ask God on the regular how to hold this intense love for our kids while also loving Him more. (How that heart-habit changes my practical living, how it gives me courage to release and trust, how it inspires me to disciple, etc.)
- I sent this text to my best-girl group text: “Nothing like feeling great by making some midday brownies and then feeling terrible because they weren’t as cool as you thought and Anna scream-cries because they burn her tongue.” Give grace; receive grace. #motherhood
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