We tend to be homebodies, cuddling up on the couch and watching a good show (or playing a little XBOX). If we venture out, it’s to go on a hike or meet up with friends for a game night. We appreciate good food, but you won’t find us eating out much. Instead, you’ll probably find us eating a homemade pizza paired with a rum and coke (or two).
We do believe in making time for each other and putting down the phone to be present, and now that we have a baby that’s even more important to us. We really enjoy introducing her to our “traditions” (minus the alcohol of course). When we eat pizza, she gets to chew on the crust. When we’re watching a show, we dance together to the intro song. Yes, life looks very different, but for us the challenge of finding ways to do the things we love with a little buddy along for the ride is an adventure in itself. Here are some ways we’ve learned to thrive as a family:
- EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED
We’ve realized it’s important to set your expectations appropriately. Life with a one year old seems like one of those “pick your adventure books” and the kid is the one making the choices. We aren’t letting our daughter run the show and do whatever the heck she wants, but we do find that days ebb and flow because of her. Honestly, I miss the structure sometimes, but I’ve come to embrace the unpredictability and view it for what it is: a season of life. For us, we’ve found that it’s best to be flexible and not have any rigid expectations when it comes to baby. We get it. Kids are growing, learning, (teething) and simply have a lot to discover about the world. Learning to expect the unexpected and letting go a little has helped us to grow closer to our kiddo as well as to each other as a family.
2) DON’T STOP DOING THINGS YOU LOVE TO DO
We think it’s awesome to incorporate kids into activities we already enjoy. Most likely this means tweaking the way you used to do things, but maybe you’ll find that sharing your favorite experiences with mini me makes the new experience even better than before. Maybe you love camping. Well, set up the tent in the backyard and give it a try. Love farmers’ markets? Take the little one along and pick out fresh veggies to snack on later. Maybe you can’t do EVERYTHING together that you loved doing before (at least while the kids are young – aka: skydiving), and things will most likely look different. Just don’t give up on doing something you love just because it it’s a little trickier logistically. Maybe you try something and it just isn’t the right time. That’s okay. Sharing your passions with those you love is always worth it.
We’d love to hear your story and maybe even advice you’d like to share as a parent. Feel free to comment below (random anecdotes welcome).