“Push Me Mom!”

Those three words that can sometimes lead to my ultimate mom guilt.  Because they come again and again!  Sometimes I think , “not again.  I love you, but I have SO much to do….. or I just want to socialize for a few minutes with the other moms!  Play date is for mama’s sanity too child! I can’t wait til you are old enough to swing yourself.”  And then you know what… I feel guilty again for looking at such a task as a chore.

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Because, tomorrow, they will grow up and my 2 year old won’t have that little sweet chime in his voice when he comes to my office door and “mom you come push me? Push me on da swing mom!”  And so then I pull away from whatever email, edit or project I am working on to go out in the backyard and push him. (not always mind you, but I attempt to balance it out)  I lift the swing back back back and let go. And he or she will squeal with delight “Wheeeeeee!!  Higher mom higher!  Whoa mom, too high, too scary…”

It goes on.

But you know something…. as adorable as their little chimes or squeals of joy are, there is something a little sweeter.

Sometimes I will be working, and take a look out the door into the backyard and see something adorable, I hear something adorable.  It is the way they play with each other.  Yes there is the “NO IT’s MY turn First! MOOOOMMMMMM Milo’s NOT letting me have a TURN!” thrown in there… but every once in a while, I hear them playing together nicely and taking turns spinning each other and giggling together.  This sibling bonding is heartwarming and I love to see it.   I believe that even at a young age, kids recognize the sacrifices we make.  Believe me, there are times I can’t get anything done!  But I have noticed what a huge difference breaking up my day has also had on me, on any stresses etc to step away from chores or emails or whatever to play with the kids, to go to the park, to stop and smell the roses… It brings me back to priorities, to family, and you know something… it drives me, motivates me.

Madeline will notice when I make a sacrifice and she sees when I am turning away from something else that I need to get done.  And it is a serious tug and pull.  This balancing act.  Being an adult, helping pay the bills and making those sacrifices.  I feel like a juggler for a reason. That ought to be a synonym for adult.

Madeline sees when I pull away because every time she sees that I am spending quality time with her, and not half looking at the phone or playing hide and seek (while doing chores at the same time (admit it! you do it too:)

In those moments we are building a puzzle, or reading a book or playing with ponies, or swinging, even if it just 5 or 10 minutes here and there…. she looks at me and says, “I love you mom.”

Time is love.

Have you played today?

“Mom! What’s for dinner?”

My child: “Mom!  What’s for dinner?”

Me: “Whatever I can get made!”

And in the meantime I will juggle as I deal with raw meat, a hot stove, knives, curious kids wanting to help and hunger that just can’t wait.

What’s your daily juggle?  Let us know in the comments below and it just might make it into our next video!

Here are my quick tips for having a hassle free dinner making session.

  1. Have an activity.
    1. Truthfully, we usually wait until this time of day to turn on any screens, so I use dinner prep time as a time to turn on a show.  But if you want to avoid too much screen time, that have a box of “dinner prep time only” activities that you pull out special for this time of day.  Here are some examples (play dough, stickers, puzzles, watercolor paints…)  Just make it a fun activity that they don’t get to do whenever.
  2. Involve them.
    1. We have started a chore chart in our house, which can be really tricky to be consistent with, but I have found that during dinner prep time, this is a great time for them to do some simple chores and help out.  The stickers and eventually earning a toy are their incentive.  Small chores like wiping down the table, picking up toys, putting silverware on the table, folding napkins, scrubbing potatoes, washing their hands etc are a few examples of some chores.  They will feel part of the team too helping out.  Be sure to encourage them along with reinforcement. Plus, they are more likely to eat the food if they help!
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  3. Let them watch
    1. From a safe distance, let them watch the stirring and chopping.  Always be cautious of heat and use this as a reminder of listening to mama to stay safe.  We have adopted Daniel’s the Tiger’s , “Stop and Listen to Stay Safe.” Each show has a lesson and that one has helped.  Turning on the oven light and letting them watch keeps them preoccupied for a few minutes.
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  4. Give them a Snack
    1. Look out for this one!  I feel like there is never enough ‘up’ space in our house and I can’t seem to keep the chips and other not so healthy snacks hidden well enough!  And as most of us know, the moment they snack on too much junk, the less likely they will actually eat their dinner!  So my suggestion of keeping those little hungry tweeters at bay until the good healthy stuff is ready is to take advantage of their hunger!  Raw carrot sticks are one such example that my little’s are quick to grab at, especially if it is offered to them when they are hungry.  Plus, it takes a while to naw at too, so it is a slower eat.
  5. Let them play in the back yard.
    1. Having a gated backyard has been my dream for a LONG time!  When I am chopping and boiling and frying it is not fun to have little baby birds at your feet needing constant attention.  So I pull out bubbles or a something fun like chalk and let them go play.  The big thing is making it something new to keep them entertained long enough with out too many sibling quarrels.

Good luck and happy eats!  Let me know in the comments what you like to do to keep your little preoccupied while you prep dinner!

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First Official VLOG

It is official!  I am mommy vlogging our everyday life.  Not everyday but our everyday if you get me.  And it is an adventure.  When I set out to create Up and Away Moms, I wanted to create a community of mothers sharing their real life… and so for starters I am starting with sharing mine! The messy mom bun, no makeup, no Photoshop side of motherhood. Yes, there are the perfect pictures all over pinterest, but I want to share more of the mess… why?  Because we are all just doing our best!  And in the end, happy healthy kids who feel loved is what matter.  Not so much a spic and span house.  So join us in our little household made a home with these crazy hooligans running around learning and growing each day! Let’s find Joy in the Juggle!

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