Below are 6 ways to achieve toddler nirvana as an adult! As adults, we get so wrapped up in our children, spouse, and a multitude of other responsibilities, we forget what it’s like to actually let go and enjoy life for the beautiful and awesome thing it is.
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day here in North Carolina and I went home to visit my parents who live an hour away (I am a momma and daddy’s girl so I will never live far away from them!).
Anyway, we decided to take the girls to a nearby park. While there, my 3 year old was very much enjoying being pushed as high as possible by her grandfather on the swings. I decided to do the same. I sat in the warm swing, held on tight to the link chain and pumped my legs as fast and hard as I could. Until I was swinging so high I thought I might just flip over the A-frame support beam (not really of course, but it sure does feel that way).
And I remembered – I remembered how awesome this felt as a child and how I have somehow, though unintentionally, let adulthood and all it’s nuances get in the way of me embracing and fully enjoying being joyful! Please don’t take this to mean I in any way regret the awesome responsibilities that come with being a wife or mom. These have been the two most joy-producing factors in my life.
But sometimes the everyday stuff (what to eat, drive this kid there, pack lunches, doctors appointments, etc) get in the way. And I am going to come back to this post as least once a week to remind myself how easy it is to enjoy life.
Just think how your toddler is soooo happy taking a walk, smelling flowers, discovering a new toy (which was actually a really old toy he had just forgotten about). These are important things!
So here’s my list of 6 Ways to Achieve Toddler Nirvana As An Adult
1. Go To a Park and Try Out Every Piece of Equipment – Slide down as many crazy, curvy slides as you fit through. Swing as high as you can on the swingset. Even attempt those crazy monkey bars, which I still fail at but also know I’m usually tall enough to walk through them and pretend I hung. Even better, take your kids with you and let them tell you which new thing to try next.
2 Stay in Your Jammies All Day! – My girls thing it is the biggest treat if I don’t make them actually get dressed for a day. They get to stay in their jimmies all day. We run errands, go to the gym, etc. It’s exciting for them because they are “breaking” the rules and also get to be super comfy. Who can blame them?! Now of course I’m not telling you to go to church in your best flannel but I know there is at LEAST one day a month where I never even leave the house. Why not keep last night’s sleep shirt on and revel in the comfort?
3. Laugh at a Joke, Like REEAALLLY Laugh – Maybe even snort a little. When my two girls hear something funny, their laugh is so guttural that it makes their whole little body shake! They don’t worry if they snort or even if a little snot comes out! They just enjoy the moment.
4. Don’t overanalyze everything – As adults we tend to create pros and cons for almost every decision we make. We worry about what others will think. We second guess ourselves. We worry, we worry, we worry. But if you ask a 3 year old – hey, do you want to go swimming? There is no hesitation, no worries her bathing suit will be too tight, no fear that she just ate a huge lunch…she just looks at you with those big hazel eyes and screams YESSSS!!! Try that yourself – say yes to something before you have a chance to say no. A fun, outdoor date with your hubby? Yes! A lunch meeting with a prospective employer? Yes!
5. Make New Friends – No, no, no…don’t lose your old ones! But realize that in nearly every situation, there is an opportunity to make a new friend. And a “friend” doesn’t have to be your best friend in the whole world. Friends run the gamut from great neighbor, mom who helps you out in a pinch, acquaintance on the PTO board. Toddlers don’t classify their friends – if you are nice to me, we are friends. Easy Peasy.
6. Appreciate the Differences in People. Period. Have you noticed that when your toddler sees someone of a different color, gender, or ability, they rarely even register they are different from them? All a toddler cares about is if this new person wants to be their friend, what new games they can play and if they have any extra goldfish! Embrace that attitude.
Don’t nitpick how you are different from someone – find out how you are the same! That shy mom who never even smiles at you may share your love of baking! The mom across the street with the autistic son…she loves coffee and playdates too. Ask her over for one. Yeah, it will be different than your usual playdates. But she needs to feel included and experience some sense of “normal.” Be that bridge. You may make a new friend and your child will learn that we are all different and that’s a good thing.
PS – I hope I run into you at a nearby park soon! I’ll be the one walking under the monkey bars!