Being a better mom sometimes means making mountains out of molehills. Day 10 Create Your Own Family Traditions speaks to how even the simplest things can become family traditions that our children will carry with them into their own role as parents.
Family Traditions Don’t Have To Cost Money
As a child growing up – in what I am certain was poverty though my parents never let me feel that – my mom worked unbelievably hard to make family traditions that really cost little to no money but that became intrinsically tied, at least for me, to joy, love, happiness and family.
And even as we rose slowly from those trying financial strains, all of these traditions stuck around.
And it wasn’t until many years later that I realized it really is the small things that children remember. Not what you bought them. Not what kind of elaborate party you threw for them. But that you were with them. And that you showed them every day they were worth the extra effort.
I remember vividly one of our family traditions growing up was my mom packing my sisters and me a picnic dinner (basic sandwiches, chips and cookies) and heading to a local park. We would spend hours there…running, playing, finding secret passageways. All for free! The night was made even more special when Mom would let us invite a friend.
These Are The Moments That Make Childhood
These are the moments that make childhood. These are the things that your child will remember 20 years from now. The memories they will pull from when deciding what traditions they should make for their own children. When relationships get strained and your kids are trying desperately to create their own identity, these are the traditions that will tie them to you and help them remember that they can be their own person but they are ALWAYS part of your heart.
Now is the time…sit down today and jot down a few things or gestures you and your family can make your tradition. They don’t have to be anything grand or fancy. Honestly kids just don’t care about that. It can be as simple as Saturday morning pile-ups in Mom’s bed. Or a family-style olympics on a beautiful day that includes corn-hole, jump rope, and kickball.
Anything goes with kids…I promise!
Here are some Cole Family traditions
Many of these are passed from my own mom and a few I’ve added on along the way. My two girls love each one of them. What they probably don’t know is that I do too!
– Pizza and Movie Friday Nights – Sometimes it’s Redbox and sometimes it’s Netflix but the girls know it will be a relaxed evening together.
– Decorating the house for EVERY holiday – Be it Christmas or Halloween or Easter, we have an arsenal of cheesy decorations for every occasion. The girls love to pull out old decorations and reminisce about when we bought them. So every year we are able to relive old memories as well.
– Picnic and Play at the Park – I’ve packed PB&J’s, picked up a pizza and even our favorite – Chick-Fil-A. But the food always takes a backseat to having dinner outside the kitchen and seeing their Dad and Mom try the monkey bars!
– Disco Dance Party – Nothing gets rid of sibling squabbles and homework stress quite like a $15 disco bluetooth light and Pandora.
– Strawberry Picking – We live 1/4 mile from a local strawberry patch and come April, you will find our family out a couple times a week picking fresh, juicy strawberries!
– Breakfast For Dinner – We usually do this on Tuesday nights because kids eat free at our local IHOP! It’s a win win!
– Summer BBQs – This is a favorite tradition of ours. We get our entire extended family together several times a summer and eat, play and enjoy each other’s company. Best of all, the girls get much needed time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins!
– Birthday Dinner – On your birthday, you get to pick what I fix or where we go out to eat!
– Baking – This is a long-held tradition with my girls…I started when my first was barely 1. I love baking and sharing this love with them is one of my most favorite things to do. Is there a mess to clean up after? Of course! But it’s worth every sweep of the broom.
– Annual Trip to the Beach – This tradition obviously costs money but we put a high value on vacations in our family. I am very willing to go without other frivolities throughout the year just to be able to go on a family vacation.
My husband works long hours and now with my oldest in school, vacations are truly a time for us to all get together, unplug and unwind. I would not trade those moments or memories for anything. One of our favorite places to go each year is Hilton Head Island.
Once there, the only real money we need to spend is on rental bikes that we use all week. The beach town has bike paths that lead all over the town making it an easy way to relax, be together and exercise! Check out this post for the things I never forget to pack for the beach!
And really these are just a few of the not-so-special things we do as a family that are really more special than anything I could plan or spend money on.
I would love to hear what your family traditions are! I am always looking for new ones to add!
If you have missed any in the series 31 Days & 31 Ways To Be A Better Mom, catch up here:
INTRO TO SERIES:
DAY 1: OUR BEFORE SCHOOL RULE
DAY 2: UNPLUG AND PLUG IN
DAY 3: STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHILD
DAY 4: EMBRACE YOUR CRAZY
DAY 5: BE A REBEL
DAY 6: DO AS I SAY
DAY 7: FIND YOUR VILLAGE
DAY 8: DIVIDE & CONQUER
DAY 9: ONE SMART COOKIE
DAY 11: STOP COMPARING YOUR CHILD
DAY 12: TAKE CARE OF #1
DAY 13: DATE YOUR CHILD
DAY 17: PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES
DAY 18: QUIT BEATING YOURSELF UP
DAY 22: FAMILY DINNER SHMINNER
DAY 23: REBELLION IS A CRAZY THING
DAY 24: TELL THEM IT WILL GET BETTER
DAY 26: IT’S OKAY TO WISH TODAY WAS OVER
DAY 27: BE A GOOD DAUGHTER
DAY 28: QUIT TRYING TO BE THAT OTHER MOM
DAY 29: YOU CAN’T BUY THEIR HAPPINESS
DAY 30: TELL YOUR KIDS YOU ARE A FAILURE
DAY 31: LEARNING TO LET GO