Our days are slow and free. We only have one car, so we're pretty much bound to the house five days a week. I am the absolute definition of a stay at home mom and I say that with so much pride. Because this is what I've always wanted to do, I feel really fortunate to get to spend my days at home with Wesley. As much as I wish we had a way to get out and about some days, I am a homebody at heart and find so much happiness here with my son.
In the early morning when I'm still trying to wake up, we like to read a big pile of books on the couch under his "keke" (blankie). He loves to help me make food and it's become one of our "things" to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. After his nap we drink our smoothies on the back porch in the sun. We actually spend most of our day in the backyard; finding bugs, him playing naked in the dirt and pulling the wagon around. On Thursdays we walk to the Library and look at books before joining story time with 15 other littles and he really loves that. Sometimes we will take a walk through our neighborhood when he requests it and every afternoon he asks that we make a fort. He loves forts. I lay the blankets over the table and before I can make a move he yells "mama!", requesting for me to join him. Best thing ever. And every day when I lay in the sun to give my belly a little vitamin D, around the same time he comes over to kiss and rub "baby", then pats my cheeks and loves on me. The highlight of our day though, is when daddy comes home. He'll wait by the window and giggle as Darren pulls up and it's sweetest thing to see them greet each other after a long day. We eat dinner, enjoy family time together and then off they go to do bedtime while I get some (at that point) much needed alone time.
One thing I am trying to incorporate daily is more independent play. We have always been pretty hands on and love spending time/playing together. A perk to being a stay at home mom means that I have the luxury of playing with my child and giving him that undivided attention. But sometimes there are things I need to do or times when I simply just need a moment to myself. It's all about balance for me. With him getting older and adding another baby to our home soon, I see the importance of him knowing how to play and imagine on his own. Some of the fondest memories I have as a child are those that involve my wild imagination and I want to encourage that in him as much as I can (at his pace, of course).
I just finished the book "How Children Learn" by John Holt and it's given me so much insight. I highly recommend it. I try to leave him to play uninterrupted when he actually is entertaining and playing by himself. These are still pretty rare occasions, but I have definitely seen progress. This means we go for 10-20 minutes without interacting sometimes, but I've noticed it's helping him become comfortable just being with himself. I'm also realizing it's not a bad thing to sometimes just let him be. I rearranged his room and our play area so his toys and puzzles are now down at his level with different activities to choose from like blocks, puzzles and animals. Just doing this has helped immensely! And most importantly, our experience has been that if I spend time with him and make sure his emotional and physical needs are met, he's more likely to be okay playing by himself for parts of the day.
Life with a toddler is busy and exciting and exhausting and full of surprises. It's completely different than life with a baby. It comes with it's own set of challenges, but mostly it's been better than I imagined. Everyday I learn something new about myself, about him and life in general. I know this time of just him and I will be ending soon, so I try to savor what we have and really live each day being present.
People might look into my everyday life and think it's mundane and ordinary, but for me, these are the days I have always wanted and dreamed of. These are our traditions and routines, the moments that make up our days. I love them so much. What I love most about it is I've never prompted or planned this stuff, it's just sort of taken shape. If I could live these days a hundred times over I would.