One thing I am very passionate about is traditions and making memories. My family is all this way. I think I became kinda obsessed with it while being a working mom. We were going going going all the time and my time at home was planned and limited (at least that is how it felt) so ensuring that I provided the best possible childhood for my kids was a HUGE thing for me. Looking back, I put too much pressure on myself and I pray that you are not falling into that trap either. I don’t regret it because we do have lots of fun traditions and memories as our family of 5, but I wish I gave myself more grace :).
I think we all put too much pressure on ourselves though. This is where those perfect pictures in our heads and on our social media feeds hurt us. We see beautiful pictures and just expect our lives to look the same. SPOILER ALERT – IT DOESN’T. And? That picture you see was so staged – nothing against her – she is just really great at taking amazing pictures. I think it is great to have inspiration, but we need to remember an important part, to have very little expectations. So, right now, you need to check your expectations 🙂 – RB is not going to give you the exact memory making plans for your family – be inspired and take my advice – and run with it make your OWN memories. After all, memories are so personal and specific to y’all – nothing to do with me and what works for us :). Make sense?
Five tips from RB in memory making:
- YOU HAVE TIME. Yep. You do. If you think you are too busy, well then this is not a priority for you. We are all busy – in fact we all glorify busy too much. If you think you just don’t have time to spend with your people, then its just not important enough to you. Sorry for the tough love – but this was important enough for you to stop and read this random blog, think about what you could do if you made it a priority? Do you want your kids to remember you for being busy or for laughing and the memories you make with them? Truth bomb that has hit me many times.
- What works for you works for you. Like I said before, it is great to find inspiration, that is what makes social media, bloggers, Pinterest etc., a blessing. But you NEED to customize it to y’all. Rule of thumb – preparing and planning for said memory making should not take longer than the actual memory making. This is supposed to be FUN, not stressful. Sure there are things that you do with kids that no matter what will be a hot mess, but you have to find the joy in it. If you are robbing the joy because you have too high of expectations or things aren’t going the way you “planned”, well you need to take a step back and really think about whether this “memory” is worth it or for y’all. Everything can evolve over time. What it looks like now with toddlers will look completely different with tweens and teenagers. You have to be flexible and willing to let go of perfection. The biggest killer of merry memory making is perfectionism. True story :).
- When you look at your life, the holidays, celebrations, etc – think about how you want the kids to remember your family. How YOU want to remember. And also, how will you remember? Memory making is that -making memories. If every memory is you sweating and miserable, yelling at someone to smile (guilty HA!), and demanding that everyone have a good time – well maybe y’all will laugh about it one day – but I bet you will wish it went a little different. Trust me, I have had moments that I pray my kids forget HA! from Christmas past. But this stuff should not be a burden or so much trouble that it makes you double your Zoloft. Do the things that make y’all happy and you will never regret it. Also – get in the damn pics PLEASE! I have preached on this for years – y’all have got to quit jumping out of pics. One day, you are going to look through pics with your future daughter in law or grandchildren and you want to show them the WHOLE family. Your kids will want to see you too. And this might sound morbid, but when they go through pictures for your funeral, give them many ones of you gorgeous (because you are), smiling, laughing, and loving on your babies. I know that was a bit much – but it is real.
- Be prepared, but flexible! Some of the best memories will happen spur of the moment and not planned. Maybe you will never do it again, but your kids will never forget that random drive around to look at lights or popcorn fight during Home Alone. I can tell you from my experience as a mama, my kids’ minds are blown when mama just goes with it and lives life in the moment. We have to be ready and prepared all the time, and the kids do (or will) appreciate that, but there is something to be said for just having fun!
- It is never too late to start! No matter your families’ circumstances, you can start new traditions and memories NOW. My kids are older than many of your babies – and we are still coming up with new traditions. Our stuff is changing every year now as they get older – so know that you are not too late! Just take baby steps and do one thing at a time. The last thing you want to do is burn everyone out on Christmas before December HA! And if you come from a family where traditions and the holidays were not a big deal – they can be for you! Maybe you have to learn how to do these things as you go, but you can do it. No one ever regrets making the effort and enjoying our families :).
And a bonus tip! Don’t start doing things just for the gram. You know what I am talking about – just doing something for the picture to post on IG or FB. Please post the pics and share, but if that is the only reason you are doing it, take a step back and reevaluate. On the flip side – don’t judge homegirl that you see is doing that. You don’t know her. You don’t know her story or what she is going through. She might just need you to tell her she is doing a good job :).
The holidays are coming. Let’s make a pact this year to enjoy them. I know life is insane and kids are all over the place. But you control so much in your home with your attitude – why not make it a good one? I share a ton on Instagram and Facebook and always share our holiday stuff – let’s all encourage each other this year and do this thing right!
I leave you with this pic. It was 5 years ago – my house was a disaster, I felt fat and the shirt I had planned was too tight. My kids were in rare form this night, but I just let it go and we had a blast with my family over. This pic was a “do something funny” one and boy do my kids love those HA!. I also stressed because our blinds were so dirty and I tried every filter in the book to fix it HA! But I love this pic so much. Dirty blinds and all 🙂