Friday, March 22, 2013

Advice for the New Toddler Mommy - Meredith from The Tichenor Family Blog

For the fifth and final day of the Advice for the New Toddler Mommy series, I've got Meredith from The Tichenor Family Blog guest posting today!  Meredith has 3 of the cutest little boys...and if we could go on and arrange that marriage Meredith, that would be good. :) Not only are these boys precious, but I know they are going to turn into fabulous young men with Meredith as a mommy!


Hello friends! I'm Meredith. I write over at The Tichenor Family Blog.
I am wife to Kevin and "Mommy" to three sweet boys: Carson, Slade and Miles.

We got the best surprise in February that a fourth little baby will be joining our crew in October. 

Leslie asked some of us blogging mamas for advice for her as she enters into toddler-hood with 
Emma Ramey. Yesterday morning, as I was TRYING to get myself dressed before 9am 
(which I assure you is a less-than-once-a-week rarity)... my "sweet"  boys were smashing 
confetti eggs in my kitchen. Leslie, do you want to pull the plug on my post now

In all honesty... I feel like I could sum up my answer on how do you "survive" and "thrive" 
in any stage of parenthood in one word-- be it the newborn stage, toddler stage, big kid, teenage, 
or young adult stage... PRAYER. And lots of it. I wish I could tell you all I had my act together 
three kids in, but most days I leave something undone, lose my patience more than I'd like to, 
give up, give in, go too far, go not far enough... God's grace, wisdom and intercession fill in the 
gaps where I fall short. I am so thankful for that. For some practical life application, here's a few tips!

I'm a huge believer in celebrating the everyday and I think that those little deposits add up to a 
BIG result. Make the mundane moments special, celebrate everyday joys and simple household
 happiness. Turn dinnertime into something you do together. Celebrate Daddy just because 
you love him, not because it's his birthday. Laugh! Be Silly! Make a mess! Say little prayers 
together throughout your day. Random acts of kindness make everyone feel good. 
I love teaching my boys to give without receiving and to make someones day with a simple gesture 
or act of kindness. They are never too young to start learning these valuable life lessons. 

Allow her to have grumpy moments, bad days, cry a little... we ALL have off days and it's perfectly
 normal not to always have a smile on our faces. As long as she's respectful and considerate of those 
around her... I try to remember that I don't always want to smile, have a chat, or sit and eat with friends.
Sometimes I need "me time," to be quiet, or to work through my funk, or to rest. Little kiddos need that time and space too. They are learning SO much everyday. Their little lives can be overwhelming too.

Be encouraging! My oldest son is five years old and HE IS A CHATTER. 
He could talk you up on side and down the other. I read something not too long ago that really 
struck a chord with me... it said, "Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, 
no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you 
the big stuff when they are big. Because to them, all of it has always been big stuff." WHOA!
Talk about a game changer for me as Mom. As your little one starts to find her voice and want to 
know "what's this" and "why that?" seize those moments to fill her curious mind with new things.
Listen to her tales and her imagination running wild. It matters so much more than we think. 

And last but not least... if you don't listen to anything that I said because, afterall, 
I'm the mom with confetti eggs being smashed while she gets dressed... 
then listen to the always on point and always fabulous Jen Hatmaker... 

You will never have this day with your children again.
Today is a gift.
Breathe and notice.
Study their little faces and feet.
Relish the charms of the present.
Enjoy today mama, it will be gone before you know it.
Thanks for having me Leslie. I know you and Emma Ramey are going to ROCK toddlerhood!


Thank you so, so much for the sweet words Meredith!  You can see Meredith's blog here.

I was absolutely honored that this amazing set of women were willing to guest post on my blog this week!  I absolutely loved each and every piece of advice they gave me...I hope you did too!  If you missed a post and would like to see the series again, click here.