March was going to be about socializing and making more time for friends, which is admittedly an area where I find myself slacking quite often. But with pregnancy dragging me way down on my energy level, I wasn't up to the task of keeping up with everyone just yet. Plus, there was someone way more important that needed what little energy I had left in me...Lucas.
So, I decided to switch up my resolutions and make March my month for parenting goals.
1. Limit Screen Time
- This is why I was gone all last month. In an attempt to spend more quality time with Lucas, I decided to shut off the computer during the day. He still got to watch Thomas and Friends during mealtimes, but unless I was dying from a lack of energy (and there were a few days when I was so sick that Thomas had to babysit a little) I kept Lucas' screen time to a minimum. Same for me. I didn't post on Facebook (with the exception of a few baby shower photos) or blog all month, and I tried to steer clear of social media for the most part. It was nice to take a step back and get out of the bad habit of checking the computer when I should be focused wholly on playing with Lucas at home. I think limited screen time is going to be one of my greatest resolution successes from now on.
- Can I just tell you, I thought I was such a patient person until I had Lucas? I mean, it was one of those traits I was really proud of having. Now I can hardly write those words without falling over laughing. Me, patient? Right. Patience is a daily struggle for me, especially with the irrational tantrums of a two-year-old taking place every half hour or so. This last month I really focused on not losing my temper with Lucas, even when he's screaming repeatedly that he wants more gummy vitamins which I clearly cannot give him for reasons he clearly cannot understand. And even though I don't always keep my cool, I can tell you I'm doing a whole lot better at it now than I was on March 1st. Success.
- This resolution went hand in hand with practicing patience, and has honestly made one of the biggest differences in how my relationship with Lucas has been evolving this last month. I love to listen to Lucas while he narrates his day nonstop, because it's stinkin adorable. However, I have limited patience when he gets upset and starts whining. But by actively listening to why he is upset, we've avoided more major meltdowns than I thought possible. Sometimes he just wants his frustration validated, and that's okay. Simply telling him that I understand why he's upset and that his feelings are valid sometimes help us avoid a screaming rampage. Not always, but sometimes. And I'll take whatever I can get.
- This resolution was easy and so much fun. It was all about letting Lucas take the lead on what we were doing whenever we were out and about. For example, when we would go to the park, he'd often play for a minute then wander off and I'd try to coax him back to the swings or slides. This month I went off the trails with him and let him pick up and throw all the rocks he wanted, instead of playing on the playground. I mean, the whole reason we're out is for his benefit, so why not let him do what he wants? As long as he wasn't putting himself in danger, I let him do his thing. Happy baby equals happy mama.
- There is no questioning that Rob is the fun parent. He does airplane rides and rocket ship and all kinds of fun stuff that pregnant mom is simply incapable of doing. Plus, I'm old news. I'm home all the time with him, so hanging out with mom isn't cause for excitement and celebration. But that doesn't mean I should stop trying to be fun, right? Instead of resigning myself to being the less fun parent, I tried to make our day to day more fun by making sure I played silly and made Lucas helpless with laughter every day. And if the weather permitted it, we played outside every day. And even with my ever-expanding belly and discomfort, I got on the floor and played on his level every day. I may not ever be as great as Fun Dad, but having Lucas tell me he likes hanging out with mama is more than good enough for me.