Mount Pleasant, SC
We have a few. But my favorite tradition is Sunday brunch. Every Sunday after church our family of 5 goes out for brunch.We have 3 girls (10, 7, and sweet surprise 7 month baby girl) and we have been doing this every Sunday for years.
The girls do not know Sundays to be any different than this and they love helping us decide where to make reservations. We live in Charleston, SC so there is no shortage of scrumptious places to dine. And yes, we did (do) this during the baby & toddler years.And yes, we've had to discipline and remove children from the table over the years. But I can say consistency is key.
The 10 & 7 year olds know how to eat out, they know how to look a server in the eye and place their order, and they now know how to really enjoy this family time! So many family memories made, stories shared, fantastic meals consumed, and lots of laughter has happened at Sunday Brunch and this will be a tradition the girls can always rely on.
We started our family in 2009 with the birth of our first daughter. 3 years later we were thrilled to give her a little sister. And I thought that was it! Our little family of 4.
We were growing in many ways and had moved from the preschool years to the elementary school years. My oldest was a 9 yr old 4th grader and youngest was a 6 year old 1st grader and then SURPRISE....I found out I was expecting a baby. What an unexpected gift this baby girl has been to our family.
She has changed us, slowed us down, revealed stronger relationships (especially solidifying a strong sister bond between the older 2), showed us what love truly is, and has taught me that His plans are better than my own. And the baby basically has 3 mamas which is so fun to watch. So, I suppose the addition of "the baby"...our grand finale...is my favorite family story.
Well all kids are different. I was given one lasting piece of advice with my first that was really good and then one piece of advice with my 2nd that was really good, too. So for the first baby my sister in law, who had twin girls 2 years before my first was born, told me...let Trey (my husband) help.
Even if you think he's doing it all wrong or if you think you'd do it differently...just let it go and let him do it. Otherwise, you'll ultimately be stuck doing it ALL. If you constantly direct your husband, correct him and take over for him then at some point he won't try anymore and it will all be on you.
Sooooo...I mean, I took this to heart and it has worked so well. So mamas...don't try to be superwoman, accept ALL the help from your partner or family or friends...whatever your situation, accept help.
For 2nd babies...talk to your baby about the older sibling. It's important to talk to your baby, and obviously the baby doesn't know or care what you're saying but the older sibling sure does! So when my oldest would walk into the room where I was holding her newborn sister I would tell the baby ALL about how special and amazing her big sister was. My oldest was 3 and LOVED this! It's hard for a first born to loose their only child status and this helped so much.
How parenting babies/toddlers is a different kind of hard than parenting older children. You have so much more control over the parenting of your little ones. My 5th grader is headed to middle school next year and it's scary how you just hope so much that you are parenting in such a way that guides them to make good decisions and to use good judgement and to be so kind.
The big kids are easier because they're more independent - I don't have to change or physically feed them. They can cook breakfast even! They can pick out their own clothes & dress themselves. But parenting them is SO much harder because they are independent. Funny how that works.
They go to school all day and I'm not there. They navigate social interactions at recess. They choose what they want to eat from the cafeteria. They deal with some peer pressure and fitting in. They work hard to keep up their grades. I think there's just this switch in "hard" that is surprising.
Well this fall, when the baby was 4months, we met my whole family in Asheville to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary. So we have 12 year old twin nieces, my 10 & 7 year olds, and the baby!
We were at dinner and the baby was crying (all of my babies have been somewhat colicky...good times😂!) So after I unsuccessfully tried to feed her my husband took her out of the restaurant to walk around with her. All of the big girls went out a while later to check on them. They came back and told me I really needed to get out there.
I went out and he's like, "She just can't get settled." And I immediately noticed the yellow on his shirt. She had had an explosive diaper and it was on him and all over her. So we were trying to lay the stroller all the way back to create a changing area. It's literally taking both of us to get this situation resolved quickly as there are people all around and she's screaming!
We had taken a trolley to dinner so no car in sight. We got her undressed and I realized I had taken the wipes out and left them in the hotel! At this point we are cracking up and are wondering if we are fit to be parents again because clearly we were failing & forgot how to do this whole thing! And we had just turned 40 so we were like...really, what are we doing.😜
So I went to the bathroom and wet paper towels and got it all cleaned up and all was fine, but it was both stressful and funny! Those first few months are just hard - or they were for me. You just have to laugh! It all goes by in a blink.