So much of parenting is a balancing act. There are days when I feel like an amazing parent, and other days where I think, “This was far from my best.”
Some days we do art projects or visit the library or go out with friends, and other days we spend basically the whole day at home, while I do laundry or vacuum.
But no matter our schedule, here are ten things I try to do every day for my two little girls:
#1: Snuggle them
Both of my girls are very affectionate, and I love cuddling on the couch with them. My toddler’s favorite thing to say is, “I just need some snuggles.” How could you resist?
#2: Read them books
As a former librarian, it’s pretty much impossible for me to go a day without reading books to my girls. I love that they are learning to enjoy reading and that I’m exposed to so many great books as we read together.
#3: Get outside
I try to get outside with my girls every day, whether that’s a trip to the park, a walk around the neighborhood, or just running around the backyard.
#4: Make them laugh
My nature is not to be silly or goofy, but I’m learning to appreciate how fun it is to make my girls laugh and that being silly is the best way to do that.
#5: Protect their sleep
I am pretty serious about naptimes and bedtimes. I don’t schedule things during nap times, and we are home by about 6:45 almost every night so they can be in bed by seven.
#7: Let them play independently
I’m better about this with my second daughter than I was with my first, because I don’t want them to depend solely on me for entertainment. I usually read a book near them so I can help if needed.
#8: Feed them nutritiously
I care a lot about food, and I try to make sure my girls eat a wide range of healthy foods (but I also try hard not to be extreme about it).
#9: Play music
I’ve never been an enormous music listener (although I like music), but my girls both LOVE music, and so we play it in the car, during quiet time, and while we eat in the kitchen. It just makes them both cheerful and calm.
#10: Listen to them
It’s easy to tune out my children’s talking since it’s either babbling or long, rambling stories about nothing, but I do try to focus and respond appropriately to them at least a couple of times a day, even if it means I listen to a 10 minute story about a pretend frog.