When I first started writing for Disney Baby, I wondered if I would cut it as a Disney Mom. Sure, I’ve always loved the entire Disney experience: the movies, the music, the theme parks. I grew up with Disney as part of my child and young adulthood. But was I Disney enough?
Turns out, there’s a lot more to being a Disney Mom than just a love of Mickey Mouse or Epcot. It really is so much more than that, and after a year of writing about all things Disney, I’ve come to realize just what it means to be a Disney Mom to my very own Disney Baby.
Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday
Ever since Judah arrived, every day with him has been a gift to us. After years of infertility, Larry and I wondered if we’d ever actually be parents one day. Here we are, almost a year later and even still: we always find something to laugh about, to marvel at, to count our blessings. There’s magic to be found in all the little moments. The best example I can think of is when Judah figured out how light switches and remote controls work. To him, it’s a kind of magic: flip the switch or press the button and presto! He made something happen. As a parent, this is a blast to witness and behold. For me, being a Disney Mom means recognizing those magical moments and celebrating them with my little one.
Discovering Those Moments of Wonder
The life of a baby is one filled with milestones: rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking… We celebrate and treasure every milestone and yet they are bittersweet: with each milestone means that Judah’s babyhood is fading fast. He will always be our baby yes – but the days of him toddling about won’t be forever. I am always in awe and wonder at the tiny-ness of our son: his little hands, his chubby feet – and at the ways he explores and dissevers the world around him. I try to look at the world through Judah’s eyes to capture that same sense of wonder, too. It only makes me a more engaged parent. For me, being a Disney Mom means treasuring the moments of wonder as seen through baby’s eyes.
Writing Our Family Story One Chapter at a Time
From the moment Judah arrived, he already had quite the story to tell! But our family story begins long before Judah ever got here: way back in 1997, when two nerdy kids met in high school, fell in love, dated through college, moved in together and got married. For Larry and I, we look at life as one great big adventure together and Judah is the newest chapter in our family story. When the movie UP came out, we adopted “Adventure is out there!” as our family motto because it’s so true: there’s a big, wide world out there and we can’t wait to explore it all together as a family! For me, being a Disney Mom means taking on life as a series of ever-unfolding adventures in our family story.
Cultivating Curiosity About the World Through Imagination and Play
Judah comes from an incredibly diverse background, just like his mom. It’s important for me to teach Judah not just about his heritage and diversity, but to develop a lifelong curiosity and love of learning. When I look at the world through Judah’s eyes, everything is an opportunity to learn and grow. Something as simple as applesauce for breakfast becomes a chance to talk about how colors, shapes and even we get some of our food from trees. For me, being a Disney Mom means I never miss an opportunity to teach my son about the world around him.
“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun!”
There’s magic, wonder, adventure and discovery when it comes to parenting – but it’s also a TON of hard work, too! Not every part of parenting is glorious: the poop, the sleep deprivation, the colic, the teething… but a lot of how my husband and I approach these less-fun parts of parenting depends on our attitude and approach. It’s when we find the fun (however small it may be) that can transform even the most challenging moments of parenthood into something manageable. Sometimes, you just can’t help but laugh – and babies are keen to pick up on your moods, too. I really believe that half the reason Judah is as happy-go-lucky of a baby is due to our positive, engaged approach to parenting. For me, being a Disney Mom means taking a “spoonful of sugar” approach to the less-glamorous parts of parenting.
What about you? What makes you a Disney Mom? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments!