“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”
- Mary Poppins
I know that Mary Poppins was teaching Jane and Michael Banks the importance of cleaning up their nursery when she bestowed this nugget of wisdom, but I like to think the advice is extra pertinent to parenting. Lately I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed as a mom. With a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old, things get a little crazy from time to time, and there are definitely days where this feels like the hardest job in the world…actually, I think it really just might be. But, lately I’ve been working on reframing things and changing my perspective and looking for the elements of fun to be found in parenting.
I can’t really remember the first stuffed animal I purchased for my daughter (I think it was a handmade doll?), but I do remember the first stuffed animal she chose for herself, and it’s one that I will save forever.
It was during her first trip to Disneyland at the age of 15 months. We went with my mom, and while we were there, my mom told her she could choose a dolly to take home with her. The park gift store was vast and she painstakingly perused the shelves of toys, dismissing them as she shuffled along with her signature toddler toddle. And then she saw it. The perfect doll… just for her.
We live in a culture where we are constantly connected to others, and as much as I love keeping up with what my friends (and to be honest, even perfect strangers) and their children are up to via social media, it can be hard not to feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses… or however that saying goes. But, I’m not talking about pressure to have a nicer house or car, but rather the pressure to make childhood magical for our little ones.
When I see parents who make their kids amazing, elaborate bento box lunches with princess faces, or who hand stitch super awesome Halloween costumes, it’s hard not to feel like I’m doing it wrong. But, lately I’m starting to look at it differently, because magic is in the eye of the beholder.