You’ve heard the different mom types: crunchy, free-range, helicopter, and so on. I don’t know if I fit into any of those categories, or even what they are for that matter, but I’ll tell you the type of mom I am:
I’m a Fresh Air Mom.
What is it with being cooped up inside all day long?
I cringe at the idea of idle bodies slumped on the couch watching TV or playing with a device for hours. (Don’t get me wrong, my boys could watch PBS Kids with the best of ’em for as long as I would let them.) Even the idle bodies playing with Legos or reading books need time to explore nature and engage in creative play with siblings or neighborhood kids. When the walls start closing in, arguments start flaring, or the words “I’m bored!” begin to be uttered, you know it’s time for a little fresh air to freshen the attitudes of everyone in the house!
Get outside in the winter, too!
When it’s bitterly cold, we dress for the weather and understand that our time might be limited to 10-20 minutes. The benefit of this activity and fresh air is worth the time spent getting winter gear on, trust me. The littles nap better, the bigs focus better, and the moms, yeah our bodies thank us for the activity, too. Not sure what to do outside? Appropriate sized shovels and snow are your friends. We move snow here to there, there to here. Toss it, push it, throw it, build with it. By all means, ride your bike or make use of your slide. (It’s faster with snow!) As long as kids are dressed warm, there’s no reason to avoid the fresh air all winter long.
Our kids are developing a lifelong love of the outdoors.
I don’t shoo my boys outside because I’m sick of them or because I need time to myself. Most of the time, I go with them! As a stay-at-home mom, the fresh air does wonders for my mood, too. It’s a beautiful change of scenery and promotes the gross motor physical activity that is virtually impossible to get while indoors. When siblings or neighborhood kids of varying ages begin to gather on a regular basis, they create games and find joy in imaginative play. They naturally begin to be creative and resourceful with the toys available, take turns, solve problems, and build independence. But best of all, it’s an absolute joy to watch the bigs care for and teach the younger ones. The littles admire the big kids and strive to do all of the amazing things that they can do.
From spring through fall, we spend the bulk of our day outdoors and bring our toys and activities outside with us. We eat meals outside when we can and our afternoon snack date meets on the front porch each day. We paint and explore nature, we read books and build with blocks. The outdoors is an extension of our home and we gladly make use of the space we’ve missed all winter! It’s a way of life for our family.
Go ahead and create a space that you love outside, too! The kids don’t need you hovering over them, but depending on ages, they do need you present. Cue a good book, lemonade, and toddler tunes playing on Pandora. Ahhhh!
My hope for you is simple: I hope you will find the balance of parenting well.
Spend time doing all of the things that will help your children thrive. Ensure they read, play games, partake in imaginative play, do puzzles, engage in conversation, and for the love of all things balanced, get some soul-quenching fresh air!
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