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Let me stay home a little longer, he won’t be this little forever

I love knowing the majority of my time is with him. That when he asks me, "Mommy sit down with me," I can do it and not care about the pile of dishes.

Let me stay home a little longer, he won’t be this little forever

There are dandelion seeds trapped in my bra. My 2-year-old has taken to eating them, rather than blowing them. And I can't seem to want to put him down as he does this. I'm sure there's a metaphor in there somewhere.

Am I the only mother who is relishing this? That delights in slow quiet mornings making play-dough creations with my son as I sip on the coffee I had time to make myself instead of yet another dash through a Starbucks drive-thru? Sure, he decided to wake up at 4 am, but there was only home to be.


I would rather such a morning than the usual struggle to get to daycare when inevitably he poops as soon as I put him in the car seat, and I still had half a dozen stops before even making it into work.

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I craved these timeless moments pre-coronavirus. Daydreamed about his smile and so ever eager to get home for his hugs and banshee toddler screams.

I love having an excuse and saying that I need to be home to care for my son. This is, at least somewhat, more acceptable because of limited childcare options. I'm allowed to say that and not feel inferior or be questioned about how much I value my career. As if caring about my work and caring about my child are required to be mutually exclusive.

I get that it's not the same for everyone. I don't have a school-age child and lesson plans to worry about. I do have some childcare help in the form of a trusted sitter, not much help, but enough. I have an employer who is receptive and supportive to our needs. I am so grateful.

And yes, of course, we need breaks. The couple of days I go into the office I've taken to keeping the car windows down whatever the weather just to breathe in air not saturated with toddler, cat or dog smells. I take ridiculously long toddler-free showers just for a few extra minutes. I do what I can with the options I have available. Then I regroup and go paint the window with my kid. Yes, the window. What are clean bodies for, but to get messy?

I love hearing about the moments we are flexing that muscle of compassion with one another about parenting demands. But they have felt few and far between. So I am going to be the one to say it. I LOVE THIS. I love being at home with my child. I love knowing the majority of my time is with him. That when he asks me, "Mommy sit down with me," I can do it and not care about the pile of dishes.

This will not be forever. Nothing is.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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