Menu

Summer makes me feel like a kid again

Being a mom has opened up my eyes to how magical childhood is by seeing the wonder through theirs.

Summer makes me feel like a kid again

My son stood in our backyard in his blue swim shorts, pouting beneath his red ball cap. Even though it was a beautiful, hot sunny day and the sprinkler was running a few feet away, he didn't want to go in the water. Not alone, at least.

I was standing next to the baby in her swing, she was grinning away, showing off her wide two-tooth grin. I gave her another push and her arms flailed in the air with glee.

After my baby's giggle-filled push, I walked over to my kiddo and grabbed his hand. Still pouting, he looked up at me, and I said, "Do you want to run through the sprinkler together?"

His face lit up with his big, bright smile. (I took this as a yes.) So we ran together and jumped through the water, both of us shrieking with delight. We laughed together as we turned back to do it again.

It didn't matter that I wasn't in my swimsuit. It didn't matter that the neighbors could hear me screeching (hey, the water was freezing!). What mattered was how we felt. My kid was having a blast. And I felt like a kid myself. In that moment, I was reminded of just how much fun that feeling is.

Summer offers so much fun all around us—from movies in the park to free splash pads—, there's a lot to take in. And we only get so many summers with our kids when they're small and still see so much magic in the world. There are only really a few years where they'll let us act like a kid with them, (and actually welcome it!) and I intend to make it an incredible two months.

But don't get me wrong—that doesn't mean I need to spend a mortgage payment taking them on extravagant trips or trying to impress them with new toys. Money and gadgets don't equal memories. I'm going to put more quality in the time we spend together.

Being a mom has opened up my eyes to how magical childhood is by seeing the wonder through theirs. Instead of being concerned with how it might look to strangers in the park when I'm making funny faces with my kid, I'm going to focus on being more present at the moment.

I'm going to go outside with my son when he's blowing bubbles in the wind, twirling in circles with our arms spread wide. I'm going to share in the hilarity of trying to catch the bubbles before they pop on the ground, then have competitions to see who can blow the biggest bubble.

I plan on joining my kids on bike rides instead of watching them ride up and down the street from my stoop. Whether it be trying to keep up with them while pushing the stroller or leaving the baby home with her dad and taking my bike out for a spin, I want to experience our neighborhood through their eyes. And, of course, enjoy some mandatory slushies after a tiring adventure.

I'm going to put my body issues aside, and jump in the pool with them. I'm going to try to do handstands with them under the water, I'm going to go down the waterslide (and scream the entire way down), and I'm going to laugh along with them during a hilarious game of Marco Polo.

When they want to play a round of soccer at the park or street hockey in the alley, I'm going to put on my sneakers and join in the game. I might not be the best on the team (okay, I'll likely be the worst), but I know my kids will appreciate having fun and participating instead of me sitting on the sidelines. (Besides, I'll get fewer mosquito bites if I keep moving!)

When my son starts twirling in the rain instead of rushing from the car to the front door of our house, I'll let him enjoy the raindrops on his face. Or better yet, I'll join in. I'm going to try to remember that there will be days in the future where he'll be off on his own. These special moments we're sharing together now are what I will think back on, however small they might seem.

I'm going to try my best to stay present, have fun, and enjoy these little moments.

There are so few summers where we can all be together and relish in each other's company. Eventually, they'll grow up, be more independent, and start to think Mom acting like a kid is annoying. So for now, I want to make the most of the time we have before they decide they're too cool for me. 😉

You might also like:

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.

$23

Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.

$20

Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.

$12.50

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.

$47

boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.

$25

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.

$59

Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.

$36

Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.

$99

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this

Shop

Is the Belly Bandit helpful for postpartum recovery?

I personally found myself wanting more core support in my early postpartum months.

My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

We are one and done—and we planned it that way

I didn't forget to have children. I just had a child. One child.

The other day, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that read, "Oops! I forgot to have children!" across the front, and I wanted to run up and give her a hug. Except that would be weird on many levels, so I buried the impulse.

I didn't forget to have children. I just had a child. One child. And lean in closer while I make this confession: My partner and I made that decision on purpose.

It's not really what I'd planned for myself when I was younger and daydreamed about my future family. In fact, I went through a phase in the '80s when I imagined myself with five children who I would name Mandy, Randy, Candy, Sandy and Andy.

I certainly never envisioned myself being any kind of spokesperson for the only-child crowd, but over my last 11 years, the most-asked question I get is whether or not I have regrets that we never gave my daughter a sibling.

That's a hard question because the number of kids you and your partner decide to have is an extremely personal decision—although you wouldn't necessarily know that by all the complete strangers who regularly ask, "So, when are you going to have another one?" or, "Don't you worry about what will happen to her when you die and she's left all alone in the world?" People, even well-intentioned, can be extremely insensitive and feel like they have the right to get in your business even if you just met them on an airplane.


Keep reading Show less
Life