A Pearachute Moment Explained

Yesterday I took our youngest child to My Gym in Frisco. My oldest was at school and my husband, who was working from home, was able to keep an eye on our middle child. So, this adventure was a rare time together with just the baby.

The class was a “mommy and me” environment which included circle time, free play on all the equipment, baby friendly exercise moves, and even a set independent time for play while the mommies stood to the side.

As I sat there watching my son play, I overheard two moms talking about their kids and where the other lived. They ultimately exchanged phone numbers in hopes of a future playdate.

We ended our time together where we started on the circle mat singing and clapping.

Pearachute Kids has given me an excuse and an easy on-ramp for trying new things without the added pressure of wondering if it will be a good fit or not. Not a good fit? We move on to the next Pearachute Drop-In opportunity. And when I find the right dance studio or karate class, I’ll know my investment will not be wasted.

I love every moment of it. Not because the class was amazing, although it was, but because I was spending time with my son doing something new. Something that was hard to do with three kids. I kept thinking: “Wow this is such a cool class. I wish I had been brave enough to try something like this with my first two kids!”

I’ll be honest I’m an introvert and I have children. That’s hard. I’m also a homebody. And I have children. That’s harder.

That’s why I am so thankful for Pearachute Kids. Pearachute Kids is the reason I got out the door on Monday and many other days in the past few weeks to try something new with my children.

What is Pearachute Kids?

Pearachute Kids began in Chicago after a mom of boys signed her kids up for soccer. After the first practice, it was blatantly obvious that the World Cup was not in her boys’ future and either the next 8 or so weeks would be miserable for her and her boys or miserable on her pocketbook. Wouldn’t it have been easier if her boys could have dropped into a soccer class? They could have tried it out and determined pretty quickly it wasn’t for them. This is what birthed Pearachute Kids.

Pearachute is an incredibly neat membership program that allows you to try out some of the neatest classes in the area before you commit to a membership or class session .

In the past 6 weeks, we have tried out Bounce U, Le Ballet, Carefree Colors, and My Gym. This weekend my little ballerina will try out a tumbling class at Studio Three Dance and I can’t wait to see what my eldest thinks of Undaunted ATA Martial Arts in a few weeks. 

Pearachute Kids has given me an excuse and an easy on-ramp for trying new things without the added pressure of wondering if it will be a good fit or not. Not a good fit? We move on to the next Pearachute Drop-In opportunity. And when I find the right dance studio or karate class, I’ll know my investment will not be wasted.

These have been awesome opportunities to give venues a try. Some I’ve been able to determine were not age appropriate or really too far of a drive for us. Others I would have never known existed. Carefree Colors, for example, is literally one building over from my favorite Starbucks! Thanks, Pearachute!

Pearachute Kids has given me an excuse and an easy on-ramp for trying new things without the added pressure of wondering if it will be a good fit or not. Not a good fit? We move on to the next Pearachute Drop-In opportunity. And when I find the right dance studio or karate class, I'll know my investment will not be wasted.

And our most recent adventure: I have to say My Gym just blew me away with their excellence, the cleanliness of the equipment, and their beautiful kindness. However, I never would have walked through their doors on my own.

Pearachute Kids has given me an excuse and an easy on-ramp for trying new things without the added pressure of wondering if it will be a good fit or not. Not a good fit? We move on to the next Pearachute Drop-In opportunity. And when I find the right dance studio or karate class, I’ll know my investment will not be wasted. 

A Wise Investment

My almost six year old has been taking piano lessons since this summer. I felt like he had an affinity for music and would truly enjoy and excel with lessons. It was a gamble that did work out. What if that untapped musical ability, however, was better left untapped? What if I had started him in lessons and it was a train wreck? I would have been out my money or my child would have been miserable. I would have been stuck taking my child to lessons he didn’t like or had to make the painful pocketbook decision to pull him from those lessons. 

Pearachute Kids helps make those expenses for classes and memberships a much wiser purchase and, for the homebody-introvert like me, a little easier to give new things a try.

 


Would you like to give Pearachute Kids try? If you are in the DFW, Kansas City or Chicago area, there’s a Pearachute Kids near you! You can use my code and get a 3 class membership for a $1 (or $38 off a larger plan)! After that, you will renew at the normal rate. Click HERE to sign up and enter the referral code: PATTY2017 at check out. Please note the referral code is case sensitive. If another Pearachute Mombassador referred you to this post, PLEASE use her code instead. 

Fine Print: In exchange for this blog post, I have received free services and will benefit from each person that uses my code. The opinions expressed in the post are honest and mine and in no way swayed by my compensation. 

THANKS FOR VISITING! I SURE HOPE YOU ARE ENCOURAGED BY WHAT YOU READ. IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ MORE, YOU CAN CHECK OUT MY NEW WEBSITE: THE ME TOO! COMMUNITY

So how do we reconcile the parenting advice that we've been given with reality? What do you do when the outcome isn’t what you hoped for or expected?

Parenting Advice: What to do when it doesn’t work

My husband and I started our parenting journey almost six years ago. As a matter of fact, this time last year,  I was approaching my third trimester with my first child! Oh the advice I would give first-time mom Patty! Here are three things I would say to myself across the table at a coffee shop if I could go back in time. But since I can’t go back in time, perhaps I can save you dear mom some trouble. 

ASK FOR HELP

Please ASK FOR HELP! If I could, I would go back tell myself:”Stop acting like you’ve got it together!” I can’t tell you how many times, I would hear people say to me: “I don’t know how you do it.” I wish I had been brave enough to say, “I don’t. Can you help me?” I would have included my husband more in the earlier days as well. He wanted to help but I looked and acted like I knew what I was doing. He helped as needed but let me do the heavy lifting of child rearing because I was too stubborn to let him in. That is until I got overwhelmed and had a meltdown in the middle of the night while he slept. That night changed everything and birthed our team parenting approach. It was a hard lesson, but as a result, I began to realize that just because I gave birth to these kids it didn’t mean I instantly upgraded to super-mom model.

THROW AWAY THE BOOKS

Please throw out all of the parenting books! Well, maybe not all of them. The ones that promote a certain rigid system or project a specific end result do not even deserve a place on your dusty shelf. Books about parenting need to be approached like a buffet. Take what looks good and give it a try. If it doesn’t taste good, you don’t have to keep eating it. When reading a book or an article or a blog post…yes even my words, consider who you are and your family dynamic. Does the idea seem like something that could work? Give it a try. If it doesn’t seem like a good fit, don’t try it! I am not the first and I most certainly will not be the last to say this: Children need love and their basic needs met. If you can do this, and I know you can and will, the rest will eventually fall into place. The goal of parenting is to raise responsible, kind and loving adults. I promise you, your child’s college admissions counselor will not care AT ALL if your child slept through the night at 8 weeks.

TRUST YOURSELF

Breathe and trust yourself.  You’ve got this precious momma! You know what’s best. There’s more advice and opinions and methods about parenting than there are people in the world! With all that wisdom and perspective, it could be very easy to become overwhelmed and fearful of making mistakes and choosing the wrong path for your child. Let me set you at ease with these two sentences.

You will make mistakes.

You will raise confident, kind, beautiful children who will love you despite the mistakes you will make.

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THIS ADVICE?

So how do we reconcile the advice that we receive regarding motherhood with reality? What do you do when the outcome isn’t what you hoped for or expected? Two plus two surely equals four but finding a rhythm might not be as easy as a math equation. I could piece apart each of the posts in this series and tell you how either my children or circumstances have myth busted the majority of my suggestions. Not everything. Those coffee dates are still precious moments alone with my husband!

BOTTOM LINE

Parenting has and always will be hard, and although there are some excellent strategies and advice available, we all have to forge our own parenting path. Parents and children come in all different packages. Some kids are by the book while others are not.


I hope these past few months of parenting tips have brought you insight, inspired a few ideas to try out, and perhaps given you success and a little hope. More than anything, however, I hope you leave this series knowing that you are no doubt the BEST person to mother your precious brood. Why? Because you love your children fiercely. If you don’t know the answer, you will search, experiment, cry, pray, and try, try, TRY again until you figure it out. You are in it for the long haul. And that super power, precious momma, is more valuable than all the parenting advice in the world.

 

You’ve got this brave momma! Go change the world one diaper at a time.

-Patty

So how do we reconcile the parenting advice that we've been given with reality? What do you do when the outcome isn’t what you hoped for or expected?

Want to read the entire series? You can start here with the Introduction: Bringing Home Baby, Again

Bringing home a baby is hard on the siblings too! They have to get used to another person in the house that is interrupting their sleep or crashing in their room or possibly taking over their room and now they have to share their toys! It can be overwhelming for a little tyke. Check out these tips to help your child adjust to baby.

How to Help Your Child Adjust to Baby

Having more than one child is a fun and beautiful adventure. It is also complicated and messy! As your heart multiplies, your children feel the impact of your divided time. Just like mom and dad, children also have to wrestle with what they are feeling and it often manifests in childish ways because well..they are children after all. You can wade through all the feels by finding moments to focus on them, celebrating their new role in the family, and making sure they know how much you love them.  It takes time and effort but you can help them adjust and maybe even grow to like this alien life form taking over their space.

Here are 13 Ways You Can Help Your Child Adjust to a New Baby

  1. Plan “just you & me” outings–  Right after our youngest was born, my husband took our eldest to a glow-in-the dark putt-putt place. Although the concept of putt-putt escaped him, the time alone with daddy very much translated. From this adventure, we determined we needed to create one on one time with each child as often as possible. Some people call this dating their children. We have done this intentionally on occasion but as our children get older, we’ll start putting actual dates on the calendar.
  2. Bring a child along for errands– Every errand or pit stop can be turned into a few minutes alone with mommy or daddy. Recently, I needed to pick up a few gifts for upcoming birthday parties. My husband suggested I take our eldest along and grab lunch while we were out. It was a very special outing for just the two of us that ended in ice cream!
  3. Verbally share your delight in spending time together– This means saying out loud some version of : “I am so glad I am spending special time with you right now!” Our actions paired with sincere words can make a huge difference! These little love deposits can make the time your child is losing, because of baby, a little easier to handle.
  4. Stagger bedtimes– Once everyone is on a pretty consistent routine, space out each child’s bedtime so you can have special one on one time reading books or playing a game or insert your favorite activity. It may only be 10-15 minutes later than other siblings but that time together is gold.
  5. Say “yes” as often as you can– When there is a baby in the house we have to say “no” quite often especially when feeding times and nap times are the priority for a baby. This can be so frustrating to older siblings. When you can say “yes”, do so emphatically. It speaks volumes to their little hearts when you agree to watch a program together or play a quick game at the table. Then when you do have to say “no” because of the demands of the new baby, your child can take it in stride instead of blaming their misfortune on the new addition.
  6. Help them through the behavior issues– When our daughter was born, it never occurred to me that bringing home a baby could affect my son so much. We had talked about the arrival of his baby sister and did what we could to prepare him for her arrival. His aunt had even given him a baby doll that looked just like a baby fresh out of the hospital complete with a hospital bracelet. Even with our prepping, he started acting out. He loved his little sister but he was having trouble processing all those big emotions and made a lot of poor choices. I am so thankful for preschool teachers who got it and assured me that he would even out. Understand that your child is adjusting to a new life as well. Work with teachers and caregivers as your child(ren) wade through all the emotions they are feeling. It is never okay to hit or act out in a way to that brings harm to them or others but understanding why they are acting out goes a long way in how we respond to their behavior and help them through all the emotions!
  7. Spontaneously sneak away– I have yet to meet a child who did not enjoy a bit of intrigue. Look for ways to slip away unplanned for a few minutes with your child. The day before my eldest started Kindergarten, we slipped outside to eat ice cream while his younger siblings napped. It wasn’t planned. I just looked up at his sweet face, remembered the ice cream in the freezer, and invited him to come with me..quietly. Before I knew it, we were whispering and giggling and tip-toeing outside to enjoy our sugary feast together all the while talking about school!
  8. Get sitters- Babysitters are not just for dates. You can get a sitter for the other children while both parents have a special outing with one child. I love when my husband has a date with one of our children. I treasure even more those times when we can share that memory together. Recently we were able to walk our son into his kindergarten class on the first day. That was made possible because of the kindness of a friend who watched our other children.
  9. Talk about it– Find ways to talk them through this transition.  Talk about how grown up they’ve become.  Find ways to hash out their struggles and be willing to admit to them that the adjustment is hard on you, too.
  10. Make events out of the mundane– Each of our children has the opportunity to check the mail with daddy during the week. There’s six days of mail so it works out well for our kids to check the mail twice each week. It’s a 45-second round trip from the front door to the mail box and back but each child treasures this time with daddy. So much changes when a sibling is added in, find traditions and activities that your child(ren) can can count on when so much is uncertain.
  11.  Solicit their help with baby– Find ways to make your child “mommy’s helper”. He can help retrieve a diaper. She can pick out baby’s outfit.  They can turn on the noise machine. They can help close the door when baby goes down for a nap. Find ways to invite your children into this new world with baby.
  12. Provide special privileges– Make bringing home baby a rite of passage for them as they can now stay up later, or do a special activity during baby’s nap time. Allow them to watch special programs while baby naps. Big brothers and sisters get privileges that babies do not!
  13. Affirm your love for them and their new sibling– Your child needs to know that you love them deeply. They also need to know how much you care for their new sibling. Find ways to tell them how thankful you are to have all your children in your heart and in your arms.

Embrace the Adventure!

Bringing home a baby changes everything. What we fail to realize, however, is how deeply this affects other children in the home. To a child, what comes with the addition of each sibling is their loss of time with you. Kids are very resilient but that doesn’t mean that the loss of prime time with you isn’t impacting them. That is why it is so important to find ways to spend one on one time with each child. The more loved and secure a child feels in his relationship with mom and dad, the better the relationship with his siblings will be. Yes, devoting time to assure each child feels loved can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. Embrace the challenge of loving each of your children well.

Having more than one child is a fun and beautiful adventure. It is also complicated and messy! As your heart multiplies, your children feel the impact of your divided time. Check out these tips for making the transition a little easier.

 

What about you? What challenges or solutions would you add to this list. What have you done to make bringing home baby a smoother adjustment for your children? Comment below!

Next Week!

Intimacy after one child can be challenging. Add in more sweet bouncing babies, and carving out time with your spouse feels impossible! It really is possible but it takes some work to keep your marriage a priority. Join me next week as we discuss how to stoke the romance between spit up and night terrors.

 

Read the Introduction here! Bringing Home Baby, Again

Read last week’s post here! 4 Practical Tips for Gaining a Routine After Baby

Photo Credit: Captured Photography by Emily