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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.


Modern Mom + 1950s Housewife

I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant with our baby sweet pea and time is flying by! I knew it would with the holiday season approaching. Ryan and I met with our 'potential' pediatrician Tuesday night and we both left feeling like he is the one for us. On the way to the meeting we talked about our parenting philosophy as we often do. I had said something about rewarding our baby girl with something after each check-up (when she gets older), and I've always said we shouldn't reward with food or toys, as that will cause problems later in life. For example going out for ice cream after a doctor's appointment would undermine the healthy eating habits we will be teaching her. I said right before we pulled into the parking lot that shopping for a new book would be a nice reward. We had only been in the meeting for about 20 minutes when the doctor said they are part of a program that allows them to reward each child with a new book after each check-up! I may have been sold on him at that moment, but he said so much more that we appreciated and we left with new knowledge that made the appointment very beneficial. One of my questions was, "What should we have on hand before we come home from the hospital?" The only two things he suggested were saline nose drops and Vitamin D drops. He explained that all babies are lacking in Vitamin D since we are protecting them from the sun. The mom doesn't pass enough through breast milk and it needs to be supplemented. He said to get the drops from Whole Foods or Sprouts, as the drug stores don't offer a high enough concentration. 

With Christmas approaching I've been thinking about our baby girl and her first Christmas next year. I daydream about her Christmas pjs, and how she'll react to Santa Claus, bedtime stories about the meaning of Christmas and cuddles by the fireplace. Thoughts about thousands and thousands of plastic, bright, loud toys have also came to my mind! The idea of over stimulation and a house cluttered with a bunch of junk has always been something I plan to avoid. I just ordered a book called Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. I can't wait to dive into it and really get inspired about the ideas that I already have about parenting. 

I just read this article, written by Joshua Becker, and I couldn't agree more with all of his points.

Why Fewer Toys Will Benefit Your Kids

 The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.” —Ray L. Wilbur

Toys are not merely playthings. Toys form the building blocks for our child’s future. They teach our children about the world and about themselves. They send messages and communicate values. And thus, wise parents think about what foundation is being laid by the toys that are given to their kids.
Wise parents also think about the number of toys that children are given. While most toy rooms and bedrooms today are filled to the ceiling with toys, intentional parents learn to limit the number of toys that kids have to play with.
They understand that fewer toys will actually benefit their children in the long-term:
1. Kids learn to be more creative. Too many toys prevent kids from fully developing their gift of imagination. Two German public health workers (Strick and Schubert) conducted an experiment in which they convinced a kindergarten classroom to remove all of their toys for three months. Although boredom set in during the initial stages of the experiment, the children soon began to use their basic surroundings to invent games and use imagination in their playing.
2. Kids develop longer attention spans. When too many toys are introduced into a child’s life, their attention span will begin to suffer. A child will rarely learn to fully appreciate the toy in front of them when there are countless options still remaining on the shelf behind them.
3. Kids establish better social skills. Children with fewer toys learn how to develop interpersonal relationships with other kids and adults. They learn the give and take of a good conversation. And studies have attributed childhood friendships to a greater chance of success academically and in social situations during adulthood.
4. Kids learn to take greater care of things. When kids have too many toys, they will naturally take less care of them. They will not learn to value them if there is always a replacement ready at hand. If you have a child who is constantly damaging their toys, just take a bunch away. He will quickly learn.
5. Kids develop a greater love for reading, writing, and art. Fewer toys allows your children to love books, music, coloring, and painting. And a love for art will help them better appreciate beauty, emotion, and communication in their world.
6. Kids become more resourceful. In education, students aren’t just given the answer to a problem; they are given the tools to find the answer. In entertainment and play, the same principle can be applied. Fewer toys causes children to become resourceful by solving problems with only the materials at hand. And resourcefulness is a gift with unlimited potential.
7. Kids argue with each other less. This may seem counter-intuitive. Many parents believe that more toys will result in less fighting because there are more options available. However, the opposite is true far too often. Siblings argue about toys. And every time we introduce a new toy into the relationship, we give them another reason to establish their “territory” among the others. On the other hand, siblings with fewer toys are forced to share, collaborate, and work together.
8. Kids learn perseverance. Children who have too many toys give up too quickly. If they have a toy that they can’t figure out, it will quickly be discarded for the sake of a different, easier one. Kids with fewer toys learn perseverance, patience, and determination.
9. Kids become less selfish. Kids who get everything they want believe they can have everything they want. This attitude will quickly lead to an unhealthy (and unbecoming) lifestyle.
10. Kids experience more of nature. Children who do not have a basement full of toys are more apt to play outside and develop a deep appreciation for nature. They are also more likely to be involved in physical exercise which results in healthier and happier bodies.
11. Kids learn to find satisfaction outside of the toy store. True joy and contentment will never be found in the aisles of a toy store. Kids who have been raised to think the answer to their desires can be bought with money have believed the same lie as their parents. Instead, children need encouragement to live counter-cultural lives finding joy in things that truly last.
12. Kids live in a cleaner, tidier home. If you have children, you know that toy clutter can quickly take over an entire home. Fewer toys results in a less-cluttered, cleaner, healthier home.
I’m not anti-toy. I’m just pro-child. So do your child a favor today and limit their number of toys. 

I'm not saying she won't have toys, she will! I'm certainly not anti-toys and I don't plan to be a crazy looney-toon mom. I simply want each toy to have meaning and purpose. I want things that were bought with intention while practicing the philosophy that less is more. I want organic toys that use non-toxic paint and not plastic toys mass produced in China with primary colors and annoying sounds that will drive us both crazy. I imagine time in nature exploring the colors and textures of this beautiful world. I imagine a variety of music and time for creative art projects. I imagine her wrapped around my chest while I'm doing house chores instead of glued to Baby Einstein. I imagine reading her simple classic books instead of putting her in a battery operated apparatus. 

I want to be a healthy blend of a modern mom that appreciates the parenting style of the 1950s housewife! I want to be a mom that parents with intention and strives for simplicity. 

We have so much to learn, so much! And I'm just so excited for this lifelong journey I can barely handle it. This post was written with one of my many goals in mind. There will surely be more to come like this, because writing and reflecting brings me joy. I've dreamed of being a mom for so long and I plan to live each day fully present and purposeful. 

I need to do an upcoming post about baby products and what we have purchased for our sweet pea. I've spent so much time navigating what we need and what we don't need. It can be very overwhelming for a first time mom, and I'm afraid there are a lot of products on the market that are just a waste of money. Its hard to believe, but after researching every single item we have, I've sadly learned there are some things that are quite common for babies that are harmful to their health and development. Just because it says "BABY" doesn't mean its safe, necessary, or healthy. 

Here are some of my favorites from stores that have quality products and simple, yet beautiful designs. 

With love and gratitude xo 

Wendy Correen Smith
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