My focus for March was simplicity, and as with all of my monthly goals, I am still trying to keep them through the rest of the year.
One thing I tried to focus on in March was single-tasking and focusing on what I was doing in the present. The area most important area for this goal was with Mae. So often I will try to multitask as I play with her, feeling like I need to be “productive” at every possible moment. But relationships are productive. Focusing completely on Mae and providing for all her needs is productive.
Of course, I still cook supper while I play with Mae, talking to her and handing her toys as I go about the kitchen. I still hold her and dance around as I dust the house or let her sit on the floor as I fold laundry. But I am also finding little activities to do with her and nothing else.
These are mostly things I can do with Mae as she’s getting older. She is at such a fun age, and I’m sure it will just get more fun the more she is aware and able to do! Here are just a handful of activities we have done together over the past month or so. I have pictures of some of them, but usually, I tried to be present and without my phone…but I also can’t resist taking all the pictures of our precious girl 🙂
We were blessed to inherit my grandmother’s piano. She practiced her piano on it when she was young and taking lessons, and whenever we were at her house, it was almost always being played by me or one of my siblings and Granmomma would sit and listen with such joy.
Mae loves to sit in my lap at the piano and bang on the keys. She is just learning that they will make a noise when she hits them and it delights her! Sometimes I will sit and let her play, but often I will also practice one hand of a piece I am learning or relearning.
Mama bought Mae a swing to put on the swing set in her backyard and Mae loves it! At first, she was unsure and a little scared, but we started slow, and she decided that she likes it. I love to see her squeal with delight and grin the whole time she’s swinging!
Ever since she was tiny Mae has loved to go outside. I used to bring her out when she was fussy, and it would immediately calm her down. Now she likes to look around at everything. I tell her we’re going on a “nature walk” and I’ll show her everything around us. We’ll touch a tree and the leaves or sit in the grass and feel moss. I show her different plants and flowers, and she always reaches out to touch them. Recently her Aunt Leah took her outside and picked her a dandelion. She was delighted and held on to it for a long time!
Go for Walks/Runs
I’m not sure if this counts because I’m multi-tasking by getting in exercise, but this is an activity Mae and I both enjoy. Almost every day we will go out at some point either for a walk or a run. Some days Sam joins us and other days we go to practice with Mae’s Aunt Leah and Uncle Sam. Other days we head out our door and walk or run up our street! I’ve posted about it before, and we still love the jogging stroller.
Play on the Floor
Now that Mae can sit on her own she loves sitting and choosing which toys to play with. Often I will sit with her and talk to her as she plays with her toys and looks around.
I sing to Mae all day long. When she wakes up in the morning I sing the songs I remember Mama singing to me: “Good Morning to You” and “I Love You So Much.” Throughout the day, I sing hymns, the books of the Bible, the alphabet, “You are My Sunshine” (or I’ll sing “You are my Mae Mae), or I’ll sing about whatever we’re doing (changing her diaper, washing dishes, cooking supper, etc.) She likes it when we sing interactive songs, such as “The Itsy-Bitsy Spider” or “Pattycake.”
Mae goes through phases where she enjoys reading books, or she enjoys chewing on them and banging them around. Either way, books are a great way to stop and spend time together.
I’m sure there are so many more activities to do with babies, but these are our favorites at the moment!
What are some of your favorite activities to slow down (with or without a child)?