The #1 Gift I Gave Myself This Year

The #1 gift
christmas kids activities
christmas activities playdough
christmas activities

I just finished my Christmas shopping for both Sister and Brother, and it seemed to go by easier and with more joy than previous years. <Cue mic dropping>

I'd love to know, what's on your children's Christmas list this year? Has it been an fun year finding the right gifts, or has it been a challenge?

We decided on this climbing triangle that I've had my eyes on for years. Isn't it a beauty? It was originally designed by Dr. Emmi Pikler, a European pediatrician in the 1940's. She believed that babies and toddlers should be allowed to move around freely and without restrictions as much as possible. Bumbo seats, exersaucers and swings were not her cup of tea. Safe play-spaces to explore with simple toys and age-appropriate challenges was much more her style. I've adapted her philosophy at home - even when both children were tiny babies. It has been one of my greatest joys as a parent to watch their natural development each day, along with the confidence that comes with it. Does this approach call to you at all? I’d love to know in the comments.

So if a person has only had time to throw a package of white gym socks in the grocery cart for her husband for Christmas, is she doomed? Asking for a friend. 

I have, however thought of the perfect gift to give myself this year (along with a new pair of earrings from Anthropologie - weeee!). In fact, I gifted it to myself early this year. It was badly needed. 

This year I've decided to give myself the gift of SELF-APPROVAL. Yes, that's right. I'm going to approve of myself, as a parent and as a person, as much as possible. No more feeling guilty or shaming myself when I make mistakes. I just need to find a pretty bow to wrap it all up with. 

I gave myself these little presents last week: 
When I forget diapers for the 367th time and I looked around to see parents with beautiful diaper bags stuffed with all the necessities, I whispered to myself,

I approve of myself.

When I glanced in the mirror and saw another grey hair and wondered if my laugh lines were that deep last week, I said aloud,

I approve of myself. 

When I found myself lecturing and scolding my children instead of responding in the respectful way I've practiced for years,

I approve of myself.

When I felt judgemental or jealous of another person even after all the self-work I've done, 

I approve of myself. 

When we watched TV most the day and my daughter asked what the temperature was outside, but we all felt too lazy to go outside and find out, 

I approve of myself.

I approve of myself.

I approve of myself. 

I need to add a second thing to my list (I'm spoiling myself this year!)

SELF LOVE. Yes, I'm imperfect and make mistakes all the time, but loving myself where I'm at in life seems like the right thing to do. 

I want my stocking stuffed full to the brim with self-approval and self-love. That is truly all I need. 

What sweet free gifts will you give yourself this year, Wonder Mama?  

“Lucky is the child who grows up with parents who basically accept and love themselves, and therefore can accept and love their child, who reminds them so often of their own selves.” - Magda Gerber