Being a Mom is tough. I truly believe that in the last two years since becoming a Mom, I’ve learned to trust God and believe his Word more than I ever had in my 25 years of life combined. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve recounted “Sorrow may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30), “His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-24) or “Therefore, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God…” (Philippians 4:6) and so many other Scriptures in the last two years. Most of them were recited during the wee hours of the morning or during some new “leap” Titus was beginning.
Lately, God has been hammering home truths from Ecclesiastes 3. I had most often heard this passage read at funerals or memorial services and had never paid much attention to it. However, this passage has been such an encouragement, motivation, and a place for me to find grace in my journey of motherhood. It reads, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” The writer goes on to give many examples of the different seasons of life. While none of these verses specifically say, “There is a time when you will feel great about your decision making and parenting” and “There is a time when you will cry in the kitchen floor because of the 45 minute nap intruder”, you get the gist of the truth, which is that God has perfectly ordained the seasons of our lives. Understanding this and experiencing different seasons has given me motivation to keep pressing into Jesus and loving my family to the best of my ability, knowing that whatever difficulty I’m encountering today will not be forever.
So, to my Mom friends, tot school might be great for this season of your family’s life. For those of you who are overwhelmed or struggling to make it through the days, find grace for yourself in this season of your life and do not fall into the world’s expectations of having to be the perfect (tot-school) Mom.
That is where we are within this season of my family life. Tot school in the way I originally started it is just not feasible. Moving into a new house and preparing for a new baby has led me to transition our tot school a bit. I wanted to share this post not only to encourage you but also to share some other ideas that are a little less demanding and require less preparation.
About once a week, I’m planning a themed tot school day for Titus. This means that one day a week, we do several activities that are “themed". In this, I’m still using lots of books and resources that we already have.
Here are some themed days that we tackled and some ideas for you to try:
Shapes Theme Day: We pulled out all of the shape oriented toys and books. We read and played with these toys for a decent amount of our morning.
Food Theme Day: Titus really enjoys playing with fake food, so we brought out that tub for this day. We have a fabulous Usborne (shameless plug for this publisher) book that teaches about all of the different food groups and where they come from. I also planned a lunch that Titus could be a part of making.
Colors Theme Day: Again, I set aside our books that deal with color and any activities that we have for coloring. I have used our markers, crayons, colored pencils, play-doh, and even stickers for this day. Usually, I’ll let Titus pick the colors of his clothes, cups, plates (etc). on this day. I work to focus on the colors of things all day regardless of what that entails.
Exercise/Sports Theme Day: I always try to plan this day according to the weather. We have a ton of books about football, basketball, baseball, etc. We spend a lot of time outside practicing some of the skills Titus reads about and discussing the different pieces of equipment. Titus absolutely loves to “tackle.”
I will be honest and say that some of my ideas of these theme days actually have come from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We don’t watch much TV in our house at all (usually one episode of 30 minutes per day), but being 37 weeks pregnant, it’s been great to incorporate the episodes of Mickey that relate to these topics. “Mousekersize” is one of Titus’ favorites.
There are many other options for theme days. I’d love to know what ideas you have? Would you comment and share on this page?
I hope this post encourages you to incorporate tot school when it’s the right season of your life and not to feel discouraged when you must alter it. My prayer for you, Moms, is that you would embrace the season that you’re in and give yourself grace when it doesn’t look like the seasons of other Moms and families around you. Dig into God’s word so that you might recount it during the difficult seasons. In addition to the tot school theme day ideas that you have, I’d love for you to share any Scripture that you’ve clung to as a Mom. What "truth" is God teaching you through motherhood?
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