As a lot of you know, we celebrated Chloe’s 3rd birthday this past weekend! It’s so cliché to say yet not cliché at all because it holds so much truth, but honestly “TIME FLIES.” A mommy friend once told me that “the days are long but the years are short,” and it couldn’t be more true!
Chloe has a major obsession with Moana and all things Hawaiian so we threw her a MOANA themed luau this year. We had all of our guests arrive in their best Hawaiian attire, ate the best spam masubis while sipping on some Mai Tais! (It was equally an adult party as well as a kid party!) We honestly weren’t planning on throwing a big birthday party due to my crazy travel schedule this month, but we decided to push her party to the following week after I was back from my travels and I’m so glad we ended up throwing it!
To see her eyes light up when she saw her Moana backdrop and cake was absolutely priceless. I wish you could have heard her scream for joy when she found out that we got her a bounce house! Her voice was completely gone by the end of the day. It’s moments like these, that make it all worth it. Instead of talking about the party (since most of you got a good glimpse of the day from my Instagram), I wanted to share with you all the 7 things I’ve learned from being a mom these 3 years.
1. YOU CAN HANDLE MORE THAN YOU THINK
Motherhood is a true testament to multitasking. Once you feel like you’ve reached your limit, your boundaries will be pushed once again to juggle even more! Half the battle is just scheduling and reprioritizing everything in your life! Once you got that down, you’ll be surprised by how much you can actually handle.
2. THERE’S NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO MOTHERHOOD
I’m so grateful and thankful to my amazing mommy friends that have offered me “mommy advice,” but what I’ve realized is that there is no right or wrong way of doing things. You have to take advice with a grain of salt and apply what you think is necessary to your life. For example, I got a lot of advice from different parents about sleep training. Some believe in the ‘Cry-it-out’ method and others don’t. Some believe in co-sleeping and others don’t. I literally asked over 20 moms on what they do with their child when it comes to bedtime routines and almost every one of them had a different answer because that’s what had worked for them. All of that feedback left me feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused with what I should do. That’s when I realized that I had to make my own decisions based on what was best for my husban and my lifestyle.
3. TODDLERS WILL FOLLOW WHAT YOU DO AND NOT WHAT YOU SAY
There are certain things that Chloe does that is a direct reflection of Allen and my actions. For instance, she always wants to lay on the couch and eat her snacks. At first, I was like WHY? Then I realized that Allen LOVES laying down after work and catching up on his news with his favorite snacks. Good or bad habits, I’ve learned that toddlers will copy exactly what you do!
4. GIVE THE POWER BACK TO THEM
For the longest time, I could not get Chloe to sit on the potty for the life of me. I’ve come to realize that it was because I was SOOO obsessed with potty training her. She was perfectly fine at school and is 100% potty trained, but at home, she did NOT want to go to the potty (she demanded her diapers instead). I think for a good month I tried to convince her and bribe her to go potty and she would not- even when I tried to bribe her with chocolate!
I talked to a mommy friend of mine and she said why don’t you forget about potty training for a second and give her back her power. As soon as I stopped obsessing over it by allowing her to have her “power” back and letting her maker her own decisions if she wanted to wear diapers or go on the potty… she was willing to go on the potty! I’ve learned that motherhood is not about always TELLING them what to do, but letting them “choose” what they want to do (obviously with some limitations).
5. DON’T SPOIL THEM
Easier said than done, I know. There was a time where I wanted to get everything and anything for Chloe, but I soon realized that it was damaging for her. She was not appreciating any of the gifts, and kept wanting MORE! The first time I witnessed that I knew I had to stop the cycle. That meant putting limitations on grandparents and all family members on both sides to stop buying her random gifts. We no longer give her “random gifts” during the week, but instead, we will save all of the “gifts” for a special day such as Christmas and/or her birthday. Or, we’ll make her “earn” her little treats. We let her unwrap all of her gifts on these “special days,” but we don’t let her “open” the packaging of the gifts. We let her choose 1 or 2 presents she REALLY wants to open first, and then we will hide the rest in our closet area. We started to teach her the importance of giving to other kids that are in need. Every week, if she picks up old toys to donate from her room we’ll then let her go in and open a new gift from the closet. This was also a great tip from another mommy friend of mine. This controls the toy flow in the home and also teaches kids at a young age about the importance of giving.
6. IT’S OK IF YOUR HOUSE IS A MESS
I had to let go of having a spotless Pinterest-y looking home once I had a baby. Even though I have a house cleaner come once a week, it tends to get messy the minute Chloe steps foot back into the house. HAHA! Anyone feel me on this one? When you have to feed your family, get yourself to work, get your kids to school, and somehow squeeze in family time, husband time, friends time and alone time… the last thing you really want to think about is how you are going to keep your house squeaky clean. Embrace the mess! A messy home means a full home.
7. IT’S NECESSARY TO DISCIPLINE BUT EVEN MORE NECESSARY TO SHOW THEM LOVE
Allen and I are pretty stern when it comes to disciplining Chloe. If she’s acting out at the dinner table, we’re not afraid of saying “NO” and letting her just cry it until she pulls herself back together. If that doesn’t work, we will enforce the “thinking chair” which is pretty much “time out.” But no matter how upset we are, we will ALWAYS come back and show her more love. This way she knows that although mommy and daddy were upset she is still so incredibly loved by us. Every day we tell her how much we love her and how proud we are of her. LOVE ALWAYS WINS AND WILL ALWAYS HEAL.
I honestly can go on and on about the things I learned from motherhood so far, and I’m so excited to keep learning and growing as Chloe does. I know I still have a LONG way to go, and different challenges come with different ages! Mothering a child is an incomparable rite of passage and is the most humbling experience as I learn something new about myself every single day.
A big thank you to Shawna Yamamoto who brought Chloe’s Moana dream to life! Shawna has pretty much been doing all of my life events since I got married, so I’m grateful to have her in my life and to celebrate all these big milestones! She is so incredibly talented and so FAST! This party wouldn’t have been possible without you!
Another a big thank you to all my amazing readers for pouring so much love into me and my family’s life for the past few years. It just seems like yesterday when I gave birth to Chloe and all of you guys were congratulating me for that! Thank you for all you love and support!
Credits:Photography by Drew Scott
Event Design & Florals by Shawna Yamamoto
Paper Flowers by @withlovegraciela
Cake by MisoBakes