There are times in life when you meet people that make an impact on your life.   While at the What If conference in the Dominican, we met Josh and Jenny Solar.  They have some cute kids (which we can relate to).  Another thing that we can relate to is the way they raise their kids.  This little family, although I’ve never met their kids, holds a special place in my heart.  I love who they are, I love what they believe in.  Good things are in store for these two.  With hearts as big as theirs, they are destined for really amazing things!  One of the amazing things these two have been up to is The Happy Family Movement.  I think every family should follow along in their movement and move together….happily!

I asked them a few weeks ago if they would write us a guest post.  I wanted this post to be something that our past bride and grooms (present and future) could find useful.  What follows marriage?  Usually a baby in a baby carriage.

So many of our past clients are new parents or becoming new parents {quite a few with twins}.  Being a parent has had it’s challenges, just like everything else in life.  However, being a parent has also been the most gratifying experience of my life.

I want you to meet them…I want you to know all about their awesomeness!

xoxo

Melissa.

 

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Parenting is hard. We all know this. Raising kids, in this crazy world, is the most challenging thing we’ll ever do in life. But it’s also the most worthwhile, rewarding thing we’ll ever do in life. I remember back to when Max (currently 8) was a baby. We were overwhelmed with choices, advice, and rules. So much so that it almost paralyzed us from actually doing anything at all for fear that we’ll mess up our baby’s chances to live a successful life. Parenting is NOT supposed to be that way. It took us a while to get to where we are, and trust me, we DO NOT have all the answers. Our sink is full of dishes night and day. It takes more fingers and toes than my wife and I have combined to count the number of times I’ve stepped on Legos (and that HURTS!). We lose our cool from time to time and say things in tones we instantly regret. And that’s why I wanted to share with you all 5 things we would have changed if we could start our parenting journey all over again.

 

Note: There are most definitely more than 5 things we’d change, but summing them all up would take quite some time, and you don’t want to read a novel 🙂

 

1. Put language to your family values early. It took us YEARS to actually put into words what our family values are. We lived certain values, yes, but we weren’t intentional about creating them right from the get go. We now know that we’re an adventurous, fun-loving, kind-hearted, loud, and thoughtful bunch, but putting it into words has helped our kids know why we do certain things. Knowing your family values strengthens the bonds between family members. And the coolest part is that every family has it’s own unique love language. You can even create a poster displaying your family values somewhere in your house. If we had clearly defined values earlier in our parenthood days, we would’ve cut cable earlier, stopped buying so much junk, and travelled even more than we have.

 

2. Start family traditions early. We all have fond childhood memories of traditions we did with our parents. Your kids will want these, too. And, the beauty of having your own family is they can be whatever you want! We have traditions like birthday donuts, putting fingerprints into the bottom of the apple pie crust we make every Thanksgiving, apple picking together in the fall, creating a summer bucket list every summer and crossing off every single item. Those are just a few of our traditions that the kiddos look forward to every single year. Traditions are great because it gets everyone excited around an event, and you’ll always have fond memories to look back on.

 

3. Don’t buy too much stuff. It’s SOOOO easy to think you need to have everything for your kids to love you. You can get caught up in buying a ton of toys, gadgets, etc. But what happens is you’ll then realize having all that stuff is driving you crazy, so you then begin the process of reigning in the accumulation of junk and getting rid of the junk you already have. If we could go back again, we most definitely never would’ve accumulated it all in the first place.

 

4. Enjoy every single moment you possibly can. I don’t want to get all preachy, but I get pretty fired up about a few things. Be there, present for your kids. Put down your phone, get down on their level and play with them. Listen to them when they want to chat. Nothing is more worthwhile than a moment spent with your kids, no distractions. They will always know they’re loved, and that’s the ultimate goal…to raise kids who are well loved and know it.

 

5. It’s ok to not love every single moment of parenting. Some parts of raising kids really aren’t that fun. You might not like running kids to all their various sporting events, or rushing every morning to get them to school on time, or the tornadoes of destruction they turn into the second you finish cleaning a room. You will make mistakes, you might raise your voice, and that’s ok. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. Just love your kids the best you possibly can, ease up on yourself and enjoy being a parent.

 

 

We created The Happy Family Movement to cultivate a happy, loving close-knit family and help others do the same. To learn more about The Happy Family Movement, visit us on our WEBSITE or on FACEBOOK or TWITTER.

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