The Quarterly Approach to Motherhood and How to Apply This Method for Everyday Life Success

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Routines, agendas and to-do lists may make you feel secure and grounded, especially if you’re a total Type-A! But what happens when a baby gets thrown into the mix?

Total MAYhem! That’s what happens…. But only if you let it.

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There are so many life lessons to be learned from being a mother, even if you’re not a mom yet or never plan on becoming a mom. To continue the Mother’s Day May Theme, let’s take a deeper dive at an aspect of motherhood I love very much: The Quarterly Approach

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It goes a little like this…

When my daughter was first born, it was tricky adjusting into a routine, but we eventually got there. There came a point where she would fall asleep for her naps around the same time and wake up right on time to be feed.  It was heavenly. I could get things done during the day like finish up work on my master’s program or call a friend. And then boom. Three months went by and everything was out of whack. No longer was she aligned or synched with the schedule we both worked diligently at setting up.

No longer would she sleep and eat at the same time that she had been. When we finally got her knew rhythm down pat, another three months went by and she outgrew her new routine yet again.

Motherhood is a forever learning journey and one that continually requires readjustments and fine-tuning. There is no perfect formula or parenting method, but your child will tell you what will work and what will not. Now that our baby is 18-months- it’s a whole new game. Here are a few steps to the quarterly approach that have been helping us tremendously.

Step 1: Document It  

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Taking the time to sit down and re-evaluate changes that occur every quarter (granted, babies grow so fast you will even see day to day changes!) will help you tremendously. For example, write down what excites your child and new find occurs each quarter. Do they all of a sudden love being chased, love to color, or love kicking balls? Write it down. Document it. Cherish it. Because soon enough you will look back to three months prior and realize how much your child has learned in such a short period of time. According to science, remembering a child’s milestones is very important not only for the parents but also for the child. From a psychological standpoint, children feel more attached and secured when they grow up to hear and see their documented milestones. There are several ways to document such accomplishments such as scrapbooking, taking notes and making electronic collages.

Step 2: What Worked and What Didn’t?

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Take a step back and go over the wins and losses. Analyze what you want to continue out and what you will need to let go of. Once you come up with your plan, keep at it for three months. This will help you and your child tremendously as each child is different and there is no one size fits all manual to parenting. I teach Human Growth and Development at my local state college and one of the projects my students partake in is raising a human life from age 0 all the way to 18. They have to take care of this baby and document their growth (for a grade) every step of the way. Although it’s only digital, some student’s get so invested with their child that they refer to their project child as their actual child. They love discussing and sharing with their peers on ways that their parenting style worked and didn’t work. Hearing their plans aloud always gives them so much determination that they got the hang of it!

Step 3: Out with the Old in With the New

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One minute I’m hemming my daughter’s pajama pants because they are too long and she’s tripping over them and the next moment they look like high-waters on her. I don’t need to tell you babies grow at lightning speed, but holy moly do they grow fast!?

Because of this, it’s good to get into a routine of recycling out clothes each quarter. This will help keep the clothes that actually fit front and center so you don’t have to scrummage through outfits deciphering what fits and what doesn’t. It’s good to donate your child’s clothes to a good cause rather than store them for your next child. The fabric gets old, colors fade and by the time you have your next kid, you probably want to buy new anyways. I find it best to keep a few items for keepsakes, just a few for possible hand-me-downs, and the rest either get thrown out or go to donations. There are several places to donate gently used baby clothes such as Birth Line/Life Line, GoodWill, and even your local churches. I donated a bunch of Ariyah’s clothes recently to BirthLine Lifeline and they gave us a heartfelt letter thanking us and sharing statistics with how many teen-mothers come in and pick up the donations.

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When throwing a baby into the mix, I like to remind myself that everything will not always go according to plan. Be okay with going with the flow. Baby’s pretty much run the show. As long as you have a check and revamp system each quarter, all is well!

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How does using a quarterly system work for you in your life?