When I was a mom of two preschoolers, I remember feeling an extreme pressure to ‘create traditions’ for my family. It seemed everywhere I turned, I felt bombarded with supermoms who had a 100 family traditions for each season of the year.
I can remember scouring the internet in an attempt to not fail my children and have them reach the age of 18 and not have any ‘seasonal family traditions’ that mark their childhood memories.
It seems that most of my attempts to create family traditions ended in me being seriously disappointed. Often I would find myself stressed out trying to ‘create’ a beautiful moment for my children to remember, and it would end with me being disappointed and the kids being uninterested.
I wish that someone had been there five years ago to tell me… “Relax momma. It happens naturally. The traditions just evolve over time as you live life together as a family. Trust the promise of Proverbs 3:5-6, ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.'”
Now with a nine year old and a soon to be eight year old, I realize that the family traditions that my kids enjoy the most did not start out as something that I claimed as a ‘family tradition’ the first time they occurred.
This revelation has helped me take pressure off of myself as a mom. No longer do I try to be the ‘supermoms’ that I see in magazines or read about on blogs. I am not like any other mom in the world. My family is uniquely my family.
Most of what I would call our ‘family traditions’ simply started from our doing something together naturally as a family and then realizing in that moment that we all LOVED it and looked forward to doing it again.
- Eating hot dogs every Friday night. Who knew kids could be so easy to please.
- Spending an entire day watching Star Wars or Narnia movies together. I must admit that I am not a fan of these days…but if sitting on the couch all day makes me a supermom…I can do it.
- Laying in the bed together reading books on a summer afternoon. Our summer book-a-thons will likely not last many more years, but I savor each afternoon that the kids hop in bed with me and they let me read to them out of a picture book.
- Surprise impromptu pajama rides in the car drinking hot cocoa and looking at lights in our Holiday Specs (if you do not own these…you need to go order some immediately…seriously…for a few bucks you will be crowned Mom of the Year this Christmas)
- Secretly planning our Halloween costumes together as a family. Well…one particular family member can’t do secrets…but we at least it is fun trying to keep it secret.
The first year we dressed up together, I really thought that it was a one-time thing. Then the next year rolled around and when the costumes rolled out in Target the kids began asking “What are we going to dress up as this year?”
Having the classic family costumes of Scooby-Doo and Star Wars behind us, I just knew that there would not be a third year of dressing up together. I assumed that the kids had outgrown wanting mom and dad to dress up with them.
Rule Number 1012 in parenting. Let your kids be kids as long as you can and don’t miss an opportunity to be a kid with them.
Year three proved to be the most fun and creative year of all in our dressing up together as a family. Hours of planning and creating all paid off as we once again experienced the joy of a fun ‘accidental’ family tradition.
What started off with Caleb saying “I want to be Captain America,” turned into a mission to convince him that he wouldn’t want to be one of the million Captain Americas walking around the streets of Tulsa on October 31st.
Then we stumbled across pictures of Lego Minifigure Costumes and he was torn between the two. Then came the ‘AhHa” moment of combining the two. The rest of the costumes evolved from there.
So many people have asked us, “How did you make those?”
I wish I had taken more pictures to document the evolution of the costumes…I have a few. We followed a few different instructions we found online and adjusted them and added our own ideas.
We hope that these pictures will inspire you to start your own family traditions…no pressure though. Really.