To nurture is to “care for and encourage the growth or development of.” One of our sacred responsibilities as moms is to nurture our children in every possible way , and I think that, though we are not great at recognizing it just yet, every mom does her personal best to care for and encourage her child’s growth and development.
There is only one right to be a mom and that is your way. I am convinced that that which we call mistakes and those regrets we won’t forgive ourselves for are just as valuable as those things you are secretly proud of.
Now that I am mothering a toddler after raising teenagers, I see that most of what we beat ourselves up as moms comes from comparison and competition, not really from a place of fact or truth. It’s easy to mom-judge and say “if that were my child, here’s what I’d do,” but maybe there’s a reason that’s not her child in the first place, huh? These topics make my Latina mom sass come out and play!
Every child is so different that sometimes it’s mind-blowing to even try to understand it. And then they change so much over the years. Elisha and Elyssa couldn’t be more opposite from each other, and though sometimes I think with Eliana I’m raising Elisha again, Eliana proves over and over that she’s come in her own flavor.
Giving Elisha a bath was like going to war and I have some scars to prove it. Eliana, however, loves bath time. Most toddlers are done after 10 to 15 minutes, but Eliana doesn’t agree to come out until she’s “wrinkly.” She loves the undivided attention and even when I’m tempted to rush through it, she reminds me to relax and enjoy the moment.
Eliana is my most demanding child and that’s not exclusive to bath time. The water cannot be “too cold” or “too warm” – it must be “just right!” You’d think by know I’d have it down, but nope!, not even once!
Eliana loves “washing herself” and I let her because she is learning to practice self-care and appreciation for her body parts.
Eliana’s main love language is Physical Touch, so she loves when I lather, dry, and massage her body with the Baby Dove wash and lotion. I’ve learned to give in to her pleas to let her massage me back and I’ve discovered just how and nurturing she is, as well. She loves to be like mom so much that she’ll tell you she loves tweeting, helping me write blog posts, cooking, and cleaning. It’s so sweet (until we get into it because I explain to her that she needs to turn 15 to wear makeup), and she even says all the time she wants to be “a responsible mom” like me – and she knows what it means.
And though she is not a tub-resistant toddler, she won’t play with toys and she wants my undivided attention! Our bath time routines includes many giggles, made-up songs, silly dances, pretend games, learning math and Spanish, playing with Baby Dove bubbles, and positive affirmations.
Splashing is also a main activity during bath time. I used to worry so much about cleaning up and getting things wet, but now I just prepare for it and let it go. I don’t know if it’s because I think Eliana could very well be last child that I don’t rush or sweat the small stuff that much anymore, or maybe because I’ve forsaken perfection and being a slave of organization and pre-set schedules.
Eliana’s bath time has become a fun and relaxing time for both of us, so different from the stressful nightmare it used to be back in the day. And whether your toddler loves or dreads bath time, I recommend you run the water and set everything up for her bath with the door closed because they will scream because they are too anxious or too excited!
Elisha and Elyssa have become fond of helping with Eliana’s bathtime, while dad helps out with Baby Dove lotion time. He loves massages, too, so they are a match made in Heaven. I was a single mom since Elisha and Elyssa were 1 and 2 years old, so it’s really sweet to see the bond between Eliana and her dad and to see how much he loves playing with her and being a part of her nurturing routine. Baby Dove lotion leaves her skin so soft and the smell is amazing!
Your toddler may love floating toys like rubber duckies, washcloth puppets, or tub decals, maybe you’re a tech mom who lets him watch videos on a tablet, or maybe you’re all about the let’s-use-whatever-we-grab mom and your bathtub is filled with measuring cups and containers of all sizes, what matters how you nurture your child, washing her with Baby Dove from the top down, teaching her how to care for herself, teaching her to love her body, and using only products that will be as gentle on her as you are.
I believe that only you can nurture your child in every way. You are your child’s mother on purpose and I can dare say that your strengths greatly outweigh whatever shortcomings you feel like a failure for. No mother is perfect (and no mother should want to be) and there are no supermoms. As you follow your intuition and equip yourself for the journey, you’ll understand that your way is the only right way to be a mom, at bath time, and all times.
I’ve shared time and time again how I use Dove products for myself, and I love them, and now I’m so excited that my little can have her own!
How do you nurture your child in every way? Share your way in the comments below!