New Experiences to Have With your Toddler

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Normally, I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions. But I do want to set a challenge for myself this year, and maybe you do too. My working mom’s New Year’s resolution (aka my New Year’s challenge to myself) is to introduce my son to one new experience every month. As a working mom I especially struggle with feeling like I don’t get to be a part of so many of his firsts; I get approximately 3 hours a day with him during the week days and often much of that time is spent preparing. Preparing for the day, for dinner, or for bedtime. Meanwhile, as much as I love the daycare provider we chose for our son one of the biggest “cons” for me in his attending daycare is that I do, and will, inevitably miss out on some of his “firsts.” So this year, my goal is to share a new experience with my toddler every month

Go Hiking

My husband and I love to go hiking with our dogs, but we haven’t gone since our son was born. We talked about it a lot last year, but with his sleep and nursing schedule during prime hiking time in our area – it just never panned out. Now that he has stopped breastfeeding and is in the process of dropping one of his naps, getting out on the hiking trails will (hopefully) be a lot easier come springtime.

We’re fortunate enough to live a short drive from some beautiful trails and since our son loves the outdoors, I think this will be a really fun new experience to share with my toddler . Not to mention, it will make for some very happy puppies! It’s certainly on this working mom’s New Year’s resolutions list this year, and probably on our dogs’ list too!

Introduce a New Food

My husband and I love to try new foods. And we usually try to involve our son when we can. Its one of my favorite new experiences to share with my toddler. He’s got a pretty broad and willing palate (fingers crossed it stays that way), so if your child is just beginning to explore foods – this may be an easy one for you to check off your list!

Ride on a Plane

This is one that I’ve got my fingers crossed that we’ll be ambitious enough to try this year, but I’m not going to hold myself to it. Hubbaloo and I recently went on our first trip away from our son and we had a great time, but we missed him terribly. And that trip was only 3 days. With our fifth anniversary coming up we’ve always talked about going on a special trip, but in all likelihood we’ll probably bring Little Man along with us. And anywhere we go will likely be a flight away.

Here’s hoping a plane ride ends up being a fun new experience for my toddler and all of us, and not enormously chaotic. Either way, its definitely an option as one of my new experiences to share with my toddler this year!

Attend a Sporting Event

My husband loves sports – basketball, football, baseball, you name it. He loves to watch sports. And he loves to play sports. Heck, for Christmas we exchanged very few gifts, but the one thing he insisted on gifting our son was a Fisher Price basketball hoop. His face beamed when our son immediately started “dunking” (if you can call it that…).

Thankfully we have a lot of options not far from our home to see sporting events – both pro and not. Since our son’s attention span isn’t exactly very focused, we probably won’t bother with a pro sporting event, but a minor league or high school sporting event is definitely on the table! And since he loves balls, people, and being like daddy – it will be a new experience my toddler will probably love (at least for a little while)!

Ride on a Train

Ok – so a metro may not technically qualify as a train to some, but I’m going to count it. We live in the DMV, so getting into Washington DC is usually easiest via metro. Our little guy has been to DC only once, and we drove there since the location we were headed wasn’t a bad drive. This year, however, one of my working mom’s New Year’s resolutions is to take him on a metro or train. I think it would be so much fun to watch him experience the ride.

Visit a New State

One of the things my husband and I are really excited for in the upcoming year is a group vacation with one of my husband’s best friend and his family. They live several states away and have a son close in age to our own. We love all three of them so much and it has, unfortunately, been far too long since we’ve seen them. This year, we plan on meeting somewhere close to/in between us. Wherever we go – it will be somewhere our son has never been!

Visit a Mountain

I’m totally a beach bum, so our son has been to the beach several times in his 16 months of life. Normally, my idea of a fun vacation must include a couple of things: warm weather, salt water, and sand. A mountain, however, will give our little outdoorsman a lot to explore and some gorgeous views. Plus, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh mountain air?

Ride on a Boat

Our son loves watching cars and other things that move, so I’m pretty sure he would love to see boats bouncing around in the water. We were talking with some friends who all had children within several months of us about doing a mini vacation together and one of these friends mentioned a boat vacation rental he had been looking into. Since our son loves the water, I think he would love a chance to watch the water while riding in a boat! What a fun new experience for my toddler! Add to that the fact that I love the water (though I do get terribly motion sick) getting our son on a boat is definitely on this working mom’s New Year’s resolution list!

Try a Class

If I was made out of time and money, I would love to introduce my son to a million different things. One of the things we tried this past year was swim lessons and Little Man loved them so much! While I think we will likely try to do swim lessons again (because, like I said, he loved them), I think it would be wonderful to try a new class as well. As his interests are expanding, new experiences with my toddler could easily include thing like toddler gym classes and music classes; as these seem as though they would be particularly appealing to him.

I’d like to point out on thing, though: putting our kids into different classes shouldn’t be leverage against other parents. One of the most annoying things to happen when our son was in swim lessons was the comparison trap that other parents tried to create. Listing off the numerous things their babies/toddlers were involved in. Always with shocked questioning of other parents who didn’t have their children involved in a million different things. So yes, while I plan on introducing classes and experiences that my son will (hopefully) enjoy – these working mom’s New Year’s resolutions are for his enjoyment.

Plant a Garden, Tree, or Flowers

My husband loves to garden. My son loves the outdoors. And to make messes. I can’t wait to see how happy he is playing in the dirt and watching things grow in our back yard. I look forward to playing in the dirt with his dad and, whether or not he knows it, creating some of the food that we’ll put on our table! A fun new experience for my toddler, and delicious food for us all!

Get Professional Family Pictures

I’m not normally for one to have my picture taken. I wish I wasn’t so self-conscious, but I am. And especially caring extra weight since having our son, I’ve especially shied away from having my picture taken. This year, however, I’d like to change that. Because you know what? I want my son to have pictures of us – all of us. As a family. And I don’t want to keep him from having those pictures because I was too self-conscious to make that happen. So a challenge to myself as a mom is to have more family pictures taken. And one of my working mom’s New Year’s resolutions is to have some of those pictures be professional family photos.

Go Camping

I’m not a great outdoorsy person, but I do enjoy camping with my family. Bonfires, smelling the fresh air, waking up cozy with my husband and dogs in a tent. My hope, and this very well may be an overly optimistic working mom’s New Year’s resolution, is to share that experience with our son this year. He is such a good sleeper much of the time, but he doesn’t do well with co-sleeping. Instead, as soon as he gets in bed with us he seems to think its time to play! My hope is that he grows out of that a bit in the upcoming year (not the sleeping well part– just the inability to share a room), so that we can all cram together into a tent. I think he would love to explore the outdoors and find camping to be such a fun new experiences for my toddler!

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