Playing in Fountains and Thoughts on Motherhood

Playing in Fountains and Thoughts on Motherhood

A few weeks ago, a friend and I decided to get together one morning and snap a few blog photos for each other. The plan was to stop at this cute little plaza not too far from my house and then take the kids to the library. Since the plan was mostly indoor-fun, I dressed my girls up in sweet matching outfits and their “good” mary jane sneakers (with ruffle socks, of course). I had 3 outfits to shoot, each taking about 5 minutes plus a few minutes in between to change. About 5 seconds two minutes in, my girls were playing in the fountain (that I didn’t know was there until we arrived). I shouted for them to not get wet, “Hands only, girls! Don’t get wet!” to which they agreed, “Yes, Mommy! Okay!” but then, of course, they got wet.

My oldest threw her sister’s “watch” (which is really a giant ring) rattle to the top of the fountain and then got her feet soaking wet trying to fetch it. I sighed a heavy sigh of frustration and took her socks off but made her keep her shoes on since I didn’t have any spares. By time we were done shooting, my girls were completely drenched. While I usually have a change of clothes for my toddler, I was unprepared for my four-year-old and had no towels to dry them off. There was now no library in our future which was okay since my friend had to leave anyway. Since they were gone and there was no hope in fulfilling the rest of the day’s plans I thought, “to heck with it” and decided to let them go all in. I could have been mad. I could have fussed at them. We could have gone straight home. But, against anything I would normally allow, I took their shoes off and let them loose. YOLO, right? I put my grossed-out feelings aside and enjoyed watching them have the time of their lives.

Carefree. Excited. Jubilant. I sat back and absorbed my girls making what will hopefully be long-lasting childhood memories. Sure, they were wet. Sure, they were in a fountain (I mean gross, right?). Sure, our plans were dashed. But in that moment, watching their bouncing ponytails as they frolicked about, I didn’t care. And I still don’t.

So what’s my point? My point is that 99% of the time, I’m a woman on a mission. I make a plan and I do everything I can to stick to it. While I can be really good at going with the flow sometimes, I don’t love surprises; I can get disappointed when things don’t happen the way I plan. But does anything happen the way you plan when you have kids? I’ve learned that inflexibility isn’t conducive to motherhood.

I started thinking about who I am as a mom. I’m far from perfect. I lose my temper (a lot). I’m totally not the fun mom. But I was that day. And while I had to strip them down in the parking lot and dry them off with an old burp cloth to drive them home (thank goodness for dry diapers and back-up panties in the diaper bag) and then give them an unscheduled bath immediately upon arrival, we had a great, memorable day.

See, I’m still learning when to stick to my guns and when to just roll with it; there’s a time and a place for both. I’m still figuring out how to walk the line of teaching my girls how to act while not stifling their spirits and imaginations. But you know what? My kids really are having a great childhood, despite my many flaws as their mom. They’re happy, thriving little girls. I have a big job as their mom; I’m the #1 the female role model in their life. What will they learn from me? Will I teach them to be short-fused and uptight? Or will they learn to work hard and play harder (my mantra for life)? There are so many things I want my girls to glean from me. Making the most of every situation and seizing the day are a couple of those things. I need to get better at the latter if I’m going to be the example I want to be; I started with a fountain.

I was the mom who let her daughters play barefoot in a fountain. I never thought I would be. And I’m okay with it. Because their memories (and mine) will be worth it.

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33 Comments

    • Shannnon
      May 22, 2017 / 9:49 pm

      Thank you, Jenna! Sometimes we just gotta let kids be kids!

  1. May 19, 2017 / 11:53 pm

    It’s also hard for me to be spur of the moment. You’re right though, that it’s important to be a great role model as a mom and I don’t want my kids to be stressed out and not able to have fun.

    • Shannnon
      May 20, 2017 / 12:02 am

      Thanks so much for reading! Our kids are great teachers, aren’t they?

  2. May 19, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    This is so great Shannon. I’m very similar to you, I don’t think I ever let my kids play barefoot around the fountains for fear of slipping or hurting their feet. I’m not the “fun” mom, the hey dont do this dont do that mom. Thanks for this kind reminder. I’m going to try to let my son play barefoot around the fountains one day. 😉

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      I never even considered that they would slip! I did make sure I investigated the ground and the inside of the fountain to make sure there was nothing that would hurt them. I’m definitely the “hey stop that” mom but I’m working on it. Thanks for reading!

  3. May 19, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    I love this! I am so similar in liking to have a plan and sticking to it. And I especially hate wet clothes… lol. But last summer, we were at the park and it was so, SO hot. Blaire was playing in a little fountain and I finally just let her jump all in to it. We didn’t have spare clothes either, so she just road home in a dry diaper. It was something so out of the norm, but she loved it so much! I don’t think I’ll ever forget how much fun she had!

    I’ll have to see if I can find the picture on Instagram… I’ll tag you if I do.

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      Please do! The day you described sounds just like ours and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it either! I’m so glad I had my camera with me to take pictures. Thanks for reading, friend!

  4. May 19, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    I loved the desig of his blog – seems so organized.

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 10:09 pm

      Aw thank you so much!

  5. May 18, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    This is so sweet. As moms we definitely need to choose our battles. I’m a planner, and always the woman on a mission, just like you but I try to remind myself too slow down and take time to just play with kids.

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 10:10 pm

      It can be so hard to do when there’s always so much to do! But we’re all just doing the best we can!

  6. May 18, 2017 / 7:25 pm

    I can relate to this so much! My daughter is 9 months and is already so strong willed. I can’t imagine what life will be like when she’s a little older! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      The strong willed ones are tough but so fun! Both of my girls are and I just know they’re going to be world changers one day.

  7. May 18, 2017 / 4:49 pm

    I have been having more of these moments where I have ideas for Declan but he certainly has his own!! Ha. Cutest little ladies and I love the pictures.

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 10:12 pm

      Aw thank you! We just have to roll with it sometimes!

  8. May 18, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    YOLO! I love this and what a beautiful post this turned out to be! Honestly that fountain was probably cleaner than most things so I wouldn’t worry to much and you are totally a fun mom!

    • Shannnon
      May 19, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      Hahaha! Yeah, I could smell a little chlorine so I didn’t feel *too* bad about it. Thanks, girl!

  9. Lili
    May 18, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    Hi Shannon! I’ve been following little bit at the time,(with all the craziness of the moving to PA…I’ll catch up on it with you later) but for this one I HAD to comment.
    This is soooo me. I go through periods. Sometimes (mostly) I am enjoying them, trying to follow it, or just ignoring it to not make me loose my patience. But other times I am just blowing off about every single little thing that I am not able to control, or that they just don’t follow after all the preparation or just when you’re trying to stick to the plan. So yes, I am not the fun mom either (my husband calls me the fun police, because I always ruin fun because I am too worry of things 😕).
    Anyways I’m glad you put your thoughts apart for ONE moment. I am sure will be a GREAT one moment. Thanks for sharing these stories always, and don’t makes us feel terrible lol.

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment despite your craziness! We’re all just doing our best while learning and growing, right? Thanks, lady’

      • Lili
        May 18, 2017 / 8:36 pm

        Yessss…and you are doing GREAT!!!

  10. May 18, 2017 / 10:39 am

    This is a great reminder to be inspired by how carefree and happy our children are!

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 10:45 am

      Thank you! We can learn a lot from them!

  11. xokerry
    May 18, 2017 / 10:19 am

    I love this! They are only kids once and we have to remember that. Where did you find those pink Mary Janes? So cute!

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 10:31 am

      It can be so hard to remember, right?! The little one is wearing OshKosh kicks and the big one had on super cute sparkly ones from Carter’s.

  12. May 18, 2017 / 6:52 am

    I can really relate to this. I like to keep things a certain way…have that plan and control and it can be so hard to let go. But my girls are constantly teaching me and showing me that’s it’s ok to go off schedule and get your feet wet sometimes. I want to enjoy more moments like this.

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Get your feet wet. I see what you did there! Hahaha!

      But really, our kids are our best teachers, aren’t they?

  13. May 18, 2017 / 6:29 am

    You rocked this moment! I have the same struggles of overreacting and just letting their spirits soar. YOLO!

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 9:46 am

      YOLO for life! Thanks so much, my friend! We’ve got this.

  14. May 18, 2017 / 5:54 am

    💜💜 Sometimes I am so caught up in the “schedule” that I forget to slow down and enjoy the spontaneous moments. I always regret it later but I am working on it. Our kids are little for such a short time, I am trying to enjoy every moment because one day I will blink and they will be grown.

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Exactly! We can do it, girl! Thanks so much for reading!

  15. May 18, 2017 / 2:57 am

    I love this. This is one of my struggles, too. I can be a bit too inflexible, but moments like this one with your kids are the moments our children will remember.

    • Shannnon
      May 18, 2017 / 9:45 am

      They really are! And we only get so many of them before our babies are grown and gone. Cheers to just going with it!

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