The Lessons I Have Learned from My Kids
When I was pregnant with my first baby, I ran through a mental list of all the things I was going to teach him; how to tie his shoe, how to read and how to ride a bike were just a few. It never dawned on me that the lessons were going to run both ways. In the years since I anxiously awaited the arrival of my first baby I have learned so much. Never in a million years did I think my children were going to teach me so much about myself, about who I want to be and about what life is all about. Some of the most important lessons I have learned have come from my kids.
Be nice: It’s not something I’m proud of. It tends to happen as a method of self-protection; when I feel hurt or wronged in some manner. I lash out and sometime the things that I hear come out of my mouth are just plain mean. There was the time I said one of these mean things to Mr. C and my youngest turned to me and said, “Mummy that’s not nice.” She was right. I looked at her face and saw the shock in her eyes that I would say something so mean and I realized that this was not the person I wanted to be nor is it that who I want to model for my children. I crouched down so that our eyes met and said. “Ms. J, you are right, that was not nice of me and that was very brave of you to say so,” but not before apologizing to Mr. C. Now I sit back and think before I open my mouth. I ask myself I would be ok with my kids saying what I’m about to say. If the answer is no then I don’t say it. Being nice changes how you see the world. Being nice should be the way everyone should live their lives.
Let it go: It feels like my whole life is planned out down to the very minute. I used to look at my mistakes as my failure. Since I became a mother life I have learned that things don’t always go as planned. I’ve learned how to get myself back on track when my plans fall apart and pick myself up after I’ve taken a fall. I’ve learned how to manage my feelings when people let me down. I’m going to make mistakes in life and it’s not the end of the world. When my first was born I realized how much power I was giving to the negative thoughts that would run through my mind. Life doesn’t always follow the mapped out path yet we still reach our destination. Not everyone is going to be happy with each decision I make and that’s ok. In the words on Queen Elsa I have learned to just “Let it Go, let it go”. I stopped stressing about what wasn’t to be and focused on the amazing things that came out of the change of plans. I embraced sharing my life with those who were willing to share their life with me. I don’t want to be the person who lives with regret. I learn from my mistakes and I just let it go. I don’t allow these things to define me, these are the lessons I am meant to learn in life. Though my life is so much busier than it was before I became a mother, it is far less stressful now that I let these burdens go.
Live in the moment: My mind has always been a step ahead. I have never been a stop a smell the roses kind of girl. I’m thinking of the next task on my To Do list before I have completed the first. When my baby was first placed in my arms I wanted to freeze time. I wanted to stay in that one moment forever. I had never been happier. My To Do list seems to grow a little longer every day, what grounds me is my family. When life seems to be spinning out of control a simple hug from my daughter has the ability to slow it all down. My kids have taught me to stop and really see things; when they are amazed by a spider crawling up a wall and want to show me I take the time to look. When they are telling me the same story for the hundredth time I stop and listen. When they want another hug before bed I try and give it to them (sleep stalling tactics aside). I look to them to remind me to slow down and they seem to remind me every day. I was missing out on so many beautiful aspects of life, when I focus on the right now I get to take it all in.
The small things are actually the big things: Vacations, big birthday parties and holiday meals are amazing. They bring me so much joy and help us build our family memories but those times don’t hold the true magic of life. The true magic can be found in the quiet, peaceful moments. It’s in the under the cover snuggles while reading bedtime stories. It’s in the dinner time conversation that results in those big belly laughs that make our soul smile. It’s in the summer time bike rides and the middle of winter afternoon ice skates. That’s where you find the beauty, hidden amongst the most mundane of our everyday lives. These are the moments that I hope linger in my kid’s memories. These are the moments I hope they use as a foundation for their own family one day. These tiny everyday little moments are truly what matter. Since becoming a mother I’ve realized that I can spend a huge amount of energy planning big lavish and expensive events and they will just become lost in the chaos. But these beautiful little moments in real life, these moments will last forever.
I thought I had it all figured out. Then I became a mother and realized I have no idea at all. Life really is about the journey and not the destination and we are all just learning along the way. I am lucky enough to have three of the best travel partners with me as I go. I will try my best to impart some of the lessons that I have learned in life on my children. But I now know that they will actually teach me so much more. My life and who I am has been changed forever and I am so grateful that I am lucky enough to have someone call me Mum.