“Sometimes I think I need you more than you need me baby boy.”
Have you ever been in awe of your child? Like mouth open, soul humbling awe. The type of feeling where you are forced to check yourself and throw away most of what you thought your life as a parent would be. Just me? Cool, I’ll take this one for the team. (Even though I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.)
Sometimes our babies have moments when they seem wise beyond their years, throwing us off with something they’ve said or done. Other times it’s our daily interactions with our children that force us to be introspective and look at our shortcomings as we navigate how to teach our little ones to be functioning members of society. No matter how the lessons come, parenthood teaches us so much and we’re better for it. Here’s some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.
Lesson 1: “I Need To Work On My Patience.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was every parent’s lesson at some point or another. Let’s face it, your children can and will wreck your nerves. Between tantrums, constant requests, and endless energy it’s enough to drive anyone insane. But how hilarious is it that for all the years we’ve been on this earth we find it hard to hold back our frustrations when dealing with our little ones but we expect some sort of self restraint from them? Sounds insane to expect so much from my son who’s only had 3 short years to sort him self out when even I am still practicing self restraint at 28.
Lesson 2: Going With The Flow
I’d like to think of myself as someone who is laid back for the most, especially when it comes to my friendships. I’m a very low maintenance friend who makes very little fuss about much of anything and maybe that stems from my desire to be as little of a burden to people as possible. But when it comes to my personal life goals and ambitions I am so rigid it is unbelievable. I have To-do lists a mile long and both 5 and 10 year plans mapped out.
However my kids have knocked all of that on its head. No two days look alike and I’ve learned to accept that. I’m accepting that somethings are out of my control and that’s alright and it’s not the end of the world when I’m not as productive in the conventional way I think I should be.
Lesson 3: There Is So Much Beauty In The Little Things
There is nothing like watching a child get excited about the things that we so often take for granted. For example, my son will explode with excitement over seeing the rainbows that sometime form on the floor when the sun hits the window just right. My daughter will smile from ear to ear and dance her heart out to her favorite song. Both of my children will laugh uncontrollably at one another and I’m not always let in on the joke but before I know it I’m laughing too.
My point is my kids are just happy about life. They still see the beauty in the little things that we’ve grown to take for granted. And granted, they don’t have responsibilities yet but they constantly remind me that although there will be bad days its still a good life.
Lesson 4: Our Parents Deserve Forgiveness
Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs on the planet! Everyday I stumble and require grace for the shortcomings in my parenting. Some days I feel like I’ve yelled too much. Other days I feel like I haven’t provided enough guidance. It’s a never ending cycle of me wondering if I’m doing the best job I can do as a mom to my babies.
This time as a parent makes me reflect on my childhood almost daily and with that I’m faced with the reality that although my family wasn’t perfect they loved me and should be afforded the same grace that I now seek out as a mom. (Trigger Warning) I understand that sometimes in our childhood we’ve endured some traumatizing experiences such as sexual assault or physical and extreme psychological abuse and in those cases I definitely don’t believe forgiveness for a parent or guardian should be as simple as affording them grace. Your anger and hurt is valid!
But for example, in my childhood there were times where I had animosity toward my mother for not being present in my life. She suffered from a very serious drug addiction for the better part of her life but still fought like hell to be present as possible in my life despite dealing with her own demons. As a mom now I am so humbled to see how hard motherhood is and have experienced so many days where I’ve wanted to run away from the responsibility that is raising a life. To know my mother experienced these same feelings all while battling addiction and still made the effort to parent me the best way she could (even if that meant relinquishing the majority of that control to my grandparents) makes me love and respect her on a whole other level.
Lesson 5: Be Yourself Unapologetically
One of the things that I love about children is how honest and free they are. They say how they honestly feel, dance when they want to dance, sing when the feeling overtakes them. They are themselves through and through and I think that we all could learn from that. Their identity isn’t based on how the world sees them and it’s beautiful to watch a human being be themselves unapologetically. I know as an adult we can’t just act on emotion the way our babies do and we teach them how to navigate life and provide the appropriate response to certain things. But my kids have taught me that I am perfectly made in all my imperfections. The same we love on our babies unconditionally for all their quirks and beautiful facets of who they are, we should love on ourselves. ♥️