Everyday my children inspire me to be better. They embody many characteristics that I want to have. Some of them are characteristics that seem to have waned in my journey through adulthood. Others not second nature for me but definitely worthy of the effort it will take to make them become just that.
My reality is such that two of the people I desire to be the most like aren’t even grown up yet. And while I realize that many of the qualities they possess are a testament to my mothering, I also realize that they are still their own unique people. They are a blend of various qualities, some that were learned and others that were, and are, innate. These are characteristics that in all actuality were a part of who they were long before we were afforded the opportunity to get to know each other better outside of the womb.
With my 30s came the realization that life isn’t necessarily going to get easier. No matter how old I get I will be presented with challenges. But with that comes the opportunity for me to continue to strive to grow as a person. In my maturing (not simply done by getting older but by living and experiencing life and its ups and downs) I’m understanding that the way in which I look at life and the manner in which I travel through it can directly impact my ability to weather life’s storms. As I grow I’d like to think I’m learning how to better navigate those trials or at least take comfort in the fact that they can be overcome. I’ve also learned not to be so focused on teaching my children that I miss out on the lessons that they are teaching me.
Here are just 12 of the ways I want to be more like my baby:
1. Be more easygoing – My littlest love has an ability to recover from life’s challenges rather quickly. If her sippy cup runs out of milk just as it was starting to get really good or the dog runs away with her string cheese, after releasing some tears generally within a few minutes she’s good. The same goes with telling her “no.” She’s not going to hold the fact that you wouldn’t let her dump all the cheerios onto the floor against you.
2. Be more brave – Little ones are so brave. I often watch my baby as she takes off running. She just runs. She doesn’t look where she’s going; she just runs free almost as if she trusts that things will be ok. Of course there are moments when she is more cautious but even so, I love that fearless nature so many of our babies possess.
3. Have an ability to seek comfort from loved ones without hesitation – When Lola falls or is feeling sad she doesn’t sit there and convince herself that she has to be strong. She doesn’t worry about bothering loved ones with her troubles. She goes directly to those who she knows will comfort her. I often struggle with not wanting to burden loved ones with my issues. And I battle with wanting to be strong. I should be able to handle this (on my own), I tell myself. But it’s completely ok to call my mom and talk to her about a tough moment in the land of motherhood or to call my husband when I’m struggling to digest some rather disappointing news.
4. Find joy in the small things – An empty box, a fallen leaf or sticker. Little ones find magic in the little things. The really little things. It reminds me to keep my eyes open to the possibility of stumbling upon a catalyst for joy. You never know what things can result in a special memory or a moment of calm.
5. Hold on to my sense of humor – My baby girl has quite the sense of humor. She loves being silly and having fun. Life can cause you to become rather serious if you allow it to. She reminds me to make more time for laughter.
6. Have more confidence – I love the emergence of confidence at this stage in development. She believes she can do something and she does it. It doesn’t matter how perfectly the task is executed all that matters is that she tries.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – How many of us grownups hesitate to ask for help because we don’t want to seem like we can’t handle the situation? But our littles will only try so long before they make the decision to seek help.
8. Don’t afraid to feel – Sometimes I find myself afraid of the various emotions that come with life. There are instances where I find myself fearing disappointment or anger or sadness. But these emotions are a part of living. And if anything they make me more humble and remind me to appreciate the good things. My baby isn’t afraid to feel. She shows her emotions and she allows herself to experience them. If she needs to cry she cries. And when she is done she moves onward.
9. Don’t be so worried about what people think – I’ve improved substantially in this area, but still, sometimes, I find myself worrying about what people think. Babies; however, don’t. They cry, poop, scream and giggle, seemingly dive face first into their ice cream cones and do whatever it is their heart desires. Sure they may get a little bashful if you’re staring but they do what they have to do.
10. Be more creative – These days everything has the ability to become a phone. A blanket can be a dress, a house or a sled. The imagination hath no limits. There are days when I long to have the imagination I had as a child. Yet, I am grateful for the chance to experience the magic of childhood again thanks to my children.
11. Being able to slow down and rest – Ah to sleep like a baby. My mind is often filled with a million thoughts. I am often so busy thinking about what is next and/or what I need to do, that I find it difficult to slow down. I want to get better at resting so I can wake up recharged, refreshed and able to make the most of the day that lies ahead.
12. Say “no” more often – Why do we adults struggle with saying no? Babies on the other hand, do it with such ease :)
Are there any ways that you desire to be more like your baby?