As a parent, you spend a lot of your time trying to teach your child things, but if you stop to think about it, they are constantly teaching you as well. Recently, I’ve realized just how many great life lessons I’ve learned from my own little one. Click through to see what I’ve learned.
Find joy in the little things
It doesn’t take much to get a little one excited. Something as simple as rocking themselves in a rocking chair is cause for endless beaming and loads of giggles – finding joy in the little things is basically a child’s mantra. I’m learning to do the same – taking delight in my morning cup of coffee or a particularly lovely light streaming in through my bedroom window. It truly is the little things that make life magical.
Love with abandon
Babies don’t care who is watching or how silly they look doing it, but they love with abandon. Giving giant hugs and slobbery kisses is just a part of who my little Fern is and I love that she has no qualms about sharing her affections. It’s something I’m not very good at myself, but I am slowly learning from her.
Do it your own way
Sometimes I’ll try to impose my will on Fern (i.e. “Let’s go play in the grass!”), but she prefers to do things her own way (i.e. “No Mom, let’s walk on this cool path instead and pick up rocks.”) and I kind of love that about her. She knows what she wants and she goes for it – not in an obstinate or disobedient way, she just prefers to explore and enjoy life as it piques her interest. Sometimes we’ll be at a play date and all the other kids are playing with the same toys and Fern is off in the next room, reading books and doing her own thing. I love it.
You be you
Fern is teaching me that it’s OK to be an individual. We all have our own likes and dislikes and they don’t need to be just like everyone else’s. For example, my daughter loves hugging…EVERYTHING. Including the onion and garlic she’s cuddling in this photo. It’s weird, but she doesn’t care. She also got a doll house for Christmas and you know what her favorite part about it is? The little wooden toilet that came with it. She carries it around all the time. Weird, but I’m glad she is who she is unapologetically and I want to be more like that.
Learn from your mistakes
Everything in life is a learning experience for a little one and it’s been interesting to see our daughter make mistakes and then watch how she learns from them. She doesn’t get down on herself about it the way I often do as an adult. Mistakes are ok to make…it’s how we learn.
Never give up
Determination should be this kid’s middle name. When she decides to do something she does it, and it doesn’t matter how many bumps and bruises are involved. She never gives up and pushes through to achieve her goals, and even though her goals may be small (i.e. figuring out how to climb on her rocking horse), it’s a good lesson for me to learn as I set out to achieve my bigger goals.
There's always time for snuggling
Life is too short to simply rush through it. Even though I often have a to-do list that’s a mile long, Fern has instilled the importance of taking time to stop and snuggle. Some days I may be feeling totally stressed out and overwhelmed and simply stopping to snuggle with my baby for a few minutes is all I need to regroup.
Live in wonderment
Life is a treasure and the world is full of wonder…my 14-month-old taught me that. I love watching her as she experiences new things. The whole entire world is new and beautiful to her and it’s magic to watch. As adults we can easily become jaded, but I’m learning to live in wonderment more often as well.
It’s all about the journey, not the destination, when you have a little one. A short walk can take double the time when it’s done with Fern, since she prefers to check out every leaf, rock and stick, but it’s fun to take the time to notice the things around us and explore a little. A good reminder to slow down.