As a mom, I’m constantly trying to teach my kids. Whether I’m trying to teach them colors and letters, or how to be respectful of others, or to use their manners when they speak, it seems I’m always instructing them on how to do something in life. However, there are quite a few things my children have taught me as I’ve been raising them.
1. I’ve learned to be more adaptable. My boys can sleep pretty much anywhere. On a couch, in a bed, in a car seat, and even on the floor. As long as they have the comfort of someone they love nearby, they are able to rest. And I want be that free. To be able to calm down and rest a little when I know I need it.
2. I’ve learned to rejoice in hard times. When my husband Chris passed away in 2015, my boys were 3 and 1. When we told them their daddy went to Heaven, they smiled and started clapping, rejoicing that their Daddy got to hang out with Jesus now every day. Yes, they miss him, but they were able to think positive in such a difficult time because of the simplicity and honesty of their hearts as young children.
3. I’ve learned that there is nothing better than quality time. Because I’m a blogger, I can pretty much work from anywhere, so I’m usually typing on my phone as I’m living the mom life. Often times, my boys are vying for my attention if I’m on the computer or phone for too long, and I’ve learned that if I’ll take a 15-minute break and give my children my undivided attention, they are much less likely to try to interrupt me while I’m working. A lot of times, they just need you to solely focus on them for a bit.
4. I’ve learned that structure is best. My boys always do better throughout the day when they’ve had a structured schedule the day and night before. I know on summer break and vacations this can be more of a task but I want to challenge you to continue to have a structured daily schedule with your toddler, especially at nighttime. It will even help your vacations to go smoother.
5. I’ve learned that the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is the love a child has for his or her parent. Children love with such an innocence. There is nothing else like it in the world. And they have that love the second they are born. From the moment they hear your voice outside of the womb — and it immediately calms them. What an incredible feeling.
6. I also learned that the female body is INCREDIBLE! To think that I was able to grow a tiny baby inside of me, to birth it, and then to feed it! All with my own body! It completely amazes me that I was knit together in my own mother’s womb so that I would have the ability to do this too.
7. I’ve learned that you can never be too prepared. My friends joke that I always have random-yet-needed items. For instance, I don’t have daughters, but the other day my friend’s little girl’s hair tie broke while she was braiding her hair and I just happened to have some of those tiny rubber bands in my makeup bag. Mom life to the rescue! I always have a first-aid kit in my car with things like hydrocortisone cream, baby Tylenol, and Band-Aids. Preparation is key when it comes to being a good parent.
8. I’ve learned to stop and smell the roses. Literally. Any time we pass by flowers while out on a walk, my boys want to smell them. Sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of our day that we forget to enjoy the little things. And my kids are a constant reminder to see the small details and enjoy them.
So you see, parenting isn’t just about teaching your children. We can certainly learn a thing or two from our babies, as they grow and develop into toddlers and young children. Be open to their wisdom and example. You’d be surprised what all you can learn.