It’s 3 a.m. and you were barely asleep for an hour before you hear your baby cry again. Bleary-eyed you manage to wake up and walk in a zombie-like state to nurse your three-month-old for the fifth time that night. Somehow you still get up at 7 a.m. to get your four-year-old ready for preschool. Somehow you manage to put breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table every day. Somehow you take your kids to music class and plan a fun play date each week.
You run only on coffee and love, but that’s enough to keep you going.
Day after day you’re receiving the best life lessons out there with the chance to practice until you get it right.
Patience – It’s been months and you’ve spent hours coaxing your little one to take that tiny first step. You put toys just barely out of reach, hold their hand endlessly and buy walkers to make things a little easier. You wait and wait, until one day it happens. They take one step, then two, then tumble and get back up to try again. Your patience paid off. You’ll do this again for years with new milestones and achievements. Patiently waiting, loving and supporting.
Self-care – In an effort to raise a happy, healthy child you research the best toys, childcare, schools, food, activities and parenting methods until your eyes glaze over. You’ll realize though that the best thing you can do for your child is to be your best self. You’ll try and sometimes fail to take care of yourself. You’ll keep trying though to feel your best so you can give them your best too.
Grit – You’ll be challenged at every turn. First with breastfeeding, then with potty training, followed by meltdowns, tantrums and more. You’ll wonder if things will ever get easier and they will for a while until the next challenge comes along. There will be long days and even longer nights. Some days you’ll be at your wit’s end but you’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other day after day. You’ll learn and grow with each step.
Gratitude – You’ve spent the day cleaning up toys, cooking meals, calming meltdowns, comforting, reading and singing. You think you just can’t wash one more dish or pick up one more toy but then you check on your two-year-old fast asleep in her crib. You listen to her softly breathing, completely relaxed with the most precious face you’ve ever seen. You feel endlessly grateful and the worries and exhaustion from the day all melt away. Gratitude fills your being. You have the energy to do it all over again tomorrow.
Kaizen (continuous improvement) – Your five-year-old doesn’t like vegetables so you gave up serving them fresh. Instead, you sneak them inside smoothies, pizzas and sauces. You suppress a grin as he says, “More pasta, please Mom.” It’s his third serving. Each day you try different ways to help your little ones do things they don’t like doing, like brushing their teeth, getting dressed or eating their veggies. You think of ideas that would put MacGyver to shame.
Intuition – You’re bombarded with information telling you everything you should and shouldn’t do. Your own inner voice starts rising above the din when you become quiet enough to listen. The little voice gives you the gentle guidance you need and points you in the right direction when it comes to deciding what is best for your child.
Lucky for you, these skills are transferable. Maybe you’ll go for your dream job or move to a new city or try something completely out of your comfort zone. Even when the going gets tough, you’ll know you’re tougher. You’ll follow your passion and teach your kids they can live their dreams too.
The days will be long and sometimes hard but the lessons you receive will last a lifetime.
I’d love to know, what important life lesson has being a mom taught you?