“Children learn to smile from their parents.” Shinichi Suzuki
I am a mum of two children, I have a son who is 7 and a daughter who is 5. I started writing this post with the intention to share all of the wonderful things that happen when you become a parent and although there are SO many amazing things that do happen I wouldn’t feel 100% authentic not talking about some of the struggles with some lighthearted humour.
So here is a list of the first 30 things that came to my mind about my experience with parenting so far.
I hope you enjoy and let me know if you can relate to any 😊
“Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do.” – Jean de la Bruyere
If there is one thing I have always been certain about in life, it is that I wanted to be a mum. It may have happened a lot sooner than I had planned but it was meant to be and has been an incredible journey so far. I love listening to the things my children have to say, the way they see the world is so simplistic and not yet tainted by ego or judgements. I still have a lot to learn but so far these are the five lessons that I value the most.
- The beauty in the small things – Our son notices the tiny details of everything he sees. His inquisitive nature means slowing down at any construction site we go past as he is in awe with how things work. Our daughter is very similar but she will hear the birds singing before anyone else and she will ALWAYS stop to smell the flowers. It’s so sad how blind we become to the environment around us as an adult and it results in us missing the small yet most beautiful things.
- To slow down – As an adult we get stuck in the rut of rushing to get things done, even something as simple as reading a book is a whole different experience with children. When I read a book with my children they will ask questions after every sentence, they’ll analyse the pictures to help make sense of the words and once its finished its almost a guarantee they’ll want to read it again. These are the best times to practice being present and treasure it while you can.
- Experiences have more value than things – Whether it’s as big as going on a holiday or a little as going on a bike ride its guaranteed that you’ll hear children talking more about the things they have done rather than the things they have been given, a valuable lessons for the whole family.
- The power of laughter – There is something about hearing a child laugh that brings so much joy to our lives. The best thing about this, is that it doesn’t take much to make you laugh even if it is just pulling a silly face or hearing a lame joke. If us adults had more of a light-hearted attitude to everyday things maybe we could learn to still smile even when things aren’t perfect.
- To be a better person – Before children you live your life how you want with little thought to anyone else. Then when you have children you have these little people who idolise you and copy everything you do. This in itself has taught me SO much, I know that if I expect my children to make good choices that I need to make them too. I want to be a good example to my children so that they have a positive impact in our forever changing world.
They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel. – Carl W. Buehner
Tomorrow my youngest will be starting school and just like many other parents I’ve got a whole lot of mixed emotions going on. I often hear of people struggle with the loneliness of their youngest child growing up and of course that’s a huge part of what I’m feeling today but the feeling that has been overwhelming me the most is guilt.
Whenever your child reaches any milestone you tend to reminisce about all the memories you have of them before they got to where they are today and of course the usual question of “where did the time go?” always comes up. Now when I did this with my son 3 years ago on his first day of school I would always reassure myself that although one baby had grown up I still had my little girl who was still dependant on me and wasn’t going to school anytime soon. I remember thinking that I would try to make the most of every second of her being so little so when this day came along I would be ready for it. Well I was wrong, and I let my work consume me which didn’t leave a lot of time for me to absorb those precious years before big school and that’s time I can never get back. I think this is why I’m consumed with guilt on top of all the other emotions I had when my son started school and it’s hard to move past.
Lucky for me I have one of the best friends you could possibly ask for and a while ago now she shared with me some advice her mum gave her and its always stuck with me. Her mum said that the most important years to be there for your children are the tween/teen years as this is when they really start to be confronted with a whole lot of changes, not just with their body but with their relationships, school, independence and responsibilities. It’s during this time that being more present and building trust with your children can have more of an impact on the rest of their lives than whether you were there for them to witness their first step or not.
I don’t want to be feeling this same way when my children graduate from high school so although I may have missed some of their milestones in the early years I have made a promise that I’ll be there for them in their adolescent years when they need me the most.
Good luck to any of the other parents reading who are going through the same thing!
Thanks for reading xo