As mums, it’s our job to teach our little ones about the world. We’re their providers, protectors, carers and educators. We teach them their ABCs, their hand eye coordination, their first words and how to behave. We’re meant to be their fountain of knowledge.
But I have a confession to make – I don’t know sh*t. I’m winging this. And the majority of the time, I feel like my little guy is the one doing the teaching.
I once heard the saying “I gave them life, they taught me the meaning of it” and it’s so true. I am definitely the one being schooled.
As I’m sure many mums would agree, I am frequently astounded by how much being my little boy’s mum has taught me about life and about myself, such as:
I’m learning to enjoy the little things. All that material ‘stuff’ I used to jam pack my life with just doesn’t matter. I can be happy spending an entire day with my son and no one or nothing else. Just us, a walk or two, smiles and giggles, me trying to do funny voices to him when reading stories and that’s it. Oh, but I do need to at least head out to grab a coffee – that’s a non negotiable!
2. Unselfish love.
No, the world does NOT revolve around me. Not that it ever did, but I’m sure that, pre-motherhood, I sometimes acted like it. Now, I would put his needs before my own every single time. Just yesterday I bought him clothes when I haven’t bought any for myself in weeks, and that really hurt! No, in all seriousness, I would throw myself into oncoming traffic if it meant he didn’t get hurt.
3. Goodbye order.
I used to love being in control and having everything planned. It’s taken me over a year of motherhood to relinquish that control and realise sometimes you need to just go with the flow. Life just isn’t meant to be perfect and orderly. Sh*t happens, literally, and you just have to roll with it.
Life is now full of vomit, poo, snot, dirty dishes and mess. Baby poo stains that never come off, unwittingly walking out of the house with rusk in your hair despite having just washed it just before you left, babies that won’t sleep despite your best efforts…these are the realities of mum life.
Being a mum sometimes requires the patience of a saint, and that’s certainly something I’ve never had. But he’s teaching me to just breathe and take things as they happen. Like when he climbs into the dishwasher while I’m trying to unpack it, and I literally get just one glass put away before having to give up for the fifth time that day. And I’m trying to learn to love those repeated trips across the room to save him from almost breaking his neck after climbing onto the couch then windowsill…it’s a work in progress!
5. Not to over-commit.
I used to take on too much at once. I’m learning to slow down, smell the roses and take pleasure in the little things. Life just isn’t meant to be high paced all the time! He inspires me to enjoy life, and be a better – more kind, more considerate – person.
Over and above this list, he’s taught me that nothing really matters but family – that being a mum is the most important job in the world and all I ‘need’ to be doing is cherishing every single moment.
Be patient with me, little one. I’m learning as I go, and as you grow.
What lessons did you learn from your kids?