Curated Cradle: 5 Lessons My Children Have Taught Me
When we first become mothers, truth be told, we don’t know what the heck we are doing. No matter how many children we have baby sat, countless books read or hundreds of classes we attend, nothing can fully prepare us for motherhood and all of its dimensions.
The first time your little one smiles; heart explodes. The first time your kid tumbles down the stairs (14 to be exact), heart explodes. The highs are heart exploding, the lows are the same, only different. Much different. Nothing compares to real life experience with your very own tiny human who you work tirelessly to keep alive.
Since becoming a mother, I have learned a lot. Here are five lessons my children have unknowingly, taught me.
Everything is temporary:
Late nights that lead to sleep deprived days. Endless crying for reasons unknown. Diaper explosions, food aversions, the “everything is no” syndrome, formally known as the terrible two’s. Something my children have taught me is that everything has its time, and thankfully time passes. When your child is protesting sleep, every meal you make, every distraction you offer, feeling defeated is a natural emotion. After having two children and surviving many of these phases, I live to tell you that it gets better. One day your child will sleep through the night. One day your child will eat their vegetables. One day your child will go through a full day without a tantrum, seemingly out of nowhere. It gets better and just like childbirth, you will forget how painful a time once was.
I am forgiven:
Children have the ability to forgive each other within moments of a meltdown or argument. Often, we see children fighting over a toy or the rules to a made up game. These arguments can turn into hair pulling, name calling, or worse. Within minutes of what seems like friendship ending brawls, these same children are skipping along, blissful in their innocence. Not only do children forgive each other with ease, they forgive us just the same. We aren’t perfect, we all have our bad days and mom fails, but one thing my children have taught me time and time again is that I am forgiven, and what a nice feeling that is.
You: 1. Internet Trolls: 0
Our generation of mothers have it tough. Everyone has an opinion about what you are doing with the click of a button. The internet has also made it so easy for us to compare ourselves to other mothers who seem to do it better. We do not Instagram the bad moments that we would rather forget (why put them on a timeline and be reminded what we did “one year ago today”). Those events have been replaced with how we want the world to perceive us, one tiny square at a time. But in truth, being a mother is tough. We all know it. I have learned to be less critical of myself in a world that is disguised in highlight reels. Through the good and the bad, our children show us unconditional love. Why hope for “likes” when the only approval we really need is under our roof?
Being Happy is Easy:
My son likes to tell me that he enjoys “Good Morning Time”, because that means he has the whole day to play. He wakes up every morning so full of life. I caught this infectious positivity and somehow began to love Good Morning Time, too. No matter how sleep deprived I am and how much work lies ahead of me, when I wake feeling like I can take on the day, I usually accomplish a lot more. Did my three year old teach me the Law of Attraction? Maybe. Over and above that, he has taught me that life is better spent happy.
I once read that women are expected to work as though they are not mothers, and mother, as though they do not have to work. Although this may very well be true, I have learned that having a balance of work and family has actually made me a better mother. I am more present when I am with my children because I know our time is limited. I frustrate less, am more easy going, and the mess we make no longer matters. I have another outlet that allows me to feel a sense of accomplishment, so the pressure I placed on myself to be the "perfect mother" is lifted. I was so afraid that being apart from my children would somehow ruin them. The opposite is true; I have learned that in being apart, they are getting the best of me.