When you find out that you are going to be a parent, I am not sure you ever give any real thought to what things you will learn from your children. The entire time that they are growing inside you, you think about the things that you will teach them and show them. But, the moment that you look into the eyes of your child, everything changes. You realize that you will never love anyone anyone more than you love that little person, at that time. There are sleepless nights and incessant crying and you are not sure that you can put one foot in front of the other because you are exhausted. But, your love instead of diminishing keeps growing. You once again get to experience life through the eyes of a child and your perspective on life inevitably changes.
- The way you feel about parenting and parents change. You are going to be a new Mom and even though you technically know that you know nothing, I venture to say you had lots of opinions, on the lady with the screaming toddler in Aisle 3, or the friends who were late because of one kiddy crisis or another, or even just about the fact that whatever it was, you would certainly not raise your kids that way. And, since every child is different this may not only apply to new moms it works for second and third time moms as well. My first child was a breeze (at least when he was little). He always minded his Mommy was very polite and pretty much towed the line (lol). But when baby number two came home he was not exactly excited about his position being usurped – Enter the drama. My middle child, had a temper tantrum in Macy’s when I was almost 8 months pregnant with the baby and I had to hoist her over my belly to get her back in the car because she wanted new Dora The Explorer Sneakers. (don’t try that at home). Oh and my baby, had a melt down in Kroger over the Witch Display during Halloween, so I spent the entire checkout process with her head buried in my chest howling incessantly. So yeah… it’s fairs to say the way I looked at parenting and parents changed. If anything it made me feel empathy instead of aggravation for other Moms. Hell, the struggle is real.
- They taught me the true meaning of perseverance. How? Well, have you ever said no to a toddler? They will ask you the same question over and over and over again in an attempt to wear you down. Or have you ever watched a child try to wedge their body into a space that you know is way too small for them to get into? So you ignore them and hope they will tire themselves out only to look up and find them wedged between section 1 and section 2 of your sectional. On those days when I am ready to give up I almost have to ask WWMRRD? What Would My Rug Rats Do?
- They taught me the true meaning of forgiveness. Or should I say they are teaching me, this is an area I still struggle with in everyday life. They have pushed you to your edge, you are tired frustrated and just flat out DONE. And, then they make that little face and squeak out how much they love you and that they are sorry. And, try as you might you can not prevent the corners of your mouth from turning up. Or being human you lose your temper and you feel like crap on a stick. You are guilt riddled and before you can go back and say just how sorry you are they wrap their little arms around you and you know all is well with the world.
- They taught me how to be less rigid and not to take myself so seriously. I am a planner girl, I want to be able to anticipate everything. I want to always have a change of clothes, extra diapers, wipes, know exactly what time they ate last. I need to know. Well, the day of my oldest child’s baby blessing, he had the ear infection to rival all ear infections. The baby who rarely every cried was going ape…. sh!@, and I had no idea what was wrong with him. He was super whiny, clingy and I had family from out of town there to celebrate his big day. I am still not sure how we made it through the day. The next day I took him into the Pediatricians office and she told me the poor baby had an ear infection. He was my first baby and I was clueless. My middle child had what we call colic. I say we will call it that, because no one technically still knows what the heck was wrong with her. She cried all the time. She was a sickly baby and the only one who was able to comfort her until she was about 4 months old was her Grandpa. He somehow had the magic touch. Then my last sweet girl, was my true lesson in flexibility. She was allergic to everything under the sun. Her formula cost us as much as her Nanny. The Nanny she needed because on top of all that she had acid re-flux and had to be held up for 45 minutes after every meal. I would literally come home and change out of my work clothes and anticipate the hot milk down my back.
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that learning each one of these lessons was not painful or at times, hard pills to swallow, but being their Mom continues to shape me. And, for that I am extremely grateful.
What lessons have your little ones taught you?