One thing I love about parenting is how much I get to learn about life along the way. Obviously, I’ve got plenty of living experience from the years before kids came on the scene, but learning takes on a whole new meaning after you become a parent. Not only are you constantly faced with child-rearing challenges, but you also learn a whole lot more about the world because kids exist in such a simple, beautiful bubble that is completely different from our adult one.
Kids can be great reminders about what’s important and help us stay on top of our busy, often overwhelming lives.
Here are six life lessons my kids are teaching me:
1. You have to stop and smell the roses
As a busy mum, I’m always rushing about, and a trip to the supermarket is no exception. My daughter on the other hand has no concern for rushing and enjoys taking her time to really notice her environment, which I translate as her dawdling with me rushing ahead and turning around impatiently, waiting for her to catch up. The other day I turned around in a huff to find her at the supermarket flower stand, carefully sniffing every single bloom. She was literally stopping to smell the roses. It was a life lesson I couldn’t ignore.
2. Simply enjoy the moment
Kids couldn’t care less about to-do lists, because they live just for the moment and want to enjoy every bit of it. They don’t care that it should be dinner time, that we’re behind schedule or need to get more done around the house. They love simple activities like catching bugs and climbing trees, things I’ve forgotten all about enjoying because I’m so busy thinking about what’s next to do.
3. Being silly is awesome
Kids love being noisy and crazy and while I’m not always in the mood for the carry-on myself, I totally get why they love it. There’s nothing better than big hysterical belly laughs with your siblings or a funny joke that you’ve made up together that you just can’t get enough of. Laughter and silliness is wonderful for the soul and I bet if I tried it some more it would help me feel young and carefree just like them.
4. Wear whatever the hell you want
I can’t help but notice the majority of my wardrobe is black. Black dresses, black trousers, black shoes. Black tote bag. My kids on the other hand can be spotted in their brightly coloured clothing from miles away. They wear their dress ups, costume jewellery and face paint with sheer pride, and here I am wondering if my eye shadow is a little on the loud side for daytime wear. Man I need to get over myself and just do as my kids do: wear what I want without one iota of doubt about how awesome I look.
5. Imagination is the best
Kids have the best ideas and their make-believe games can give them hours of fun. I know I used to have a huge imagination because I too used to play my make-believe games for hours at a time. I can even remember the names of my imaginary friends. Watching my kids engaged in their imaginative play reminds me of how important it is to be able to escape from the humdrum of the world through the power of creativity. These days, it would probably look more like a movie or a great book, but they serve the same purpose.
6. Go for what you want
Kids can be stubborn and single-minded, which helps them wear you down to get that cookie they’re after or go through every single ice block to locate the last raspberry one, no matter how long it takes. You’ve got to hand it to them for their persistence and commitment, even if they don’t always get their way. And while this behaviour can be a pain in the arse to deal with, it reminds me how important it is to not give up when things get challenging.