I’m someone that always knew I wanted kids. Thinking back, maybe it was subconsciously thinking about all the things I would either do differently or be able to give them that I didn’t have growing up. At any rate, I always knew that I would be a great mom and a great first teacher to my future kids (shamelessly tooting my own horn). But I had no idea how much my children would teach me about life. I had no idea that before kids, life was beautiful, but life after kids is grand.
It is so easy to take motherhood for granted. But I know too many people who haven’t been able to share this beautiful experience. And I am committed to making sure that I embrace every second and every lesson that I get to spend and learn from my kids.
Here are 5 ways having kids taught me to live life:
1. Focus on what’s important
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my third child that I truly began to understand what this meant. It’s so easy to chase after things that ultimately don’t matter. For me, it was a job that I became miserable in. Having kids taught me to live the life that I want to live, and create the life I want to create, instead of allowing someone else to dictate that for me. It’s so easy to get lost in what other people are doing and how other people are living. But my kids remind me daily of the importance of focusing on what matters most. And having fun in the process.
2. Make yourself happy
When I observe my kids, they’re not waiting for anyone to swoop in and tell them, “Ok, I’m here, you can have fun and be happy now.” They create their own happiness. They make up their own fun and their own games. And they’re quite happy doing so. Having kids taught me that I don’t need anyone else’s permission to create my own happiness. Happiness begins within.
3. Don’t take yourself so seriously
My kids are some of the goofiest you will ever meet. They get it from their dad…ok and maybe a little bit from me too. I feel like before I had kids, I was a lot more uptight and self-conscious. I cared a lot about what other people thought about me. But when I look at my kids, they are (for the most part) carefree. They laugh at themselves and at each other. One minute it can be quiet and the next, everyone is erupting into uncontrollable laughter. Having kids taught me how to let my hair down, and embrace my own imperfections.
4. Get excited about everything
I love surprises. So naturally, I love to give surprises. And it doesn’t take much for my kids to get excited. It doesn’t take much to put a smile on their faces. And the secret phrase to get them to behave and not ask questions about where we’re going is to tell them, “It’s a surprise.” Anything that we say is a surprise, they know that it’s going to be fun. They know that it’s something to get excited about. With so much negativity that goes on around us, it makes me happy to see them get excited about even the littlest things (seriously, they get hype when we go to Chick Fil A). Having kids taught me how to appreciate the little things in life.
5. Forgive freely and easily
No matter which way you slice and dice it, when someone has hurt you or has done something bad to you, it can be hard to “turn your cheek” and keep it moving. My kids fight and argue just like any other child. But they love it out way more than they fight it out. They could be upset with each other one minute and be hugging each other the next. And they don’t keep hashing out what the other person did that made them upset, days, weeks or months later. Once they’ve forgiven, they keep it moving. Having kids taught me that to forgive is to live. They taught me that no matter the present circumstance, life goes on.
I am beyond grateful and blessed to be called “mom” by these three kids. I’ve embraced the motherhood journey and I know I’ll be learning a lot more lessons as each day passes.
What are the biggest lessons your kids have taught you about life?