I am often reminded of the quote: “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about”. Like the other day when my three year old said to me, “I’m happy with what I’ve got…Are you happy with what you’ve got Mummy?”. Or today when he stood gazing down our humble, semi-suburban street and turned to say, “Look at the lovely view mummy. Isn’t it just lovely?”. He says and does this sort of thing often. We call him an old soul. We say he’s beyond his years. We stand marveling at the depth of his understanding, the magnitude of his empathy…put simply - the way his mind works.
This is one of the wonderful gifts that parenting brings. It's the ability to see through the eyes of the young. To view the world again as if for the first time. To be reminded of what’s really important and what really warrants our energy.
I talk a lot about the challenges of parenting in my blog, so this week I’d like to focus on the great things.
Here are six things that my children have taught me:
- Self-awareness – aided even more by my 3 year old’s new found love of mimicking me. There’s nothing that brings about self-awareness faster than hearing your words come out of the mouth of a toddler.
- Another way to love – a little corny and a little obvious but it can’t go unmentioned. The ability to offer unconditional, uninhibited, pure love – no matter what.
- Where each and every one of my buttons are - and how to push them! My children have triggered a great deal of personal development! I thank them for that. I am a better person because of it.
- Fun doesn’t require money, alcohol, parties or presents - all you need is your imagination and the ability to leave your inhibitions at the door.
- Forgiveness - There’s little that can dull a child’s smile for more than an hour. Grudges serve no purpose other than to hurt ourselves and shut us off from potential new and wonderful experiences.
- That my limits are limitless – Through children I’ve discovered that there is no limit to have far we can go, what we can do, and what we can achieve. Children can push you to your perceived physical and emotional limits…but just when you think you’ve reached them, you find you have more left to give. There is so much power in this realisation.
My children have taught me a lot!
In keeping with today's theme, here are six more bonuses! Things you can do just because you’re a parent:
- Dress up – whenever you want, as whatever you like, in costumes that are way too small for you. Awesome. Seriously.
- Sing – like ALL the time…anywhere...as badly as you please. You don’t come off looking like a crazy person or get criticised for being out of tune. You just get bonus points for being an interactive, fun, loving parent.
- Play – you can spend a full day jumping on a trampoline, dancing, playing with dough, colouring in, watching cartoons and building forts…and nobody’s going to tell you to grow up.
- Finish off other peoples’ dinner – there’s a lot of leftovers where children are involved, and guess what? They’re all yours! This is an especially great bonus at kids’ birthday parties or when it’s sausage roll and chips night at home. Waste not, want not right?
- Talk in third person – a LOT. It’s a great way to shift the blame ;) That “Mummy” has a lot to answer for always wanting them to do something to make her “happy”. ;)
- Make fart jokes and celebrate bodily functions - complete with cheers, high-fives and sometimes even Smarties.