Life lessons my children
have taught me
When I became a mother, I thought this would always be my role, to teach my children the ways of the world. It never occurred to me that my children would be the ones to teach me many life lessons.
I remember the moment I realised just how much my children were teaching me about living a true and honest life. A few years ago was out with one of my children having one on one time (this doesn’t happen often enough, unfortunately), and they explained why they were behaving the way they were. I was shocked at how articulate this child was in explaining this to me and how confused they also were at how to alter this behaviour. I was listening, truly listening, something I only half-heartedly did before I had children. My children have taught me how to listen, a skill many people take for granted.
I have created a list of some of the things my children have taught me over the past 18 years:
- My children have taught me to show my emotions. This was always a difficult thing for me growing up. I would hold my cards very close to my chest, not letting people in just in case I get hurt. By trying to protect myself from the negative emotions, I was also denying myself all the positive ones too. With my children, I have opened up and let down my guard, finally letting people into my heart and have let these emotions become exposed. We do everything in life to feel a certain way and at the moment, I FEEL AMAZING.
- My children have taught me to be empathetic. Understanding what another person may be feeling and how to be a supportive guide is a skill. I thought I understood empathy in my younger years but I realise it was more on a superficial level. I wanted to understand how another person was feeling but didn’t actually feel it. My children have taught me to see the person, the real person and feel what they are feeling without being patronising. In most situations, I can easily put myself in another person’s shoes and truly know why they did what they did and the emotional pull behind the decision.
- My children have taught me to listen. This is the most powerful part of communication and the often underrated. As a young adult, I would listen to what I wanted to hear, not what people were really telling me. Maybe this was a way of protecting myself or maybe this was just arrogance. Today I listen!!! I understand the importance of listening and the power it gives to a voice. This skill has allowed me to understand people on a deeper level and to meet some amazing people I otherwise would have ignored.
- My children have taught me that I have control over how I am feeling. It is more important to look in the mirror and like what you see than look at your reflection, hoping to see what others expect. When I understood that my thoughts caused how I was feeling and most of the time my thoughts were negative about myself, it was like winning the emotional lottery. If I wanted to angry or sad or hurt all the time, it was my choice. My children taught me just how deserving I was of love and this is a feeling I want to share with so many.
- My children have taught me to not hold grudges. Bitchiness comes naturally to many young girls and women but its negativity eats away inside causing immense pain. Getting out of the cycle by not participating and letting go of people who do, was like a weight being lifted off my shoulders. For me, holding grudges is a thing of the past – they consume way too much energy and produce only negative results. When I make mistakes as a parent, my children never hold it against me. Instead, we talk (sometimes argue) but we share our thoughts and feelings and then let it go.
- My children have taught me to value time and live in the now. This has been a hard lesson for me as I am always planning the next thing and use to worry about what others were doing. I know I haven’t wasted time but when you see your babies grow into teenagers and then adults, I realise how much time I spent wishing for the next day, the next week, the next holiday and missing all the good things along the way. Now I cherish the moment I am in, forget the rest of the world and this generates beautiful, longlasting memories.
- My children have taught me to be brave. I’m not sure if I would call myself brave before I had children – maybe more reckless. Getting out of my comfort zone was lost when I first started a family as I didn’t ever want to rock the boat or push my luck. Being an entrepreneur is part of who I am. To deny it is to deny my true self. My children have given me the courage to pursue a career that is different and not widely known – and for this, I am forever grateful. As a by-product of being brave, I have the confidence to choose people in my life who help me grow and to be an amazing woman.
- My children have taught me that saying it and doing it are two different things. People are quick to say what you want to hear but the real meaning behind those words comes in the actions. Honesty begins with yourself and for many years I told myself and others many lies. I would say I am alright when I was struggling. Actions are caused by our feelings and these feelings are caused by our thinking – which is always a choice. Today I choose to have my thoughts and actions aligned with how I want my children thinking and acting – with honesty and integrity.
- My children have taught me acceptance of others. Judging others before I knew them was something I did as a child and young adult. I think back to all the people I judged and how they must have judged me too without taking any time to understand who I really was. The less you judge, the happy you become. And the less you judge others, the less you judge yourself and this can only ever share fantastic results.
- My children have reminded me that I can dream and achieve my goals. This lessons faded for a few years as I became lost in the world of being a mother. I didn’t realise I could still put myself first at times and that I could live my dreams alongside my families. My children taught me to dream again and I taught them that the MOST important in their life is always them. If you work – then everything around works. Dreams are a beautiful way to appreciate this current moment.
What have your children taught you?
Have a wonderful day