Article written for Wonderful Mama magazine, October 2015
Becoming a mother has changed me, in more ways than one. I have learned to love more, how to forgive more easily, and how to be more patient with others (I haven’t quite mastered the last one yet, but I get to practise this every day with our two-year old, Zee!)
There are so many things I continue to learn everyday from watching them grow up. Here are some important life lessons that I think we could all take from the little people in our lives.
Live in the moment
Every Thursday my mum comes over and we take the four children for a walk to the park (via the café) for some fresh air for the kids and caffeine for mummy! Zee loves to stop and look at everything along the way (which can make a 20 minute walk take an hour!). Often I’ll catch myself saying, “C’mon Zee, hurry up!” when really I need to stop and talk to him about everything he’s discovering. Even if the ants on the footpath, the weeds on the nature strip, or the mail poking out of someone’s letterbox are boring to me, it’s all new and exciting to him.
I think we all need to stop and take notice of what’s around us. Who knows, we might even discover something new ourselves!
Eat when you’re hungry
Now, I don’t know about you, but this is a big one for me. I often eat because I’m bored, or because there is something irresistible in front of me.
Our babies will turn their head away when they’ve had enough to eat, or my favourite is when Zee will throw his plate on the floor when he’s done eating! As adults, we clean our plates because that’s what we were taught to do growing up, or just because something tastes good (like a plate of soft cheese and cured meats – yum).
I’m certainly not suggesting that we start throwing our plates on the floor, but we need to remember that in order to keep our bodies healthy we should be picky about the foods we eat, and eat to satisfy our hunger, not our boredom.
I think we tend to program our fears into our children with constant instructions to “be careful” and “slow-down”, when we should be encouraging them to take calculated risks. Kids love to test the boundaries and so should we.
I know that it took me years to build up the courage to start my own business. I was always worried that I’d fail. I had heard so many times “90% of small business fail within the first year” and instead of thinking I could be one of the 10%, I decided not to take the risk. Almost 3 years ago, when I was pregnant with Zee, I finally took that risk, and I have been building a successful business ever since. It took me getting pregnant to realise that if I wanted to have a career and spend time with my family this was the only way. I’ve never looked back.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Toddlers love getting outside and exploring their world, even when it’s cold and raining. I find the days when we’re locked in doors (when it’s cold and raining) and we have the TV on, that’s when we have the most tantrums. I know that when we get out and about and get some fresh air, everyone is in a better mood, including me.
For kids, movement is for fun, not about burning calories. I think it’s important to try to live an active life, that way exercise isn’t a chore. It’s something fun you can do together as a family.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the stresses that come along with being an adult. Work, finances, and family commitments all take up our time and energy. I think we can all admit that we sometimes let ourselves get stressed out and forget to enjoy the little things.
Have you ever noticed how a toddler can go from tears to laughter in a matter of seconds? Well, I think we could all learn something from this. We need to learn to take everything in life less seriously and stop dwelling on things that upset us, let them go and learn to laugh again.
We try to have a laugh every day. It could be as simple as a funny face, a silly song or a ticklish toe, what ever it is, it’s important to stop and enjoy the little things in life, and laugh every single day.