Living and raising children in a world that is seemingly growing scarier by the day, I know many of us can agree that it’s so easy to get caught up in the stress and worry and anxiety of life. There are so many “what if” questions we stress over and, especially as mothers, and tend to pile on the guilt…nice and thick. It all adds up, sometimes silently, and we find ourselves going through our days jaded, frustrated, and sometimes literally just feeling unhappy with life.
I’m no stranger to these types of feelings; admittedly, unfortunately I often veer towards the course of stress and worry versus happiness and positivity. Thankfully, having two young children in the house means that yes, life is certainly hectic, but there are a few positive life lessons to be learned from the tiny children in my house. These are especially helpful to think of in stressful moments or times where I feel defeated and upset.
5 life lessons I’ve learned from living with a toddler and a preschooler:
- It’s all still there when we wake up. All of it. The sun, the sleepy morning snuggles, the good morning hugs and kisses. Such a simple thought, but think about how excited and happy our kids are each morning (ignore the fact that they’re so excited at 6am and drink that coffee, momma!). But really – it’s a brand new day with fresh opportunities. A new day to do something we love to do or be who we want to be.
- Play is important. It’s all going to be there tomorrow. So, put down the dishes and play. Don’t worry about folding and conquering that laundry mountain if it means you’re missing out on another book you get to read together. Obviously I know there are some things that must get done, but we often put too much on that list. Just like our kids prioritize what’s important to them and spend their time accordingly, we should too. The rest of the chores can wait until tomorrow.
- My people are crucial. My toddler son flips out when his older sister isn’t anywhere to be seen. He loves her with every fiber of his little being. She is his best friend and his person, and he loves on her whenever he gets the chance. My people, my village – they’re so important to me. I may not scream and cry like my son does when they’re not around, but you can bet that I communicate regularly with those who lift me up in motherhood and friendship. Showing our love for each other and reassuring one another, whether with a hug or a text, is so important to foster these relationships!
- Don’t give up. It’s hard sometimes as adults to continue to push on when we really don’t want to or feel like we can. I think about young children though, and how motivated they are; how it will often take so much ‘failure’ for them to even think about taking a break…feel free to read that as toddlers are stubborn. So, so very stubborn. So…be stubborn! Keep at it, whatever it is. Our kids didn’t master crawling or walking in the blink of an eye. It’s unlikely that we are going to master whatever new recipe or craft we’re trying the first time, and it may take several failed attempts before we figure out the best work/home balance for ourselves and our families. Just keep trying.
- Who cares what everyone else thinks? If there is one thing toddlers and preschoolers care about, it’s usually not what someone else thinks of them. They’re stubborn, hard-headed, and concerned about themselves. My preschooler proves this regularly with her idea of how much pink is appropriate in her outfit when I help her get dressed (spoiler: she thinks literally every item needs to be pink to match.) She doesn’t care what I think, or what anyone else does. She rocks that pink and owns every bit of it. It’s not always a bad thing to worry about yourself – what others think about you shouldn’t be an overwhelming concern. So many of us get caught up in what someone might say or think about us that we freeze up. I recently got my nose pierced again – I was worried that people wouldn’t take me seriously as a mom but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was an amazing mom, nose pierced or not. So, I don’t care if you think I look like I’m going through a mid-life mom crisis, I love it and my daughter said my ‘nose earring’ looks pretty, so I feel pretty awesome. So rock your own pink outfit, piercing, or tattoo, and parent the way you know is best for your children without worrying about what someone else thinks because you simply don’t need the stress!
Do you have anything to add to this list? Add them in the comments!