Before I became a mom I thought I knew a lot more about kids than I did. From that first night in the hospital, my husband and I struggling to change the worst diaper ever, it became somewhat obvious that we were in for a learning experience. So, although we continue to learn new things as parents daily, here's just a few of the things I've learned so far.
ONE - I can survive on less sleep than I ever thought was possible.
When our daughter was born she didn't sleep very well. For approximately two months she slept for 15 minute intervals at a time. Unfortunately I can't sleep that way so I would stay up until 7:00am, when my husband got home, in hopes that he could stay awake to take care of her for 2 to 4 hours so I could get some sleep. Had someone told me a person could function on that little sleep I wouldn't have believed them. I wouldn't say I functioned well but I stayed alive. lol. Luckily things got better!
TWO - Now at four years old she's balancing on a crack in the side walk. "Mama! Mama! look a bird! A squirrel! Oooh a puddle!" She jumps, water splashing, cascading tiny brown, muddy droplets all over my pant legs. I scowl for a moment thinking of the mess she just made, the work that has to be done at home and how slowly we seem to be moving towards home as she insists on stopping to look at every flower, every bird, and stomping in every puddle. Until I look at her face. Her eyes are sparkling and she grins from ear to ear. Pure joy. It is as if she has never seen a bird, puddle or leaf before. Everything is new and she is soaking in every ounce of it. She reminds me, in that moment, to stop and smell the roses, take time to appreciate the little things and enjoy God's creation.
THREE - There are always new things to learn.
With joy also comes curiosity and, with that, a myriad of questions. "Mama, how do my lungs work? How do you make crayons? How does the moon stay in the sky? Could it fall down? Etc, etc, everyday a new question or possibly four. Sometimes I know the answers, but often I'm thankful for Google. Together we'll scroll through search results to find the answer in a format she'll understand. Through this experience I have learned things I otherwise wouldn't know.
FOUR - You don't truly appreciate privacy until you don't have any.
Ask most moms and there's a good chance the issue of privacy will come up. Why on earth would I want to go to the bathroom alone?! Not to mention those few times when you decide to take a shower and you hear a loud crash and run out hair full of shampoo, in only a towel, heart racing a mile a minute to find your four year old perfectly fine, thank goodness, sitting on the floor playing and she says "Mama are you done your shower?! Wanna play with me now?! Why is there shampoo in your hair?"
FIVE - Laughter is the best medicine.
Like a lot of moms sometimes I find myself neglecting my own needs, and getting wound up with the stresses of life and everything that has to be done. At four our daughter makes up jokes, giggles at things that don't make sense or aren't really funny and although at times her antics can drive me crazy, it's hard at times not to laugh from the contagiousness of her laughter and then occasionally find yourself also making goofy faces leading to more laughter and stress relief.
SIX - I have a mini me.
I think the biggest thing I've learned is how much of an influence we, as parents, have on our children. Our daughter likes to learn from me and do what I'm doing. If I were to do yoga she would be trying to do the moves along side me; baking a cake? She's right there measuring ingredients and asking what the next step is. Our behaviours are often reflected in how our children behave. It's important that we have the same behavioural expectations of ourselves as we do them as they truly do learn by example.
This post was inspired by writing prompt 6 - List 6 things you’ve learned from your oldest child.