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Top Lessons My Kids Have Taught Me

Today we're talking all about life lessons that my kids have taught me. Being a parent, you're supposed to know what you're doing. But let's be honest, we don't half the time, maybe not even a quarter of the time do we know what we're doing. There is no manual or guidebook, and I feel like it's one of those things that although we all kind of want to say we're going to get better at, I don't know about you, but I don't sit and take the time to take a lesson on parenting or listen to a podcast about parenting. Maybe I should. Maybe that's my downfall. I'm not spending the time to be a better parent. I feel like especially moms are the ones that people look to and think mom should know what's happening. They should know what that child wants. They should know what's best, because that's what we've been told our whole life.

When I had my first son, he was five weeks early and we were in the hospital and just totally lost. They thought he might have been sick. They were testing him for all of these things and it was absolutely terrifying. I remember coming into the room and the doctor looked at me and my baby was crying. The doctor said, “He needs you; he needs mom.” And I thought, for what? What am I supposed to do? I don't have the answers. You're the doctor, you help him. He said, no, just be mom. Give him what he needs. I feel like we are supposed to have the answers, but most of the times we're just winging it. As your kids get bigger, you’re always worried as a parent, like, am I doing this correctly? Is my kid hitting the milestones they're supposed to? Am I teaching them the things that I'm supposed to be doing? I remember I went into a doctor's appointment when my son was about six months old, and they're doing the checklist of all the things that your kids supposed to be doing by this point. C you do this? Can you do that? Can he wave? And I thought, no, he can't wave. But wait a minute, I didn't ever teach him to wave. You don't get a list of the things you're supposed to tell your kids or teach them or show them when showing them. That's another thing. I remember at one point, my oldest was making these really funny faces, and I thought, that's kind of strange. Why is he always making those faces? Yeah, that's when I realized it was my face and my expressions. He was imitating me and they are just like little sponges. He was copying all the things that I was doing. As they get bigger, as they continue to copy your mannerisms, your thoughts, your opinions sometimes, and your intonation sometimes. There are days where I turn and say something and he said something back to me and all I can think is, “oh, that was me.” I can't even get mad about it because that's my voice coming out of your body. My boys are now twelve, ten and eight, so no longer are they very little kids. It's amazing to see how they are really becoming people with their own thoughts and their own opinions, and they're just trying to find their place in the world. I know it's just going to continue. I wonder if I've done all the things that I should have done, like, have I given them enough guidance or advice or tools or love or support or encouragement that they are going to be good people? You always wonder as a parent if you are doing enough and if you are teaching the right things and saying the right things.

But that's not what this is about. This blog is actually the other way around. I want to share the lessons, the life lessons that my kids have taught me.

LESSON #1: It’s Okay To Care

This lesson comes from my oldest son. He is just he is so kind hearted. When he was a very little child, he was just always very aware of people and things, and he just cared. He cared about everything. He always had these very big emotions, and sometimes big emotions in a little person is really hard to handle. But it was because he cared so much. He cared about what people thought about him. He cared about how they were feeling. He cared about how he was feeling. He really did just always have his heart on his sleeve. A one point, when he was about eight or nine, he was having a little bit of problems at school because he just wasn't clicking with the right people and they weren't even his kind of people. It's hard to explain that to an eight-year-old that not everybody is going to be your friend and not everybody needs to be your friend. He was just having a hard time, and it was because he cared so much. It broke my heart. I just remember telling him to toughen up and don't let it bother you, and don't worry about what they're saying or what they're doing. I feel bad that I even gave him that advice because the fact that he cares so much, that's what makes him who he is. That is this amazing tool that a lot of people really don't have. It's just one lesson that he teaches me and continues to teach me about. It's okay to care. You should care about things. You should care about people and things around you, and you should let it make you feel. It's beautiful now to see how he's getting a little bit older and how he even really cares about his work and how he loves to really do a good job on things because he cares what those people think.

LESSON #2: Know what you like and know who you are and don't worry about the rest.

This comes from my middle son, Mason. Mason has always decided what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it. When he was 18 months, he was fully able to go to the bathroom by himself when he wanted to do it, but that kid wasn't potty trained until about two and a half because that's when he decided to actually do it. It was a struggle back and forth because when that guy has something set in his mind, that is it. It was the same with swimming, we got a pool in our new house, and he was always using a pool noodle in the deep end, but I knew he could swim. He just didn't want to take the risk until he was ready to do it. It was the end of the swimming season and the last day we had the pool open; he jumped from the very deep end and swam all the way to the shallow end because he decided it was time to do it. He has always known what he likes. From a very small age, he was that kid who, with a cupcake or piece a cake, he would take off the icing because that's the best part. Now, to me, that's an awesome life lesson, especially when I was trying to cut back on calories. I'm the same way. All I really want is the icing. So why am I eating this whole piece of cake or cupcake when really, I could just take the icing? I took that advice from Mason, and I rolled with it. A few years ago, I got really into that TV show with Marie Kondo, and if you don't know her philosophy, she's all about minimalizing your life and keeping the things that bring you joy or spark joy in your life. I did this with our whole house. I would take all the things out, lay them around, and if you didn't like it or it didn't spark joy, you had to get rid of it. You could donate it or throw it away. Whatever you had to do, you needed to get rid of it to make space for the things that you really, really want. Now, as you can imagine, doing this wi