If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a mom, I still (and probably always will) have much more to learn about life as I walk alongside my children on this journey. After welcoming two babies in the past two years, I firmly believe that any level of education, expertise, or general life experience has nothing on the lessons we can learn from our children.
Life as a mama to an eight-month-old and a two-year-old is full of teachable moments. Not just for my little ones but for myself. Simply by being themselves, my tiny humans have shown me there’s a wealth of wisdom to be found every day.
5 Lessons We Can Learn From Our Children
Here are several lessons we can learn from our children.
1. Every Moment is a Gift
If you’ve endured pregnancy and childbirth, adoption, fostering, or any other route to holding your baby in your arms, you know how delicate the journey to even having a baby is. As your little bundle grows into their being, you realize how incredibly fast every age and stage passes. One minute they’re swaddled and sleeping the bulk of the day away. The next, they’re running as fast as they can in the opposite direction to protest having to leave the splash pad at the end of a jam-packed day. Time waits for nobody when it comes to raising humans. Just look at your baby.
2. Wonderful Things Are All Around Us
Babies and toddlers are experts at appreciating simple things. Whether stopping to observe an ant passing through a sidewalk crack or pausing to admire a dandelion in the middle of an otherwise empty field, they notice the tiny details of our surroundings that we so often take for granted in our adult lives. One lesson we can learn from our children is to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder – and for our smallest sidekicks, it’s everywhere.
3. It’s OK to Speak Your Mind
Once they’re of talking age, toddlers speak their minds – and don’t hold back. While this can lead to some embarrassing moments for parents, the burst of language (non-filtered, at that) that occurs during the early years is one of the many remarkable things about having a toddler. Is there anything more satisfying than hearing your two-year-old master the art of saying “no, please stop” when it comes to standing up for themselves against bossy older kids on the playground – or pushy people begging for a hug? Toddlers can teach us all something about being direct with our thoughts.
4. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
My firstborn has been on the petite side for much of her young life. Strangers in public have, at times, presumed her to be my second child’s twin (which is a stretch). People are sometimes surprised to learn there are 18 ½ months between my two littles. They’re even more taken aback when they hear my small-but-mighty daughter initiate full conversations with them. My point here? Babies and toddlers are fantastic at humbling the rest of us. Regardless of how itty bitty, and adorable they are, another lesson we can learn from our children is that our tiny humans shouldn’t be underestimated. Similarly, nobody should. Just by being themselves (and being pretty darn incredible), our babies can teach us not to make assumptions about anyone, and we should never judge a book by its cover.
5. Life Can Be Simpler Than We Think
It doesn’t take much to make a baby or toddler happy. If their basic needs are met, and they receive plenty of love, they’ve got what they need to grow, thrive, and have lots of fun. In addition, babies and toddlers are willing to smile at – or even walk up to and make friends with – total strangers. They’re as wholly innocent and unapologetically authentic as it gets, and they can teach us all to embrace simplicity and not overcomplicate things. Babies and toddlers teach us to be kind, love big, and, in short, enjoy life.
Parenting in the earliest childhood years can be a blur at times, but one thing is clear: Our little ones have abundant wisdom and insight to share throughout the journey. It’s often said that a child’s first teacher is their parent. I’d also argue that any parent’s greatest teacher is their child, particularly their baby or toddler. The lessons we can learn from our children are incredible. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll gladly learn and grow as much as possible from the lessons my tiny humans have to give. They really are endless and invaluable.