10 important things your kids teach you
Kids have so much to learn. And as mothers, we have so much to teach them. But somehow in those first precious moments of being a parent and for the rest of our lives, we are learning just as much from them as they are from us. It may not always feel like it when you are sleep starved and rushed off your feet, but your knowledge and understanding is growing every day. We gathered ten of the greatest lessons that mothers learn from their kids to remind you that you are on a mind-expanding journey.
1. The art of humility
All those things you said you'd never do. How many times have you caught yourself doing them? This week? No matter how much of a perfectionist, planner or organiser you are, you'll find your best-laid plans derailed with the arrival of a small person. You learn to roll with it.
2. To see the world through a child's eyes
Children see things differently from adults, and by trying to understand their little worlds we open up a universe of comprehension. So stop and appreciate their view be it of a snail or politics you'll find your horizons broadened.
3. To be infinitely patient
If you ask any mother, she'll tell you that patient is the last thing that she is. But actually, behind all the hurrying and the tending to needs and the nagging, every mother has learnt to incorporate someone else's entire life into her own and that takes patience, even if you don't always feel that it does.
4. New levels of creativity (or the art of the white lie)
Whether you're answering the same question for the four hundred and fifty seventh time, creating a meal of dinosaur eggs and dragon claws or finding ways to explain away a hurtful truth, motherhood challenges your grey matter. You may have forgotten what time it is or where the keys are, but your neurons are still firing at lightning speed.
5. That there's a lioness within you
You might gripe about your kids, or despair at the state of your sofa, but if anyone else says a bad word about them or does anything to hurt them, you surprise yourself with the ferocity that rises in your chest and tingles in your fingertips. That's the maternal instinct, and it can flatten armies and move mountains.
6. Your priorities
Until you have children, you think you understand priorities. Then your children are born, and you find yourself torn between living every precious moment in the now, and worrying about every second of the future. You have to earn enough, save enough, spend enough time with your children, be fully committed to work and make sure you leave something behind for the next generation. You'll spend the rest of your life trying to work this out.
7. That it isn't possible to swear quietly enough
They are listening. They are always listening. Even when you think they're not listening, they are listening. From swearing to griping about your mother-in-law, you learn that if you have to do it, you do it when you're in a different postcode to your children.
8. To always respect the needs of others
Speak to any mother who has broken a biscuit in half, pushed a lift button or opened a yoghurt herself, and she'll tell you that the resulting meltdown wasn't worth it. You'll learn to cater to and pre-empt the needs of others no matter how outlandish or unreasonable and to THINK BEFORE YOU ACT.
9. The gentle art of negotiation
Teeth brushing, bed time or dinner BEFORE dessert. Any mother will tell you that these things are not achieved easily. To get there, you've had to learn how to tip the scales subtly in favour of your preferred outcome. Your next salary negotiation will be a breeze.
10. The awesome explosion of limitless love
You think you've loved before now. You think you've understood what it's like to care for someone other than yourself. The moment you hold your child in your arms (or sometime in those first few weeks), you suddenly realise that a whole new universe of emotion you didn't know you were capable of is now open to you. Whatever they do, whatever they put you through, nothing can take away the overwhelming and infinite love you feel for them. Even when they throw your iPad in the bath. Even then. OK, maybe not then.