My days of being in school might be almost a decade(!) behind me, but I’ve learned so much since becoming a mother. My little guy is five months old today and so he might not seem qualified, but he has taught me so much – and not just how to properly change a diaper or how to put a onesie on quickly. Here are five things that I’ve learned from him:
Give things a chance
When Vince was a newborn, activities like bath time or going into his car seat spawned worried looks and even tears. Now he’s trying to swim every time he’s in his bath tub that seems smaller and smaller each time we use it. Going into the car seat brings smiles, as I say excitedly, “We’re going on an adventure!” He’s taught me to give things a chance, even if it might scare me, which is a lot like jumping into parenthood in itself!
An appreciation of slowness
This one has its pros and cons, to be sure. With a baby, I’ve come to inhale my meals, anxious that I’ll be needed at any moment. With a baby, I’m fortunately afforded a year off from work, and have time away from deadlines and the 9 to 5. It’s a mixed bag, but I’ve come to appreciate the slowness. I know I’m going to miss the baby snuggles in the middle of the night, or miss the days where he would fumble around trying to roll over when he’s older and running around. It’s also giving me the opportunity to return to blogging, which I’ve missed. So I’m learning to appreciate the times when things feel slow, since time can also be a thief – how is he already 5 months old?!
Find beauty in the everyday
Each week, our little one discovers something new. When he was only a couple of months old, he was mesmerized by the souvenir plates we have hung on our wall and always smiled when he could see them. Nowadays, he’s fascinated by our fish tank and has started to stretch out his arms to try and touch our houseplants instead of just looking at them. It’s amazing to watch and makes me appreciate how beautiful life is, especially the life that is in him.
Acting like a kid is amazing
There are times when I’m full out exhausted, but somehow he can still bring out the kid in me. I’ve become sillier (if that’s even possible), rediscovered some of my favourite childhood books and songs, and have waved my hands in the air like I just don’t care and I’m rewarded with smiles, little giggles, and leg shuffle dance moves. I will admit that sometimes it is an “act” and I’d much rather be asleep, but I find just a minute or two of being like a kid again can lift my mood and gives me a little burst of energy.
It’s not about being perfect…
Most days, I still don’t know what I’m doing. Am I reading his cues correctly, am I making sure he’s reaching his milestones? Am I horrible for letting him stay in the crib a few minutes longer so I can vacuum? (The answer is no.) I’ve beat myself up time and time again, felt mom guilt to level 9,000 because I haven’t reached a point of perfection that I’ve set out for myself. But then I see the way his eyes light up when I say, “good morning, sunshine!” or how he turns to look at my husband and I for a response after he touches his toes and realize it’s not about being perfect; it’s about love. Giving him all the love and wisdom and guidance I possibly can, and having him feel and know that I’m there for him.