Life Lessons To You, From Mom :: Part 1

life lessons part 1

As a recent mom of two girls, I’ve been feeling the weight of being a parent and responsible for the healthy upbringing of two beautiful little humans. I can’t help but to wonder: What will they be like when they’re older? What will their interests be? How will their personalities unfold? Will I do enough, say enough, show enough and be enough to allow them to be everything that they have the potential to be? Will my guidance, teachings and love be worthy of a hearty future for them?

There are so many values, principles, and standards that I want them to grasp and hold themselves to. All of these thoughts, and more (waaaaaaaay more), are common among all parents. But since I have this blog, here, I’m thinking it’s not a bad idea to share some of the wisdom I’d like to impart on my girls as they grow. Could be therapeutic, even. It’s like they say, if you keep a notepad by your bed and jot down all of the thoughts that keep you up at night (like errands you have to run the next day and ideas you don’t want to forget) then you’ll hopefully get to sleep quicker and be more at peace knowing that these thoughts won’t slip away from you. Well maybe jotting down my wishes and hopes for my girls will also allow me to rest a little easier because they’ll be documented and never forgotten. Also, God forbid that anything ever bad happens to me before my girls are grown, but if it does, my “lessons” will still live on after I do. My girls will always know of the things I wanted and hoped and dreamed for them and of just how much I love them. Sorry things got a little dark there, but it’s true that I worry about them growing up without their mama’s guidance. Moving on…

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So I’ve been brainstorming, trying to compose a substantial list of these meaningful life lessons to bestow upon my girls. But I have to admit, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed for two reasons:

1) How in the world can I possibly conjure up every single lesson, tidbit of knowledge, useful tip, word of wisdom, thoughtful insight or clever piece of advice that I want to teach my children, right here and right now?! I’m bound to leave something out. More like, pages worth of golden gems will surely be forgotten and left out. This is an impossible task for a Thursday evening, on minimal sleep over the past 3 months (hello, Mommy brain!) and during an unknown period of time while the girls are napping.

2) As I write this, I’m only 32 years young. I haven’t even lived half of my life yet (shit, I flippin’ hope that’s true!) so the idea of making a complete list at this point in my life is just silly. I’ve still got plenty more life to live and lessons to learn, myself. That’s right, moms don’t know everything. Although that would be a pretty sweet deal.

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So, instead of writing out all of the things that I wish to enlighten my children with, I think it best to turn this list into a series of them. I don’t intend to make them a usual or scheduled occurrence, just a random and whenever-I-please sort of thing.

With that being said, here goes my first set of “life lessons” I leave for my girls.

(Mia: age 3 years, 1 month // Margo: age 1 month, 10 days)

1) Drink a ton of water!

As you mature, you’ll learn how beneficial this will be for your skin, hair and overall health. But for now, at this young age, you’re learning how it’s used as a preventative measure in avoiding constipation and a “hurt peepee”. That’s right, we’ve recently dealt with tears while on the toilet in regards to an unpleasant #2…and…sometimes it hurts to pee after a day without enough water. Using these two occurrences as examples for the importance of hydrating one’s self have proven to be most effective in getting results.

2) Do kind things for others…

…whether they be your family, friends or strangers. Every single act of kindness makes our world a little bit better of a place to live in. And, when you do go out of your way for others, please oh please don’t ever expect a single thing in return. Not even a “thank you.” If the recipient of your kindness fails to thank you, that only shows their lack of manners. Doing good out of the kindness of your heart is the point, here. NOT receiving credit or acknowledgement.

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3) Don’t let others take advantage of your kindness.

After offering the previous “lesson”, I have to also tell you that there are people who will take advantage of your kindness. You’ll find out who these people are soon enough. They’re the ones who pop up out of the woodwork, taking from you, using you, mooching off of your giving heart without ever giving to you of themselves…out of the kindness of their own heart. Show kindness to those who truly deserve it or are in need. The rest of them? Just give them nothing more than a view of you, walking away.

4) Be an advocate for good manners.

In a world where they seem to be slipping away, where their importance has fallen to the wayside in many homes, lead others by example. Uphold them for all to see and hear. Say “please” and “thank you.” Open doors for others (and if they don’t thank you for that, apologize to them for not sprinkling rose petals along their path as well *insert sarcasm here*). Say “thank you” when another holds a door open for you. Help an old, pregnant, or handicapped person carry their bags. Give up your seat while waiting at a restaurant, on a bus, in an office, etc. to another who looks like they could use a break (a pregnant woman, young child, the elderly, an injured person or an exhausted looking mom who spends hours of the day waiting on hand and foot to her children and significant other, etc). If you find a lost item, no matter its value, return it to the proper authorities or the owner. Say “excuse me” when crossing in front of someone in the aisle of a grocery store as they’re looking for which box of cereal to choose. If you bump into someone, immediately say “excuse me.” Manners make people feel good and using them, hopefully, reminds everyone that we should respect one another, no matter how different, if for nothing more than because we are all members of the human race.

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5) You are unique. Embrace this.

There is no one else in the history of existence who is exactly like you. Just being yourself is adding something new and different to the world. But unfortunately, you live in a time where society wants you to act and think according to their mainstream ways…following trends, styles, diets, etc. Ignore all of that crap. Don’t buy into their bologna of what you should look like, how you should talk, what you should wear, what music to listen to, and what’s considered “cool.” Please, don’t ever change or hide who you are for another. And don’t ever let the world get you down for being different. Girls, follow your hearts towards your passions. Celebrate the mind and body that you were born with, they’re perfectly imperfect. Nourish your soul with how you see fit. Dance to the beat of your own drum. Just do you. Because an original is always worth more than a copy.

6) Step outside of your comfort zone.

It’s where all of the magic happens. It’s where you’ll discover something new about yourself, like how you handle pressure, stress, fear, envy, the unknown. Or maybe you’ll reveal a hidden talent or strength, uncover a new passion or interest, or learn a new skill, or even discover a favorite food. You may find yourself feeling awkward or uncomfortable, but I swear girls, it’s worth it! Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits.

7) Introduce yourself to Mother Nature.

Build a relationship with her and actively maintain it, whether you do so by hiking her trails or camping out in her depths. There is so much to learn about ourselves when we’re stripped of many of our possessions and smack dab in the middle of nowhere among the wild beauty of nature. Feel the breeze in your hair, absorb the sun on your skin, breathe in that fresh air, savor the sweet scent of life, listen to the peaceful sound of growth among the plants and the chatter among the wildlife, quiet your mind from the stresses of home, take note of the deliberate pace at which all is accomplished, allow yourself to find but a small place in her bosom, and allow her into yours. You’ll be forever changed.

 

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Comments

  1. This first list is PERFECT. Seriously. Of course my favorite is #7 and I don’t even need to explain why, you’ve said it all… but #1 really stayed with me because it’s something that I was not raised to do and now at 27 I’m trying to force myself to drink water!!!

    • Yeah, I think you two have really perfected #7. I need to get out there A LOT MORE. As life settles a bit more, we will. There are many camping trips and hikes in our future :)

  2. wonderful, beautiful advice. and these photographs. my heart could burst. you are amazing & your girls are so very blessed. <3

    • These photos were so close to NOT happening. They took place immediately after a tantrum from Mia. She originally didn’t want to cooperate but I was able to bribe her with a few M&Ms. I’m not above that…what…so…ever :) Thanks, doll!

  3. What a wonderful idea. After just having my third I too wonder about what I am going to teach my kids and I hope I don’t forget anything. I am going to follow in your footsteps and write a list for my 3 munchkins. Can’t wait to see the next installment!

    • That’s awesome, Sara. Trying to wrangle up all of our constant Mama Thoughts is nearly impossible. I’m glad you’re inspired. Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. Beautiful advice for your girls. I too hope these are things I raise my children to know and to practice. Sometimes we need to sit back and take things a little less seriously, and narrow it down to the most importants things, like you have here.

  5. Such wonderful, wise advice for your girls. (P.S., Mia is such a lovely name… hehe!) I have 2 boys, but as a mom, I can totally relate to this post. The fears and hopes for our children that keep us up at night. Sometimes I’m driving to work and I get overwhelmed with emotion just thinking about the people they are and will grow to be. :)

    Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

    • Aw, thanks Mia! So weird calling someone else that name. I know no other “Mias” other than my little stinker :) Anyways, thanks for stopping by and appreciating my words.

  6. These are all wonderful tips! Your girls are absolutely adorable. I love how much hair your youngest has. She is so beautiful. Being a parent sounds so tough and you are right, it is so hard to remember every lesson you have to teach. Some things come to me when I observe other parents, but it is always tricky. Sharing with our parents and families!

  7. I love this idea! What a great way to impart your life lessons to your children. They’re absolutely adorable!

  8. I love this list! Thanks so much for sharing! Your girls are precious! I love the stepping outside your comfort zone! I think it is so important and teaches you about yourself.

  9. This is absolutely beautiful and a sweet idea. I may steal, journal, and gift every decade. Impart my new wisdom as it grows and leave her with a collection. I love this.

  10. Great list and these pictures are just precious! I have three girls aged 4 and under, so I totally know how you feel. Sometimes I feel like I just get caught up in the daily hectic life and forget about the underlying values :)

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