Another week, another chance to make the most of what you have. And it’s another opportunity to share some insightful things that I’ve learned since the last post that you read. The weekend has been filled with a lot of positive and negative experiences. On the bright side, my daughter remains unchanged by the things that happen around her. When you’re a parent and you’re dealing with life and its many ups and downs, you hope that the consequences that follow don’t affect your children, in any way. That’s the most difficult part, isn’t it? Making sure that they don’t feel the stormy parts of yourself.
Hiding the parts of you that make you who you are, especially the traits that you wish they never get to see. For instance, it’s pretty normal for you to have a bad temper when someone takes advantage and pushes you beyond your limits. Yet, you’ve never shown your child that part of you. You remain gentle and kind to them, even when you’re burning everything around you to the ground. The thing is when you go through these dreadful moments, it’s easier to watch it all burn when you’re alone. But, when you have a child, things are different, extremely different. You have to watch your emotions at all times. These little people are like sponges, just waiting to soak up everything that you throw their way. Be it the good or the bad. Choosing your words and mirroring your actions becomes a big part of your life.
It’s a drastic change if you’ve never had to worry about these things. Take me for instance, “Fuck” used to be the best way that I could express any overwhelming emotions. I love the versatility of this simple word. It drives the message across and depending on the situation, you don’t even need to follow through with facial expressions. But, nowadays, I can’t use it willy-nilly. I can’t risk my daughter using it in her vocab. Not yet, anyway. Hopefully, she’ll discover it on her own and rejoice in the liberating feeling of what “Fuck this shit or let’s get fucked up” truly means. For now, I have to make sure that I watch my mouth around her even though it gets a bit difficult sometimes. Especially when people just constantly do people shit. I mean, show me a word better than this one to get your message across.
However, this isn’t a post about my failure to replace my favourite words. Instead, it’s a post about some lessons that my daughter has taught me over the weekend. Well, rather the life lessons that she reminded me of.
Fortunately, they go beyond learning how to mind my language. At the top of my head, these are the 4 most significant things that I’ve been taught since the last time that I shared parts of my journey with you.
1. Be gentle with yourself
When you’ve gone through traumatic experiences, it’s easy to forget what being gentle means. Most importantly, what it means to you. It’s easy to build up walls, throw in countless “fucks” in your sentences, and keep it moving. We hardly ever have the time to find coping mechanisms that help us to cope, instead, we put our fears in a mental box.
2. Be selfish with your time
How many times have you been guilty of prioritizing yourself in the past 6 months? Be it at work, home, or in your social circles? When was the last time you didn’t think about what other people will say when you focus on your wellbeing? This is an important lesson that my daughter has taught me. She takes her time to focus on herself very seriously. Sometimes, she’ll decide she doesn’t want to talk to us. Or she’ll decide that she doesn’t need us to work for the rest of the day. Her time is important, and nothing gets in the way of this.
3. Move on from it all
How much time have you lost trying to stay in situations where you were no longer welcomed? Moving on is difficult. It requires a lot of introspection before you can let go and get to the next phase of your life. But have you seen how swiftly a toddler moves on from one thing to the next? This is a skill that we all need. Can you imagine how it feels when you never worry about the complexities of what the unknown means?
4. It’s okay to cry
The universe will always give you a load to be frustrated about. It doesn’t matter whether you take it as a challenge or a blessing. Frustrations can make life difficult for you. Kids are used to navigating through their frustrations. Crying is the most effective thing to get through discontent. You would be surprised to find that your emotional crying can benefit you. According to scientific research, emotional tears are the best way to get rid of stress-causing hormones and other toxins. So, please cry when things get tough.
In summary, you’ll go through different things on your journey. It doesn’t matter if you’re a frustrated parent who has to limit the “fucks” that they give. Sometimes, learning from our children can just be what we need to find the answers. Life doesn’t stop to ask if you’ve learned your lesson, instead, it’ll force you to face your fears. You’ll learn whether you choose to or not. For some people, having a toddler to instil life lessons is the best way to navigate through it all.