My daughter will be four in a few weeks and planning her birthday party caused me to look back and think about our four years together —the good, the bad, and the ugly. It astonishes me, as I sit here in a rare moment of quiet, all of the life lessons my beautiful, stubborn, funny, smart (did I mention stubborn) daughter has taught me. These are the seven most important life lessons to remember and cherish I’ve learned in my journey as her mother.
- Sometimes you just don’t feel like getting out of bed.
My daughter, without a doubt, is not a morning person. She will whine, bargain, and plead to not get out of bed. It’s too cold. It’s too hot. It’s not bright enough in her room to wake up. It’s too bright in her room to wake up. The excuses are limitless and epic. I will whine, bargain, and plead right back. However, the realization struck me the other day— sometimes you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. My patience in those early morning hours is so much greater now that I empathize with how she is feeling. She still has to get out of bed though.
- It’s okay to have a bad day.
I used to feel guilty if I was particularly tired or didn’t give my daughter one hundred percent of my attention that day. You know what though? We all have bad days and that’s okay too. We’ll get through that day and try again the next. I read somewhere or someone once told me—don’t give one hundred percent of yourself all day, all the time, nonstop. If you do, you will become exhausted, overworked, and resentful. Instead, give ninety percent to your family and responsibilities and save the other ten percent for just you.
- A change of scenery can work wonders.
One of the scariest things in my life right now are my daughter’s tantrums. Yelling, throwing things, you name it, I’ve seen it. A change of scenery can work small miracles. Getting outside for a walk, breathing in some fresh air, can change any bad attitude; mine or hers.
- Take the long way home.
My daughter loves to take the long way home from school. I can think of a million and one other things that need to get done and going the long way isn’t one of them. However, slowing down to appreciate the natural beauty around us is irreplaceable each time we take the long way home.
- Naps are wonderful.
My daughter is at the point of giving up naps. I should be grateful she took them this long, but all I can think are naps are wonderful things. We should all be allowed to take a mid-day rest no matter our age.
- You don’t need to spend a ton of money.
Some of the best things in life really are free; a beautiful blue sky, a hot day at the beach, jumping into a leaf pile, walking hand in hand with my daughter. You can’t put a price tag on any of those things.
- Enjoy every moment.
Four years has come and gone so fast. There were days I couldn’t believe how slowly the clock ticked by, but the years have come and gone in the blink of an eye. Before long my daughter will be in school full time and my time with her has been so short.
So until then, I soak her up and enjoy every minute; the good, the bad, and the ugly.