When I had my daughter 10 months ago, I had no idea the world of wonder I was in for. My daughter has taught me so much in these last 10 months and truly put my practice into action. I have been tested and challenged more times than I can count only to come out the other side more open, loving, patient and receptive.
This mother’s day I not only want to honor all of the mothers out there who do so much for their families day in and day out but also these little bundles of joy who have graced our days with so much happiness.
Here are some of the things I have learned from my daughter so far:
It’s all good – at the end of the day, no matter what happened or how you think you screwed up, it’s all good. You are the perfect mother for that little child and I believe that these little beings have chosen you to be his/her mother because of who you are, not who you strive to be. The best thing you can do is be the best version of yourself and own up to your struggles. Kids learn so much by watching you and will mostly learn how to take responsibility by your example. There is always another chance to start again and our practice helps us to come into the now and see the opportunity right in front of us.
Take time to pause – in the beginning, my daughter took the majority of her naps on my chest. This meant that I had lots of time to sit in stillness and meditate. I used this time as an opportunity to digest and reflect on the changes that were taking place in my life. It is a huge transition – becoming a mother – and these precious moments we have to just be and connect with our babies is so precious. It goes by much quicker than I ever thought it could.
Let go – The greatest advice I was given during my pregnancy came from a mother of three. She told me that being a mother is like being in a perpetual state of letting go. It starts with the umbilical chord and only continues from there. The more we can support our children in their process rather than attach ourselves to their success, the more they will feel empowered to follow their ambitions and become the person they choose to be.
Brush things off your shoulder – I have seen my daughter fall down and get back up time and time again until she learns how to sit up, stand up and now start to crawl. I have also witnessed her go to the exact place where she fell and try again. She doesn’t seem tainted by her challenges yet invigorated to master the skill. If she is hurt or something upsets her then she cries to let it out and then it’s over. Everything is temporary and if we live by this principle we can learn from our mistakes and move on faster.
The world is your oyster – there are so many beautiful, spectacular things to look at that we see everyday. The flowers you walk past on your way to work, the sun as it sets over the ocean, the colors in a painting that hangs on your wall. A child reminds you to marvel at the small things and never take anything for granted. She teaches me to be present with my surroundings in a way I had never experienced before.
Ask for help – my daughter is great about expressing what she needs, in the moment. I have often thought to myself, what if I too asked for what I needed when I needed it most. Mom guilt is a real thing and something I struggle with on a daily basis. But what if I was able to lean on those I love to care for me when I needed a massage or a walk in the park. I believe that we can learn a lot from this little beings and trust that we are always supported if we reach out and ask for help.
You are love – children are the daily reminder of our eternal essence, love. They are pure little beings of light the moment they arrive in this world. They are blessings that have landed into the bellies of mothers everywhere only to change our lives for the better. The way my daughter looks into my eyes reminds me of that well of love that lives within all of us. She sees the good in every living thing, the reflection of the love she has in her. She has torn down so many walls of separation I built over the years to protect my heart and reminded me that we are all love.
Last but certainly not least, drop the technology – I believe the internet is a powerful tool for helping us to stay connected and discover new information. But I also know that it is causing a ton of isolation and feelings of inadequacy. My daughter hates when I am on my phone and if I try to type an email, she is right at my feet looking up at me for interaction. The real connections happen face to face, through eye contact or a handshake. So while we can use our phones and devices to stay connected, don’t let it replace the time you spend simply being with those you love.
Moms and dads, what have you learned from your little ones? Let us know in the comments below.