On a walk the other day, our sweet little Lissa, skipped ahead with such glee and joy and then suddenly stopped dead in her tracks and squealed out loud in excitement- “mom look at this heart!” She had found a leaf, a tiny little leaf hanging from a large tree full of much larger leaves, shaped perfectly like a little heart. Her face was full of wonder as she exclaimed that it was the most perfect leaf ever!
In that moment, watching her eyes light up at the little details, I learned a lesson. My free spirited, wild child life is full of glitter and unicorns. My 6 year-old taught me to look for goodness everywhere; look for the hearts in unexpected places; to see the joy in even the smallest moments.
My kids are my greatest teachers.
I remember our first positive test, that first flutter kick, feeling all the emotions of “Am I ready? Do I know enough? Can I teach them everything they need to learn?” Yes, I’m a long-term thinker like that and worried in those early months about reading every parenting book, sleep training book, learning all the things on all things mothering. There were opinions about this and that, right and wrong, schedules and milestones for everything under the sun and I was determined to know them all. I mean, I was the mom and needed to know it all to teach it all, right?? Moms are always right.
I guess that’s been part of the beauty of my journey these last few years. The beauty found in waking up, realizing that I don’t know it all…and that’s ok. It’s ok to not know, it’s ok to not understand, it’s ok to ask questions, it’s ok to answer your sweet child with, “I honestly don’t know sweetie, let’s find out.” That doesn’t make you less of a mom. I believe that makes you a better mom. There is so much beauty in that raw vulnerability, that honesty, that humility, in saying “I don’t know, but let’s learn together.”
In the Bible, in Matthew 18, we are taught that we are to become as little children. Why is that? What attribute of children are we missing as adults?? I have always thought it was humility, which is a great attribute to learn. But what happens when we learn humility? How does that spiral?? Is it bigger than just being humble? Maybe! A friend pointed out to me the other day, in that real humility, we become more like children- we ask questions, we aren’t afraid to say “I don’t know”. We search and study, we try to learn. We let our walls down, we let people in, we aren’t afraid to be vulnerable, to look for truth all around us and find joy in the little moments and details.
As I have been thinking on this, praying to understand, I have come to realize that my view of mothering has changed. My attitude of “I’m the mom and I say so” has slowly changed to “I’m the mom and I don’t know it all but I’d love to learn together.” I have learned so many lessons from my kids over the years. The lesson of slowing down, finding joy in the smallest details, the deep relationships that authenticity and vulnerability brings. Kids are as honest as they come- from the mouth of babes right? This role of mother, the greatest name I could ever have, means so much to me. I pray that I can mother from a place of honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, faith, and humility to keep being as a child, learning together with my sweet children.
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