“Understanding is a two-way street” -Eleanor Roosevelt
Motherhood is amazing, isn’t it? You are blessed with these little people and it’s your job to raise them. You do your best to teach them right from wrong, give them a safe space to process emotions, and love them unconditionally. Surprisingly, they teach you more than you ever thought they could. My 4 year old has taught me more about life than any self-help book I have come across. Here are a few things I have learned from my preschooler.
- Wake Up Early – To be fair, this is actually in most self-help books I have read. Waking up early leads to a more productive day. But, I’m not talking 7 a.m. early. My 4 year old wakes up at 3 a.m. in search of a more comfortable bed (mine, of course). Comfort isn’t his only angle here. He is first to know the moment I get out of bed and the first of four kids to eat breakfast. As an early riser, he gets the best fruit and yogurt selection. The early bird really does get the worm.
- Run Everywhere – My kids run EVERYWHERE. I have no idea how they do this. It’s like they are all in a Jurassic Park movie. Running, hiding, pretending to eat each other. If I ran everywhere like they did, I would be 20 pounds lighter and have the endurance of an Olympian. I tried copying my preschooler’s every move once and gave up after approximately 5 minutes. Preschoolers are in great shape.
- Release Your Emotions – You know when you’re in an obscenely long line and you hear a kid screaming? At first you’re like, “oh great, that’s awesome to listen to while stuck in line,” but really, the kid is only doing what we’re all feeling on the inside. You can’t blame him! Am I suggesting everyone start wailing in line? No, but it’s okay to let your emotions go a little bit. When your friend forgets your birthday, don’t get passive aggressive. Take a tip from Daniel Tiger and use your words. Next time Dunkin’ Donuts runs out of chocolate chip muffins, shed a tear or two if you feel them welling up. You might feel better. If you don’t like the dinner someone made for you, don’t throw it on the floor and stomp on it, though. I needed my own Daniel Tiger song to get through that night.
- Don’t freak out about matching your clothes. I will preface this by saying that I am a stay at home mom. If I had to go to an office each day, I wouldn’t take this lesson to heart. For a while, looking “put together” when I left the house was important to me. One day, I found myself frustrated when I couldn’t find the match to the shoes I wanted to wear. I looked over at my son, who was wearing a polo shirt, basketball shorts, and rain boots. It clicked. Who. Cares. It’s just Target. Wear your sneakers.
- Dance crazy, not cool. Remember this; it’s important. Dancing is about having fun, not looking good. I am saddened to say there was a time I would not dance because I didn’t think I could. I’d sit at the table and sway awkwardly, convinced everyone would look at me if I got up. Since then, I’ve caught sight of my son dancing with reckless abandon. What preschooler doesn’t believe they can dance? They all KNOW they can dance, because they have arms and legs and can move them at will. You can dance too. Have fun.
There is so much we can learn from the little people in the world. Own your feelings, don’t waste time finding your other shoe, and spin around like no one’s watching.