They say you learn a lot from being a parent. Here are my top seven:
To be patient. In my opinion, patience is probably the #1 characteristic a parent must have. Without it, nothing will go right and everyone will be stressed out – including the kids. As a mom to a rambunctious 9-year-old with ADHD, I have to remind myself to be patient daily – especially in the mornings. When I’m not, I go to work with elevated blood pressure and the kid goes to school with a negative state of mind. It’s not good for anyone and it can shape the way your whole day goes. I’ve noticed that when I’m patient with him in the mornings, things are better for us both.
To be prepared. For any and everything. As a mom, I’ve learned to always have snacks, coloring/drawing supplies, bandages, hand sanitizer, tissue, etc. at the ready. There will always be a time when you (and your children) have to wait for something, somewhere – like at the doctor’s/dentist’s office or to be seated at a restaurant. Being prepared with some sort of entertainment to combat the “I’m boreds” and some sort of snack to combat the “I’m starvings” is a necessity.
To let things go. I like to argue. So much so, that when I was a kid my dad swore I’d be a lawyer when I grew up. The kid also likes to argue (he totally got it honestly). For a long time, when he’d argue, I’d argue back. It made no sense. He knew he was wrong. I knew he was wrong. He knew I knew he was wrong. Why was I arguing with him? I’ve learned that even when every bone in my body is urging me to keep up the argument until he admits defeat, to let go.
To laugh. At him. At myself. At life. While the kid got my attitude and sassiness, he also got the hubs’ silly personality and sense of humor. Even when things are going so very wrong, he can do or say something that will just make me want to dissolve into laughter. I’ve learned to embrace the laughter – even when I really feel like crying.
To play. I was never a real big “player” as a kid. I was more content to read my books (still am). However, as a mom, I don’t have the luxury of saying “no thank you” when the kid asks me to play with LEGO blocks or board games with him. Sure, the hubs does most the action figure and wrestling playtime, but I still need to have a presence during playtime. I don’t want him to look back on his childhood and remember me NOT playing with him.
To have thick skin. I’m going to be real with you, I’m not in the best shape and really need to lose some weight. I know it. Really, I do. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt when the kid says, “Mommy, you used to be a lot thinner.” Or “Mom, why aren’t you skinny anymore?” I used to let that hurt my feelings (OK, it still does sometimes), but I’ve gotten much better about it. The fact that I’m working on getting back in shape (six pounds down so far!) helps.
To love unconditionally. The love a mom has for her child is indescribable. I can’t explain how much my heart swells when I think about how much I love my son. No matter what he does, how much he drives me crazy or if he hurts my feelings with an unintentionally insensitive comment, I still love him so much. Nothing will ever change that.