What My Kids Taught Me in 2013


 Kids Taught Me

::Photo by Kristy Dooley Photography::

As we get ready to enter 2014, I wanted to take a chance to reflect on the past year.

Being a mom sometimes feels like I’m in school all over again, constantly learning something new and at times struggling to figure out an answer to a problem that I’ve been staring at for what seems like forever. My children are constantly teaching me new things as I spend each day parenting them. So what I have learned this past year from my kids?

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]My kids don’t need a perfect mom, just a present mom.[/typography]

I need to stop obsessing over being the perfect mom and remember that my kids just want and need a present mom. A mom who sits and reads with them. Who will sing “The Wheels on the Bus” for the fiftieth time with a smile. A mom who kisses their boo-boos and who lets them climb up onto her lap to watch their favorite show. A mom who loves them. Even when she’s tired or worried or thinks she’s not doing enough. So I will keep working at silencing the inner voice that tells me I’m failing my kids because I’m not perfect, and remember that all my kids really want is me. I’m enough.

Nora and Nissa holding hands

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Life is beautiful, sometimes hard, but mostly beautiful.[/typography]

Really. Life. is. beautiful. It’s a gift. Is it hard at times? Yes. Are there days that I’d rather just go crawl back into bed and beg for a re-do? Absolutely. But as I learn to see my life through my children’s eyes, I am continually reminded that life is beautiful and full of joy around every corner if I am only willing to see it.

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Once I start to feel like I have things figured out, things WILL change and I’ll feel completely lost again.[/typography]

Welcome to motherhood (or just life for that matter). My girls will get into a routine and I’ll start to feel comfortable- like I know what I’m doing and maybe I’ve got this whole parenting thing down after all. And then- boom! Teething, they get sick, the terrible two’s. And then I’m just as lost as before. But you know what I’ve come to realize? It’s OK. It too shall pass and we will hit a new groove again. And so goes the cycle 🙂

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Motherhood is full of moments- moments that are all too fleeting and moments that matter no matter how small they seem.[/typography]

Cutting out snowflakes matters. Making lunch matters. Folding laundry matters. Taking care of sick kids matters. Listening to stories matter. Driving kids to school matters. Counting to ten again and again matters. Helping with homework matters. Singing the same song over and over matters. Laughing matters. Rocking babies matter. All of these normal everyday motherhood moments matter, and I need to remind myself that they hold infinite worth no matter how small and mundane they may feel.

Nissa reading stories

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Comparison will breed discontentment.[/typography]

I’ve talked about comparison before and you can read more about my thoughts on it here. What I’ve dealt with personally this past year is comparing myself to the “pinterest mom”. You know the one I’m talking about- the imaginary mom who has a spotless house, a home-cooked and delicious meal on the table morning, noon and night, a wall full of beautiful crafts that she makes with her kids each day, a quite and peaceful house full of children who play well together, entertain themselves when needed, nap when asked, and NEVER throw tantrums. Oh and she also homeschools, makes her own toothpaste, and grinds her own flour. Now I don’t know if there is a mom out there that looks like this, but after spending time on pinterest for any length of time, I’m sure that she exists and that every mom falls into that category but me. But through my children’s love and mommy admiration I have been reminded that I may not be that “pinterest mom” but that my kids still love me. So instead of comparing myself to this false ideal and wishing away my precious moments with my children, I’m going to continue to fight to be content in and embrace the mother that I am, flaws and all. 

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]That I’m beautiful, even on my worst days.[/typography]

My daughter has a way of making me feel incredibly beautiful. Even when I feel at my worse, she somehow picks up on it and reminds me that I’m beautiful in her eyes. Or when I am beating myself up about my post-children body, all I have to do is look at my sweet babies and remember that my body is beautiful because it has brought forth life. Enough said.

Nissa maternity

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Forgive. Learn. And let go.[/typography]

I am continually humbled with how quickly my daughter can forgive. When I have been in the wrong and asked for her forgiveness, she is quick to pour out grace on me and remind me of just how much she loves me. And yet as an adult I find that I am quick to hold on to grudges and hurt feelings. I have quite a bit to learn from my girlies when it comes to forgiveness.

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Let them help, even if it takes longer for me. [/typography]

This has been a hard one for me to learn. I tend to want to do things myself and get them done faster and the way that I want them (can you tell I like control?). But as Nora has moved through the toddler years, I’ve realized how essential it is for me to let her help me in the daily tasks around our home; washing dishes, sweeping, baking, laundry. She delights in these things (and I’m sure that won’t be the case for long!) and longs to help me. So while it may take me a few more minutes (or maybe more like 20 more minutes) I need to say “yes” more than I say “no” to those small little pleas begging to be heard.

Nora helping

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]I need to fight to let my kids be kids.[/typography]

They are kids. They are not mini adults, nor mini-me’s. They are unique, challenging at moments, wonderful, crazy, energetic, emotional, crying, laughing, jumping on couches, learning, beautiful, independent people. They are learning what it takes to be adults, they are growing, and they need to be taught. But they also need to be kids. They need to spend times making messes. Playing with paints. Running outside. Creating. Building. Taking apart. Laughing. Learning. Jumping. Exploring. Reading. They need to be kids. And you can gift them with that space – that wonderful space called childhood that can so easily be sucked out of the everyday by the busy demands of our culture. Let them be kids.

Nora walking

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]I am able to function on much less sleep than I ever thought possible.[/typography]

This one is self explanatory. I love sleep. I don’t get enough of it. And yet somehow I still function.

[typography font=”Satisfy” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Celebrate the little things.[/typography]

Kids celebrate life. They celebrate the little things – the sun in the morning, the snow falling, the piece of candy that you buy, jumping in puddles, playing in a box, the sound of daddy’s car pulling in the driveway, time with grandparents, putting groceries in the cart at the store, the giggles of her sister, a game of peek-a-boo, time spent reading a book-  the little things in life. Don’t stop seeing those things, the gifts, in your own life. Start to see the world with eyes like a child and appreciate the blessings in the everyday.


What have your kids taught you this past year?


  1. This is really beautiful, Nissa. Thank you. My little guy has taught me so much in his 9 months earthside – namely, to be more selfless and to let go. I look back at my pre-mommy days and realize how self-consumed I was in my own (somewhat trivial) matters and how much I underestimated the sacrifices of my mom-friends. He’s also taught me to let go, which is a lesson that recently hit me like a brick wall. As much as I think I want to be that Pinterest mom, what I really want is to be a happy mom with a happy kid… and a messy house and unfolded laundry.


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