…and I received a child.
Months before conception, I asked God to send me a teacher that would be compassionate, patient, and loving. I desperately needed guidance that wasn’t going to be forced down my throat.
When I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test, I closed my eyes and took a deep breath; maybe I was imagining this result. I could feel my pulse in my ears, my neck, and hands. My first thought was that I had NOTHING to teach anyone and somehow I would fail at being a mother. At the time I was naive, irresponsible and allowed my emotions to control my life.
When reality finally set in, I immediately set out to take care of my mental, physical, and spiritual health. It was crucial for me to be mentally healthy because I felt like all of my thoughts and emotions would be felt by this child that was quickly growing within my womb.
Fast forward 8 months, 17 hours of labor, I realized my prayers had been answered as soon as I saw my son’s face.
Here is what I’ve learned in the first 2.5 years:
- Do not resist the process, just breathe through the pain. Without labor pain, I would still exaggerate my pain level on the 10 smiley face chart at the doctor’s office;
- I still hit my hip bone on the edge of tables
- I still hit my pinky toe on furniture, SURE it’ll fall off “this time”.
- I still know the monthly pain of womanhood. BUT I’ve learned to stop, breathe, release the tension and talk myself through the process: “You’re okay” and keep it moving.
- Slow down. What’s the rush? Really, what is the rush?” Granted, babies/toddlers have no responsibilities but they’re certainly not rushing through life like they have fire on their heels; maybe that is one reason they’re so happy.
- Question yourself first. It is easy to question the world around you but ultimately it is more important to observe and question yourself. When I started to question my feelings, thoughts, words, and actions while interacting with my son, everything changed for the better. I quickly realized:
- My impatience has NOTHING to do with him.
- My “No” to simple, reasonable requests is me being selfish.
- Being a parent does not grant me the “Because, I said so” right.
- Happiness is natural. Children spend more time laughing and enjoying themselves than being upset. I learned to appreciate my existence when my son was 7 months old. He was waking up excited for no reason than just, being. He was ready to melt hearts with his toothless smile, frequent giggle fits, and warm affection. At 2 years old, he isn’t choosing to be happy in 30 minutes or under specified circumstances. He continues to remind me to live in the present moment and just have fun.
- Allow yourself to feel. Children show their emotions whenever they arise, allowing themselves express it, release it, and move on. I don’t plan on having a tantrum when Publix runs out of my favorite juice but I am learning to be honest with myself and others instead of suppressing the energy until an inner volcano erupts. It truly gives me a sense of freedom to be able to express my feelings without fearing of what other may think. More importantly, I am more aware of how my vibe may affect my son and others around me. Keep the vibrations high.
- Get plenty of fresh air. It has always been important for me to raise my son to love the outdoors since my best childhood memories were spent playing outdoors until sunset. Every single day, even after my 8-5pm shift, we spend time outside (if its raining-we’re on the balcony feeling the cool raindrops on our skin). Together we watch clouds go by, listen to the birds, run around outside without shoes, go for walks, bike rides, have water fun and soak up the energy of the sun and the moon. I used to be worried about missing out on clubbing, traveling and going out with friends once I became a mother, but since being blessed with this teacher of mine, I’ve had more fun connecting with my inner child.
- Pay attention. Learning never ends. Observe the world like a child without bias or judging and you begin to learn so many things by remaining open. Every day my son is exploring something new and feeding his mind with something fresh. This motivates me to teach myself a variety of subjects like numerology, life drawing, etc. We are both teachers and classmates in this realm together.
From my heart,
What lessons have you learned from your children?