Last month my oldest daughter turned TEN! 10 years of parenting fails and parenting wins. 10 years of feeling like my heart is going to explode with so much love and hope for this girl. 10 years of wondering if I’m doing this right. Through the years I’ve learned parenting is not for the faint of heart. From the time you see the first positive pregnancy test until eternity, you will worry about your children. Each stage of life has brought both its own set of joys as well as fears and has taught me so much about life and myself. Here are the top 5 things I’ve learned in my last 10 ten years of parenting.
1. Unconditional love. The love you have for your significant other is completely different than the love you have for your child; there is nothing I wouldn’t do for my children. There is simply nothing like the bond between a mother and a child.
2. Finding joy in every day. Sometimes my oldest gets caught up in a cycle of negativity (like the time I asked her how gym class was and she listed all the sports she didn’t like) so to start our day off, I’ve created a positive songs playlist we listen to on the way to school. It’s taught me to be more optimistic and teach her to find the good in situations.
3. Making memories > things. Every year we go through the toys and throw away/donate so much STUFF. I’ve learned that making memories, like our yearly Nutcracker outing, vacations and taking her to Chicago for her first Broadway musical, has more staying power than buying them all the things.
4. Be silly. Dance parties in the kitchen, car karaoke and dancing at local live bands are all part of our routine. I love that these kids fully embrace the saying of “dance like nobody’s watching.” They are truly themselves in every way possible and have taught me to be more of the same way.
5. No two children are alike. If you decide to have more than one child, you will quickly find that each one is unique. How I parent my first child is completely different from how I parent my second.
Life these these two is anything but dull. They test my patience, challenge me to think in new ways, and make me want to be a better version of myself. The title ‘Mom’ was something I never knew I wanted untilI I became one and it truly is the best.