What can our children really teach us?
The other day I was having a conversation with someone who said his 2 year old daughter has taught him to be ‘more present’ and in the ‘moment’. This started a chain of thoughts in my head.
I started thinking about what my son has taught me over the years, and the list is endless.
The journey started from eating healthy and being healthy, that was required to even bring him into our lives. He taught me a new ‘way of living’ before he even came into my life. Ever since we have conceived him, our relationship towards food has completely changed. This is a learning that we still hold very close to our heart as a family, not only following it ourselves, but now also inculcating the same into his lifestyle.
During my pregnancy, I was highly ‘Grateful’ for the gift we received. I required a lot of ‘Discipline’ in my life to ensure everything went smoothly, and of course my intentions were very firm. Exercising and walking regularly everyday, not only helped me continue with my work and lifestyle during those days, but has had a long term impact on both mine and my son’s body. This ‘Discipline’ allowed me to have a natural birth, without having to take any painkillers or Epidural.
The first few months with my son were one of ‘Endurance’ and ‘Perseverance’, while learning to allow others to take care of me. I have always been quite independent and was very uncomfortable with the idea of being taken care of, as an adult. During these first few difficult months, I faced challenges in feeding him, and having sleepless night for days in a row. I had no option but to just ‘Surrender’ to the flow, be extremely ‘Vulnerable’ with my emotions and allow everyone else around me to take care of me, while I was doing my best with him.
As he grew older, I required to develop a virtue, I had never possessed before, in all my life. Yes all you mothers out there know it, ‘Patience’. This is something he continues to teach me everyday, even now. Four years as a mother, and I can confidently say, I am in general a much more ‘patient’ person than I ever was. I am sure a lot of family and friends around me are very grateful to my son, for teaching me to be more ‘patient’ every day.
As he grew older, I had to learn to maintain a work-life balance, while catering to his needs and wants. I had days, where I would end up exhausted and crying by the end of the day with a feeling of failure that I am unable to do it all. There were days, when I would face an imposter syndrome and wonder about the irony of my work of teaching children, and coaching parents, while I was unable to ‘do it all’ for my child. But then, for every such day, there were many more days, where I felt ‘Invincible’, by the end of the day. A feeling of being able to conquer and do everything that I wished to. A feeling of possessing ‘super-powers’, not just to transform my son’s life but to be able to transform the life of every child and parent out there. These were the days, I felt that if this is how being a mother feels like, then I wouldn’t have it any other way.
These are just a few things I have mentioned but if each one of us sit and think about everything that our children have taught us so far, I believe the list will be a very long one. As we go about life, we learn from every relationship and the people we meet. Amongst all these people, our children can turn out to be our greatest gurus, because we share a very different and intense relationship with them. They remind us of so many aspects of our own being, and they are also our biggest triggers. Interactions with our kids, give way to very intense emotions within us, some of which, no one else can trigger the way our kids do. If we are aware enough we can witness parts of us, that we have been holding for a long time, parts of us that need to change and our kids continue to remind us to do so.
With this realization, I began asking all parents, what is it that they learn from their kids. The more I meet and converse with parents, the more I realize that a parent-child relationship is a very symbiotic one. Of course we teach our children everything about life, but the truth is that they are here to teach us a lot more about life.
There is a theory that floats around in several child development literature that our children choose us. If you believe in the concepts of soul, it is believed that every soul chooses their parents, so they can fulfill their purpose in life.
To add to this I also believe that besides a parent having to play a huge role in a child's purpose, the child also has a huge role to play in the parents purpose in life.
Before I had my child, I believed my parents, my family, friends and the world at large has taught me a lot in life. Somehow I learnt my biggest lessons in life from my child, and amongst all those lessons, the one I hold closest to my heart is of always ‘Evolving’. It surprises me how much I have transformed in the last few years of my life. How much I have pushed myself to the core, to capabilities beyond my imagination. Most parents will tell you the same. If this is true then isn't it true that in many ways without our kids, we wouldn't evolve in the same manner?
I look forward to life-long lessons from my son, and I urge you all to ponder over this same question. What have my children taught me?
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