Have you ever thought about how much we learn from our children? Some lessons we learn are profound and change us and our lives forever. Others are much simpler, but equally life-changing. And if you sit and think about it, it might surprise you just how few of these lessons are negative ones.
We all know the negative side of newborns - sleepless nights, anxiety about baby's health and feeding and toilet habits, and of course, their routine. Or lack of one! Perhaps these little negatives can actually be re-classified as positive lessons. We are getting to know our baby, and vice-versa. We are learning to sleep with part of our subconscious alert to the slightest sound of distress from our tiny ones. We are learning how their bodies respond to their food, whether they are feeling sick or are contented. Our 'getting to know you' period.
Past the newborn stage, our infant teaches us to smile and to laugh, to truly appreciate the smallest things - leaves floating on the wind, an ant crawling across the path, a ladybird! We are learning to see the world around us as a fascinating place, by seeing it through our children's eyes.
These tiny people teach us the most all-encompassing love we will ever know. Total, unconditional love, which they return to us simply and naturally, asking little in return.
We learn to hold in our fears, in case we frighten our children. We learn to laugh inside, so that we don't appear to be making fun of them, when they are just innocently funny. We learn to mend most of their scrapes and bruises, usually with a kiss and a bandaid. Sometimes with some real first aid. We learn to share unstintingly. We learn to feel joy, and to cry where they can't see us because it upsets them.
We learn in all ways and at every stage of their life, the hardest lesson of all - to let go. (We all had to learn to pedal a bicycle on our own!)
We learn about ourselves, and who we really are.
Hopefully we learn to feel more self-confident, and to hold ourselves in the highest regard. Because we are doing an outstanding job, often in a difficult environment, with the minimum of perks and the lowest paid wages ever!
Our children, if we let them, can teach us to respect ourselves for who we are, as we respect them in turn.
Hold your heads up proudly mums, for you are doing a magnificent job.
This article previously appeared elsewhere as a "guest blog".