It’s no secret, but I just absolutely adore my boys. I always thought I’d be the girliest of girl-moms had I been blessed with a daughter or two, but being a boy mom has totally changed my life and how I view motherhood.
Their energy, silliness, innocent perspectives on everyday things, and their various needs keep me balanced. And, they, my boys, keep me in check with things I feel I would ordinarily overlook in my own personal development. I’ve noticed that my kids teach me something about myself every day. Though the lessons are many, here are five important ones I’ve been seriously considering lately.
The most important things in life are offline.
Breegan’s life is full of working, delegating or assigning something to assistants (or myself), and managing social media. My kids notice that, and it’s convicting. My boys’ presence has helped me reign in and manage my time in the digital realm. They need constant attention, and that has made me realize how much actual time I spend on my phone and computers.
“Mommy, why are you on the phone?” “Mommy, come play with us!” Some parents may roll their eyes or sigh when they hear those kid statements. But I’m glad I get to hear them. My kids teach me that life on social channels isn’t the part of life that matters most. It puts “real” life in perspective and grounds me in managing my time with the people and things that matter most to me. They remind me that I need to hit the reset button when I get lost in networks and connections outside of them.
There’s power in delegating.
Moms never have enough time in a day, so every moment counts. My kids teach me all the time (mostly through trial and error) that giving my kids responsibilities helps me with multitasking and delegating. In turn, that helps me get things done. From big things to small things, giving them assignments makes them feel important, but it helps me get things done.
As small as it may seem, asking the kids to get their own shoes or help each other put their jackets on cuts precious time tremendously. I can simultaneously prepare snacks, get myself dressed or look for keys that somehow get missing at the most inopportune times. That helps me get things done while they’re getting things done. Plus, it keeps them occupied and makes them feel important because of the job Mommy asked them to do. I get to kill several birds with one stone, so to speak.
I’ve translated this into my various business models, also. As is the case around the home, there are only so many business hours we’re afforded to work. With long to-do lists that seem to get longer by the day, efficiency is always key in any work environment. Delegation helps to get multiple things done and keeps everyone busy and productive.
Food should be fuel (for us, too, parents!)
When I work on preparing meals for the kids, I think healthy and well-balanced first. Thankfully, my kids now gravitate toward fruits and veggies because of that. When I grab something for myself, though, I think quick and easy first. “Healthy” oftentimes goes out the window, if it’s even in my thoughts at all! But really, how is the captain going to run the ship if the first mates have the most energy? My kids teach me through their eating habits that I need to think about the fuel I’m going to need to get through my day with them and throughout various projects that have to get done.
It’s so easy to grab a doughnut and coffee and run into the office, but we would never hand our kids a doughnut and soft drink and wave them off to get on a school bus! I’ve started preparing meals for myself that are worthy of my kids eating them and being healthy. They’re a constant reminder that, if I’m going to have their energy, I’m going to have to take in what I give them.
Individual empathy is important.
I have one son who needs hugs and back rubs at bedtime. The other needs snuggles during movies. They each get Mommy’s love and affection, but in totally different ways and times. I recognize how different their needs for love and affection are, and I cater to those needs individually. Empathy isn’t a one-size-fits-all consideration. When it comes to any important relationship, my kids teach me that we all have different needs, and that’s okay.
Communication is key in making sure those needs are met. My boys express those needs to me, and I do the same to them. I recognize the importance of those differences, but that means nothing if it isn’t communicated. I’ve learned to vocalize my care and concern to them, and to my relationship verbiage overall. I know to ask, “How can I help you?” or “What do you need?” Healthy emotional empathy is rooted in communication, not assumptions.
Never forget to be more childlike.
One look at my Instagram feed will show you that my boys have personality. Goofy, animated, smiley, jokey personalities. In a very natural way, my kids teach me to never lose that within myself. Life progresses, and we all age and grow up. That growing up sometimes sucks the lighthearted parts of life out of us, and understandably so. But thankfully, kids have yet to experience that, so their lives don’t reflect the stresses we adults are used to. I think it’s good to see carefree “hakuna matata” mindsets in them. It’s helped remind me of parts of myself that I lose and oftentimes forget to nurture among the contracts, assignments, bills and worries.
If you could be a fly on the wall in my home at night, you would regularly see me dancing alone with my kids. And yes, you’d probably think I looked like a fool. You would maybe catch me making roaring sounds with a mask on running around the living room. And you know what? I love every minute of it.
My kids teach me to keep things in life light. Life can be playful and spirited, and it should be! I love that my boys will not allow me to let go of that part of myself. It’s built into the human spirit, so don’t YOU let go of it, either. Be silly with your kids. We’re never too cool for that. Play with cars. Make silly sounds. Let loose for the sake of letting loose. You’ll be healthier and happier because of it.
I’m so excited! Next week’s blog will be on my NEW website! I can’t wait to show you the future home of all my mommy and design tips and tricks. I’ll see you there!