I used to think that I was a teacher to my kids. But I thought wrong. It's hard to admit but the fact is I've learnt much more than I've taught in this motherhood journey. In fact, I'm still learning every single day, not just to be a better mum, but a better person too. At ages six, three and six months, my kids might be young, inexperienced and naive. Ironically, it is also their innocence and unworldly traits that have taught me so much about life itself. Here are 10 things I've learnt from my kids over the years.
It's easy for me to say that I enjoy the simple pleasures in life and that I wish to make the most of it. Yet many a time, we grown ups just get bogged down by the stress of everyday life and we emphasize too much on tangibles. We start to dream more, want more and even feel like we need more - when we actually already have more than enough to make for a happy life. I see how my kids find happiness by hunting for saga seeds, picking seashells and watching caterpillars crawl. There are just too many simple joys in life that we overlook and we need to learn to appreciate them.
The thing is, more often than not, fears can be overcome. All you need is to be bold enough to take the first step and if your loved ones are there to cheer you on and give you moral support, you'll find the strength and courage that you never knew you had. As ironic as it sounds, having these kids make me more afraid yet stronger at the same time. I'm scared of them getting hurt, which is why I will be strong so I can protect them. I'm scared of one day losing them, which is why I will be determined to make each day count. I see how they learn to conquer their fear of falling, their fear of insects, their fear of performing on stage, their fear of the dark, and I know I won't let my own fears dominate me too.
6) You don't need a reason to smile
Has it occurred to you that we probably smiled the most when we were babies? All we needed was food, sleep and having our loved ones beside us. As we grew up, it seemed like it took more and more before we could let out a smile. The consolation is that motherhood somehow brought back all these joy onto my face and it is all because of these tiny beings who smile, giggle and laugh at the slightest thing in the world. From a silly dance, a self-invented song, a funny face, a peek-a-boo game, do it a dozen times and they smile a dozen times. Or more. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown, and I've learnt to smile more often, be it when life throws me a curveball, when an awkward situation occurs or when Murphy's law comes true.
7) Life doesn't need luxury
We need a roof over our heads, we need food, we need water, we need air, we need love. But other than that, we actually don't need too many things in order to lead a happy life. I'm always thankful for the fact that the hubby and I are two people who are not into luxury goods, who don't buy branded stuff, who don't like to go shopping in factory outlets, who don't care much about designer labels. These kids, who have not a clue about what luxury really means, are also the ones who remind me that contentment is bliss and as long as the family stays together, and that we get to live each day, not starve and have beds to sleep in, we need to count our blessings.
8) Every day is a new day full of hope
It doesn't matter that the kids have had a super tough day or that they were so devastated today. When they wake up tomorrow, their hearts will be filled with hope and their faces will spell the word joy. It's pretty amazing because I know I tend to brood over unhappy things for quite a while and it will take time before I realise how trivial they were. Life is too short for us to sweat over the small stuff. These kids remind me to always start my day on a positive note and no matter what happened yesterday, let us learn from it, make the most of today and look forward to tomorrow.
9) Happiness is when you have someone to share it with
With a hubby who works late into the night and is often out at sea, I used to know what the word lonely means. That is, before the kids came along and turned my life upside down. Sure, I don't get my alone time nowadays but it also means I don't have to experience loneliness anymore. I'm just glad that I have these little ones to share my ups and downs, even if they were the very ones who caused my ups and downs in the motherhood journey. I also see how having siblings have changed their lives - I see them tickling and laughing with one another, I see them doing role-play and imagining with one another, I see them sharing their toys and giving away their candy to one another, I see them carrying, holding and supporting one another. And I just know, it's one of the greatest things to have someone to share your happiness with.
10) Show, not just say, "I love you"
It's easy to say "I love you" to someone who matters in our life, but how often do you show it? I know how my kids love me truly and madly, and they aren't afraid to show it by giving me tight hugs, planting wet kisses and making handmade cards for me - even when it is not my birthday or Mother's Day. They teach me that it's not just enough to know that I love that someone in my heart, I need to let that someone know that I really care about him/her, I need to say out my love and most importantly, show it. Action speaks so much louder than words.
So yes, I'm learning all this and more from my kids and I can never be thankful enough for having them in my life. Dear kids, thank you for making me aspire to be a better mum and teaching me to be a person who knows how to embrace life and appreciate the little things around me.
P.S. All the pictures in the post were taken during our family holiday in Taiwan and I love each and every one of them! Will share more of our holiday experience with you soon, stay tuned!