Here are a few things I have learned about myself in the last few years. Some of it's good and some of it is not so good. Maybe you can relate?
1. I can put in and take out a toddler from a 5 – point harness one handed. While talking on a cell phone. Can we all say “multi-tasker”?
2. I have built enough muscle strength to carry two 35 lb children (if absolutely necessary and it’s not going up the stairs). Eat your hear out Jillian Michaels!
3. Banana bread counts as a serving of fruit and veggies. And sometimes fruit snacks do too.
4. I can tell by the smell of my child’s poo if they are sick or not.
5. I can survive on three hours of sleep. Barely, but I can do it.
6. I don’t need more than 1200 calories a day. My kids need the food more than I do. (you may not know that. And I usually make up what I don't eat one day on the day after.)
7. I am my child’s best advocate. Whether it's speaking to doctor's, teachers, well meaning strangers or over protective relatives.
I have learned a few other things about myself as well. They are not as flattering. I am not as easy going as I thought. I have very strong ideas about how things should go. I also don’t like to be challenged or ignored. I have a nasty temper when things don’t go my way. And in God’s awesome sense of humor way, He has given me some kids with a very strong sense of how things should go. We are still debating about when I should give in and when I should stay strong in my decisions.
I’ve also learned to share more, watch my words, play nice and about grace. I have become more discerning about what I watch and listen to. Both when the kids are around and when it’s just me and my husband. I need to be better about matching my actions with my words. Because there are little eyes and ears watching, all the time. And they are really good at imitating what they see and hear.
I have learned how to dream and imagine again. I don’t need to stay in reality all the time. Besides, it’s not much fun here. :P It’s ok to pretend to be the monster so my kids can practice being warriors. Because they are going to have to know how to fight for themselves one day. And I want to teach them that’s alright. Even though the world will tell them that they should be a pacifist.
My lessons in grace have been the hardest. No matter how many times I screw up, my kids are always quick to forgive. And I want to be more like that too. I don’t think there has been any Bible study lesson, sermon, magazine article or seminar that I have been to that has illustrated to me how quickly God is willing to forgive me, if I would just ask, than what my kids have demonstrated to me. That quickness to forgive is what keeps my heart from being bitter.
That’s what I have learned in the past five years. There are more lessons, but I think these are the big ones. What have you learned since becoming a parent?