· Take Time to Smell the Roses – I don’t really remember taking the time to appreciate the small things with my oldest son and I blame part of that on the fact that he was our firstborn. With him, I was always trying to teach him something new or anxiously waiting for the next milestone achievement.
However, this time around things have been quite different. I often find myself just sitting and watching my little guy crawl around the living room floor and explore new things. Even if he is headed to the blinds, I don’t rush right over there to get him away from them. Instead, I wait and watch to see what happens. I also don’t get impatient when it’s time to give him a bottle and he wants me to hold it instead of him doing it himself. I guess I’ve learned to appreciate these moments now because it won’t be long and he’ll be heading out the door to go hang out with his friends on Saturday night.
· Don’t Worry about the Small Stuff – One of the things that this little guy has managed to show me is that there isn’t any need to worry about the small stuff. This guy is my laid-back, everything-is-fun guy and the only time he is crying or upset is when he’s hungry, tired or has a poopy diaper. Think about it – those three things really are the most pressing issues for babies; everything else is minor.
I’ve started applying this attitude to my everyday routine. For example, I used to get pretty bent out of shape if I would catch Big Brother outside playing in his good dress pants instead of his “play” shorts. Now, when I catch him doing something like this, I take a moment to ask myself the question “Is this really a big deal?” Most of the time, the answer is “no.” Yes, I do go get him and make him change his pants (or stop whatever it is he’s doing that he’s not supposed to be), but I do it in a much calmer manner. Why? There’s no need to make a bad memory for my son over something minor like this. Let’s address the issue and move on.
· Family Time is the Most Important – This may be something that I’ve learned as a result of turning thirty in combination with having our second (and last) child. I used to be of the mindset that we had to constantly be going (the hubby and I), especially on the weekends. Sitting at home was not something I wanted to do. However, over the last year I have really grown to appreciate the family time spent together at home – without the distractions that come from being out in public. I’ve also noticed that both of the kiddos seem happier when we spend the evenings together at home eating dinner and hanging out together in the family room before bed. On the nights when I want to do something special, I will usually just rent a movie for the hubby and myself to watch after the kids go to bed – it’s just as enjoyable as going out to the theater (and cheaper!).
I still can’t believe my little guy is already ONE, but when I look back over the last year and all that I’ve learned, I’ve got to say that I’m pretty excited about what the future holds for us. I am a firm believer that children teach their parents just as much (if not more) as parents teach them.