Motherhood: A Basketful of Life Lessons
by: Kimberly Muench
It’s ironic how, as parents, we believe we are our children’s teachers. I can tell you this, after twenty-eight years of parenting five different souls, it is our children who are our greatest teachers. Here are some of the most important lessons I have been taught through parenthood:
Faith. Having faith in my child’s ability to discover, trust, and use their intuition. This has worked in tandem with choosing to listen to my own inner voice. Some of my most challenging parenting moments (like when my oldest was in the throes of an addiction to alcohol) have been in choosing to put my ego (anxiety) aside and act on my gut instinct.
Calm. Purposely choosing a lifestyle that allows me to have (a) more time and (b) more patience to connect with those whose lives have been entrusted to me. I realize I am blessed to have the choice to stay home with my kids, and also for them to see me pursue my dream of writing to help and encourage others.
Courage. Having enough passion about everyday life issues (such as electronic use and social media limits/boundaries) to say our family won’t do what every other family does, in this house we make our own rules (ie: we don’t do or have sleepovers). To stand up for what we believe in takes courage in today’s culture.
Patience. Almost everyday I receive a lesson in patience. When my kids don’t listen to a request I’ve made I take a breath, step back, and find another avenue to use instead of flying off the handle. It takes practice and an incredible amount of patience (and discipline) not to simply emotionally react to the situation at hand.
Grace. I have learned over the years I too make mistakes (it’s sometimes hard to admit that as parents, we aren’t always right). I know when it is necessary to apologize to my child and I don’t hesitate to do so because I want them to do the same when it applies to in their own lives. We are human, we make mistakes.
I had no idea when I became a mother at the age of eighteen what I was getting into. And as I look back on almost three decades of a 24/7 investment, I can honestly say I have no regrets. I think we arrive to the task heavily utilitizing the skills our own parents modeled for us, however, if we are smart we will continue to enlighten ourselves about what is undoubledly the greatest calling of our lives.
By far the most important lesson I have learned, not only as a mother but also as a wife, is to love unconditionally…no easy task. However, when a child knows in their heart you will love them no matter what they say or do, they can then find the strength they need during those inevitable rough spots, understanding someone always has their back.