I love what I do as an optometrist, but I enjoy wearing a few other hats outside of the office too. I’m a wife to my best friend and companion, and a mom to two busy toddlers. I’d love to say that I’m balancing all of these roles perfectly, but I’m working on finding that work-life harmony just like everyone else, and trying to find inspiration everywhere I can. Oddly enough, some of the best inspiration for achieving that balance has come from an unlikely source: my kids! Over the course of my 3 years of motherhood, I’ve learned so many important life lessons from them and through the experiences we’ve shared together, and I’ve found myself reflecting on those teachings as Mother’s Day approaches. Motherhood is one of those jobs where you learn as you go, so here’s what I’ve picked up so far.
Selflessness and patience comes to mind immediately when I think about what I’ve learned in my time as a parent. One of the first things you realize as soon as you bring your little baby home is that you’re now on someone else’s schedule; a reality I personally found equally freeing and frustrating. How liberating to know that taking care of our kids would now and always be my top priority, and shape all of my future decisions. Realizing this gave my life a completely different focus (pun intended). However, as someone whose tendency is to operate with all cylinders firing at once, motherhood is teaching me to be more patient with those around me. Not everything or everyone can or should move at warp speed, and sometimes that’s better for everyone involved, especially when our little ones are slowly trying to learn new things and develop new skills.
As I’ve watched our kids grow and discover the world around them, I’m often struck by how they are always fully present and in the moment, something I think a lot of adults are striving to achieve, myself included. Children don’t dwell on the past or worry about what is going to happen in the future, they simply feel and savour each moment as it comes. If you’ve had the chance watch a child at play, you’ll know what I mean.
The intense concentration when they are working on a task, the absolute frustration when something doesn’t go the way they imagined, the sheer joy when something new delights them, the lovely belly laugh that fills the air when they find something funny. I’m also inspired by the natural curiosity of children. Everything is completely new to them, and I’ve found watching these little people observe the world without judgement and expectation to be totally refreshing. It motivates me to try to do the same more often.
Lastly, I know it’s cliché to talk about the unconditional love you feel when you become a parent, but that’s probably the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt since becoming a mom. To be honest, I was a little skeptical about this concept – the ability to love a complete stranger with every fibre of your being upon first sight, or sometimes before even meeting them. I assumed that people were exaggerating, or had, over time, forgotten about the few days or weeks it took for these strong feelings to develop. Well, I stand corrected. To my pleasant surprise, the love I have for my kids was immediate and has no limit – I love them for who they are, and exactly as they are. Wouldn’t we all want to love and be loved like that?
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many mothers: mothers-to-be, new moms, and seasoned moms who have seen it all, and I almost always find myself inspired and uplifted after our time together. My hope for every type of mother is that we can all enjoy this journey, continue to do the best we can every day, and have a wonderful Mother’s Day!