Updated: Apr 7
At the young age of 19, I was blessed with my tiny baby boy, who is now my tall and sassy 7 year old. He is creative, kind, corky, and incredibly smart. He is curious, mindful, and wise beyond his years. I treasure the relationship that I share with my son because he teaches me so much about the truly significant things that I as an adult tend to forget. Here is what my son has taught me;
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
When I feel stressed about something, I tend to wear it on my sleeve. It's easy to see when I am stressed out and it can effect those around me. My son is very mindful when it comes to how I am feeling, and he will sometimes ask me what's wrong. I will usually respond with "Yes, I am just feel overwhelmed because..." and then give a very PG-rated short summary of my issue. My son will then usually respond with the incredibly practical and simple tip that sums up to don't sweat the small stuff. His response reminds me to pause and actually think of the realistic size of my issue and how I am letting that effect my day.
Am I really just upset that I have a bunch of laundry to do?
Is the dog barking at me to just take him for a walk?
After thinking of my issue and seeing the small things for what they are, I am able to feel a bit lighter and let go of some of that stress. This then allows me to have better focus and problem-solving power for the bigger issues that need more of my calm attention.
Make Time for Play
When my son was a toddler, I worked part-time at a vet clinic. When I came home from work, all of my attention and energy went to him. We spent most of our time playing with toys, reading books, going for walks, and exploring new places. We spent so much time playing together, it was like a second job for me. Now, I don't spend nearly as much time playing with him as I did then. My responsibilities have multiplied since he was a toddler and I find myself more exhausted now then I was then. Every night my kids both ask me to play with them with toys and unless I am really tired or finishing up a project, I will make the time to play with them. Even if it's just an hour. We read a couple books, play with stuffed animals, stack some blocks, "cook" with play food- and they both love it. During that time, we are able to connect and enjoy the company of one another.
Getting outside and breathing fresh air is tremendously helpful with grounding. When I am scrambling to get things done and then my kids ask me if they can play outside, I sometimes feel more overwhelmed. But in reality, getting outside is probably one of the better things for me to do at that moment. My son will usually start with running around the yard in circles and cheering. His happiness felt from simply running in circles in the grass is contagious and I can't help but feel better. He always picks flowers for me as well and it's one of my favorite things.
Laughter really is a great medicine. As an adult, I admit that I can get so caught up in the day-to-day stresses that I can become uptight and anxious throughout the day. This blinds me to the simple joys that are right in front of me. My son will come up to me at random times of the day and share a funny joke, or tell me a silly story about something he saw. He has a deep and loud belly laugh that can be heard through two walls and a running dishwasher. I can't help but smile every time I hear his belly laugh. His bouts of silliness bring me so much joy.
My son is a chatter box. He has interesting, sometimes odd, creative ideas and he is also a walking encyclopedia. He is always telling me fun facts about certain animals, geography, or math. When he sparks conversation, I always respond because I really do enjoy when he shares his ideas and smarts with me. I usually ask him questions in return to get him thinking and to see what his response would be. Through these conversations, I get to know the young man that my son is growing up to become. As bittersweet as it is watching our children grow up, these conversations I have with my son make it just a bit easier because I feel so much gratitude for the fact that I get to be his mom.
Rather than letting myself stress over the little things today, I am going to learn from my son. Don't sweat the small stuff, make more time for play, get outside more frequently, be silly, and always, always talk.
Happy Saturday, friends!