5 Important (& Kind Of Adorable) Lessons Moms Learned From Their Kids

As it turns out, our kids are pretty great teachers.

by Alexandra Martinez

From the moment a child enters the world, parents suddenly begin carrying the load of being the teacher. Don't touch that. Don't put that in your mouth. Here's how to pronounce the "ch" sound. Now, in addition to your own needs like remembering to eat three meals a day and finding time to brush your teeth, you find yourself in charge of ensuring the survival of an otherwise helpless infant — tracking their weight, their sleep patterns, and their developmental milestones. To say it's all-consuming would be an understatement.

But at the end of the day, some of the most important lessons that are learned throughout parenthood are the ones our kids teach to us. In between all the crafts and activities, when the distractions have been stripped away and it's just you and your child, that's when parents can reconnect with the lessons they've long forgotten amidst the stress of adulthood. Staying present, listening, empathizing, and letting go of fear are lessons that may seem innate, but in reality, require constant revisiting.

As a simple (and super cute) reminder of some of life's best lessons, I tapped a few of my mom friends to find out what important perspectives they've learned from their little ones lately. Who could have guessed that our kids would be the better teachers all along?

It's OK To Feel Your Emotions

Recently, mom-of-one Lizzy was at home in her kitchen with her daughter nearby. Lizzy was feeling sad in that moment, and didn’t want to allow herself to cry in front of her daughter, but then suddenly her daughter came over and looked at her.

"She put her hand on my leg and she said, 'Mommy, are you crying on the inside?' I just looked at her because I was surprised and she said, 'It's OK mommy, you can cry,' and she left and continued playing," Lizzy tells Romper. "Presence is the only thing our children know. That’s where they are living, the only thing that exists is this precise moment and the needs they have right now." For Lizzy, that presence gave way to an even greater lesson: accepting and honoring her feelings.

Making Your Own Decisions Is Empowering

For Maria A., a mom of two, getting her daughter to brush her teeth was always a nightmare. Luckily, she learned the best way to avoid a meltdown was to present her daughter with options. Just as Maria feels empowered when she chooses a cavity-fighting, stain-removing toothpaste for her family like Crest plus Scope, she encouraged her daughter to make her own healthy choices. Come bedtime, Maria began their toothbrush routine by asking, "Do you want the yellow toothbrush or the silver toothbrush?" She chose the silver. "Do you want me to brush your teeth or do you want to do it yourself?" She chose to do it herself. And just like that, their teeth-brushing time went from a nightmare to a cherished memory.

There's Beauty In The Small Things

For mom-of-two Alejandra L., her second son's arrival brought her back down to earth. "With him, even my gray days would transform into color just from seeing his smile. He invites me to be present in day-to-day moments with him," she says. The grounding and beautiful experience of spending time with her son helps Alejandra feel more capable of tapping into her own creativity, which she's been able to channel into her love of photography.

Remember To Show Yourself Some Love

When Juliana C. recently moved to a new city with her newborn baby (and without any nearby family), she began feeling a bit alienated and unlike her pre-baby self. Eventually, Julianna began mindfully prioritizing her physical and mental health, which helped teach her the importance of caring for her own needs in order to give love and thoughtful attention back to her baby.

"If I'm not in a good place and he is crying and calling for my attention, then I need to stop and meditate," she says. "I need to find ways to nourish myself because that makes transmitting love back to my son easier."

Let Go Of Your Fears

Last year as Alicia M. watched her 2-year-old climb to the top of a piece of playground equipment, she found herself growing fearful of something bad happening to her daughter, and in a moment of panic she let out a very public scream. "All the other parents looked at me like I was crazy. I immediately felt guilty. I knew I was projecting my fear onto her," she says.

Luckily, her daughter was seemingly unfazed by the reaction. Once the other children had left the playground, and it was just Alicia and her daughter, Alicia apologized. "I told her I was sorry for screaming, and that I didn't feel ready for her to try out a different side of the playground," she says. "But then when I asked her how she felt, she told me she felt ready to explore this new area." After a few deep breaths, Alicia accompanied her daughter to the new area, supporting her as she bravely leapt from the edge of the playground onto the fireman pole — an experience that gave both mom and daughter a sense of accomplishment.

This post is sponsored by Crest.