What I've Learned This Year As a Mother

We sold our home exactly one year ago. This year has looked completely different from what I would have thought. There have been a lot of hard times, and a lot of good times. But one thing’s for certain- I have learned a lot and gone through a lot of growth! In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m sharing some lessons I’ve learned about mothering.

My kids are so capable. I’ve been amazed at what they can do. When we first moved out of our home last year, a mile walk seemed like “forever” to my children and there was so much complaining. Now, they say 3 mile hikes are “too short” (they literally said that!) and they’ve even accomplished 6 and 8 mile hikes. My 3 year old has recently graduated from the hiking backpack and he has climbed to the top of 2 peaks. My kids are strong and capable and I’m so proud of what they’ve accomplished!

I’ve also learned that I need to trust my kids and their abilities, as well as trust that they know their limitations. We’ve done quite a few rock scrambling hikes, and the first time I was freaking out and thinking we were terrible parents for taking our kids on these types of hikes and someone was definitely going to die. But as we moved forward, I realized that my children have a natural cautiousness- they have a pretty good idea of what they can do and what they need help with. We’ve definitely had a couple bumps and scrapes along the way, but we’ve also taught our kids to pick themselves back up and keep going.

Practice doesn’t make perfect, but pretty darn close. The first time we took our kids out I was stressed and anxious and worried that they wouldn’t listen. A year later, I’ve realized that sure, there are times they may not be completely obedient, but as we go out and do hikes and go to new restaurants and experiences, my children are getting more and more opportunities to practice having good manners- and they are getting better! We definitely still have good and bad days, but the more opportunities we’ve given our children to behave in public places, the better they have gotten- for the most part ;).

Kids (and adults!) thrive in nature. My kids are happiest when they have plenty of sunshine and when they are able to move their bodies. The weeks we are able to spend lots of time in the National Park and get outside are the weeks we all seem happiest.

It’s good for kids to get bored. Sometimes my kids say they’re bored, and while some parents might see this as a cue to pull out a screen, I’ve realized it’s an opportunity for creativity. Usually the phrase “I’m bored” precedes some stroke of creativity that results in hours of fun. As I’m writing this, my kids are outside creating “potions”, because they were getting bored waiting for me to finish my tasks. And the best part is they are all playing happily together! Boredom is a good thing!

Getting out of our comfort zones and overcoming challenges is hard, but so important. The longest, hardest hikes are the ones my kids remember, and say are their favorite. It’s hard to do hard things, but man it’s so good for us! It helps us grow in confidence, in our skills, and equips us for future challenges.

Like I said, it’s been a year of growth and learning for sure!

Have you learned any lessons as a parent or grandparent this year? Share your wisdom with us in the comments below!

    Camille Hoffmann
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! camille@dvo.com

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