Important life lessons I’m learning from my toddler every day

Hello, my lovelies! I hope you had a great weekend! I was away in Las Vegas for about 32 hours with some momma friends — a VERY rare getaway for me. It was so fun, and I’ll fill you in very soon. But today, it’s all about motherhood, parenting and life.

I’ve heard from so many of you that you really enjoy the mom posts, and I have many of them brewing in my head. In fact, I had maybe four ideas for this particular post, but ended up landing on all the things I’ve learned from my toddler because it just seemed right. And if you have any requests or questions, please let me know. Let’s get to it …

Important life lessons I’m learning from my toddler every day

Important life lessons I'm learning from my toddler every day by A Lady Goes West

Babies are interesting little creatures. They don’t have any complexes, egos, self-esteem issues, relationship troubles, money concerns or stress to tend to. They just live their little lives like they are naturally born to do. It’s a beautiful thing. My precious 2-foot-7, 17-month-old, Brady Oliver, is a sage. A miniature walking, talking teacher of all things. Here’s what I mean …

When you need to pick something up off the ground, squat to get it. 

I don’t know at what age we decided that squatting to pick things up was no longer the best route, but I wish that change didn’t happen. The body’s natural movement pattern is to squat to reach things on the ground, by pushing your hips back, bending your knees and keeping your torso totally upright, then grabbing with your hands. Like a baby does it. Instead, what most of us do now is, bend from the back and hunch forward awkwardly to grab something below us with our legs mostly straight — and it’s not good — for our alignment or posture or muscles — and it often leads to injury because it’s not the ideal position for utilizing our strength either.

I’m totally trying to using the squatting thing more, as I watch Brady stay down in a low squat for long amounts of time picking things up and playing with them too — my legs get tired just thinking about it, but it’s a worthy investment of effort. It’s amazing how strong and functional his little body already is. His squats are nice and deep and quite well aligned too. That will be useful for him at the gym later in life.

Forgive in an instant and move on with your life.

This is a total work in progress for me, but I’m so in awe of how sweet little Brady can get upset and just immediately move on. BOY is this something I wish I could do.

One of my major flaws and faults is that I’m a grudge holder. I can tell you almost every way people have wronged me over the years. This is NOTHING to be proud of. It’s awful. I hate this about myself. Well, sweet Brady doesn’t hold grudges. He forgives almost seconds after things happen, and he moves on. And you know what? He’s better off for it.

I once read a quote that the only person you’re hurting by your grudge-holding is you, NOT the person you are angry at. Truth! My wise little man teaches me this everyday. If I take away something he shouldn’t have and he has a quick tantrum, he is hugging me and playing with me about three seconds later, not plotting my demise or vowing to never speak to me again. Good thing!

Hugging sweet Brady and life lessons I'm learning from my toddler by A Lady Goes West -- March 2019

Life is short. Play as much as you possibly can. And don’t take yourself too seriously.

I used to be a very serious person, especially when I was working in serious corporate jobs, wearing pantyhose and meeting with business professionals all day. I almost had trouble switching into home mode when I left the office. That was no good. These days, I’m all around a much less serious person, and that level of seriousness has dropped significantly since Brady has been in the toddler mode.

I have often had a true belly laugh before 8 a.m. thanks to him. I use silly voices. I play games. I do peek-a-boo. I have funny names for things. I make strange faces. All sorts of things that I never could have imagined myself doing.

Overall, Brady wants to party all day, and he pulls me into it. And I think it’s a huge benefit to me. He reminds me that we’ve got to let loose and have fun every single day, not just on vacation or the weekend. Why? Life is short. Live it!

Brady and Ashley by A Lady Goes West -- Brady's 16-month update

Eat what you like and stop when you’re full. And try new things.

I’m a good eater and an intuitive eater. But I haven’t always been this way. For many years, I ate too little, and for a few years, I ate too much — but all the wrong stuff. Right now, I eat what I like, but I don’t always stop when I’m full, especially if it’s a sweet or something like pizza or sweet potato fries, and if it’s on my plate (#CleanPlateClub). I also eat too fast, but I think that’s a universal mom thing, which is hard to avoid, because we’re always rushing through each meal to handle the next mom task.

But not Brady, even if it’s his favorite food, once his little tummy signals it’s full — he’s done, and he’s slow and steady to take each bite too. Once he’s done, he’s ready to get back to playing. Don’t you think we should all be this way? He also tries new things, but not without handling them in his hands first to inspect their texture. I’m not sure we all need to emulate that, but the point is that he has no food issues, and I think many of us probably have at least a few, based on all of the things we’ve seen and heard growing up and through social media of what we should and shouldn’t be eating.

Let’s all go back to that natural feeling of eating what we’re drawn to, and stopping when our bodies have had enough. Mostly I’ve got this under control, but watching Brady do it naturally is a great reminder that the idea of this can go awry for many folks.

Brady eating and life lessons I'm learning from my toddler by A Lady Goes West -- March 2019

Stop and smell the roses. The world is a beautiful place.

Have you ever walked through a house with a toddler? They stop at the smallest things to touch and marvel at them. Brady often stops to touch the little dark spots of our wood floors just because. He likes to visit every single square inch of our house every single day to inspect things. It’s adorable. He also LOVES to look out windows and just observe nature. He points out trees and the ground and whatever else he can see. Sometimes he wants to stare at pictures on the walls too, and I’ll pick him up to get a better look and he gets giddy with excitement. Basically, his little senses are on overdrive, and he enjoys using them to the fullest.

I think I sometimes forget that I live in a wonderful place, a great neighborhood, a nice house, and I have all these things to look around at and appreciate. I need to appreciate them. I spend a LOT of time at home, working from home, taking care of Brady all day and all of that. But I don’t always stop to reflect on how grateful I should be for the simple things like a safe house and great location and everything else I could possibly need.

Sometimes I’m rushing around and moving so fast I forget to admire the redwoods in our backyard, the clear blue skies on a nice day with mountains in the distance and how comforting it is to walk the sidewalks and see our friendly neighbors out and about. There’s a lot more to say on this point, but it all boils down to — we grow up, we get jaded, we move quickly — and we’re missing out on so many things right in front of our noses. Brady is hands-down the master teacher in this realm. 

Brady on the driveway by A Lady Goes West - February 2019

Thanks for reading, my friends! Don’t forget to look around and see if you can get some wisdom and lessons from unsuspecting teachers in your life too! Talk to you soon! 🙂 

You may also like …

Questions of the day

How was your weekend?

What’s something you’ve learned from an unlikely source lately?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.