My resolution to view the world as my children do is going to take some work, but I’m ready for it. I’m a resolution-breaker. Too often, I am guilty of making resolutions that never leave the page I wrote (or typed) them on.
That’s all going to change this year. My new year’s resolution is inspired by two tiny kiddos who I spend all of my time with. This year, my resolution is to view the world as my children do.
What does this mean exactly? I’ll be basing my new year’s resolution off the actions of sweet little ones who don’t even know what a resolution is. Talk about a role reversal! I may “teach” my kids some important lessons, but they’ve been “teaching” me so much more.
Their day-to-day exists in and of itself. They do not have a list of things they’d like to accomplish. Yet, somehow, what needs to be done each day is done. My children live their best life, unapologetically, every single day.
It’s how they experience the world around them, and they don’t know any different. I think it’s about time I did the same. Too often, we live for the hustle and bustle. Nothing compares to the feeling of crossing every item off your to-do list. While lists can keep us organized, living life a little less structured, as our children do, could offer some real benefits. So, here’s my new year’s resolution: to be more like my children. And here is how I plan to do it, broken down into three easy ideas.
“See” Less and Notice More
A few months ago, my daughter and I went for a walk before dinner. She was walking next to me, and then I noticed she had fallen behind. I turned around to see her literally leaning over and smelling flowers. She excitedly exclaimed, “Mama! Look at the flowers!!”
We see these same flowers every time we walk past this house. They caught her eye for whatever reason. Instead of just walking past, she took the time to really notice them. She leaned over, took in their scent, and made a deeper connection with something otherwise quite simple.
I want to notice the world like my children do. My resolution to view the world as my children do starts with noticing things more and seeing them less. I want to slow down and take in my surroundings. My toddler does this with something as simple as flowers or an airplane in the sky. We talk about where the airplane is going or what the flowers look like. I want to take in what’s around me and engage more deeply with it, just as my children do.
Put Myself Out There
When my toddler is at the park, she is always interested in those around her. She gets excited when she sees kids playing (even if she doesn’t know them). To her, it is an opportunity to make new friends and have fun until mom says it’s time to go home. Why not take advantage of this time and get as much fun out of it as I can?
My daughter lives for the interactions, always running up to kids and following what they’re doing. She doesn’t think twice about what they might think about her coming up to them. Her goal is to have fun, and if she can share that fun with someone else, then that’s a win in her book.
I’m an introvert and approaching people makes me nervous, but I’m working to change this. I want to interact with others as though it’s a day at the park, and I don’t know when my mom will tell me it’s time to go home. To be honest, I sometimes use my children as an excuse to not make conversation with others. I will fiddle with the stroller or prepare a snack if it means I don’t have to talk to a stranger.
I want to start a conversation with another mom on the playground and not worry about feeling judged or whatever else moms worry about when approaching other moms. My resolution to view the world as my children do involves making the first move, taking the first step, and starting a conversation. It involves reminding myself to make the most out of each moment, just like my children do. If my children can do it, I surely can, too.
Choose the Race Car
Raise your hand if you still haven’t quite figured out how to steer the dreaded race car shopping carts! There’s something about the bright colors and the giant turn radius that immediately draws children’s attention in. Despite how difficult it is to turn corners, I want to choose the race car shopping cart more.
Now, I don’t mean that literally. I’m not going to use the race car every time I grocery shop. But you know the excitement in your children’s eyes when you use it with them? I want to choose activities in my life that make me feel the way my children feel about that race car.
This is easier said than done, I know. Those activities may not seem within reach when I’m knee-deep in diaper changes and bottle cleanings. Just like it’s tough to turn corners with the giant shopping cart, it’s tough to carve out time for myself. So, I plan to start small.
I want to do more things that brighten my day, just like my children do (even if it seems difficult to put myself first!). My resolution to view the world as my children do entails paying closer attention to what brings me joy and doing more of that. The world feels full of so many things that “need” to be done. But it’s important to remember to put myself first sometimes, too.
The new year brings a fresh, new start. It is the perfect time to think about what you might want to do differently in the coming year. Whether you’re a resolution-maker or a resolution-breaker, the fact remains: we have so much to learn from our children. Let’s continue to let them teach us in all the sweet ways they know best.