3 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from My Baby

You may be wondering what can possibly be learned from someone who has barely been on the planet for 9 months. Well, quite a lot actually. My daughter is constantly showing me what life is all about. She doesn’t understand the concept of inhibitions, let alone have any. Her mind is unaffected by society – it’s pressure to look, act and be a certain way. She is who she is, because that’s all she knows. With each new day, I learn a little more from her about how to be me.

Here’s three life lessons I’ve learned from my baby…

Love yourself. 

It’s not unusual for me to shy away from having my photo taken or spend whole days avoiding myself in the mirror because I don’t like the way I look. I don’t look like the women on the front of magazines (heck, the women on the front of magazines don’t look like the women on front of magazines – cheers, Photoshop!) Despite years of orthadontal treatment in my teens, my teeth still aren’t as straight as I’d like, my hair always look a mess and don’t even get me started on those eye bags.

Obviously I think my daughter is beautiful (I’m biased, of course!) but one day, like me, she might not feel like she’s beautiful either (and I genuinely get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes just typing that). Right now, though? Jasmine loves herself! When she catches her reflection in the mirror she has the biggest smile across her face and squeals with delight. She thinks that little baby staring back at her is the best thing since sliced bread. I hope she will always hold herself in such high regard. As for me, I’ve taken a leaf out of her book and started to smile back at myself too. Wonky teeth and all.

Be determined.

Jasmine’s currently trying to crawl. I mean really trying to crawl. Every time she falls flat on her face, she gets up and tries again… and again… and again. She’ll keep going until she’s cracked it and then she’ll move on to the next thing. She’ll learn to walk with the same steely determination that she was born with. That we were all born with.

In adulthood, if something is difficult, we often just give up. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, we forget what we’re capable of. We don’t lose those last few pounds of baby weight or find that new job, even though we hate the one we’re in, because life’s easier if it just stays the same. It’s easier to give up. Jasmine has reminded me that I have the ability to achieve anything that I want to… so long as I am determined to do whatever it takes to achieve it.

It’s OK to have a good cry every now and again.

I find it fascinating that us Brits, and many other nationalities for that matter, are so strangely apologetic about being upset. How many times have you watched a documentary about something so terribly tragic in which an interviewee breaks down in front of the camera. The first words they utter through their sobs? “I’m sorry.” They’ve had their entire family wiped out by a tsunami and yet they feel they have to apologise for being upset about it?! That’s an extreme example but we all do it, right?

Like most babies, Jasmine cries… a lot. She’ll cry if she’s in pain, tired, hungry or if I won’t let her have her own way (read: not letting her use the dog’s squeaky toy as teether!) and of course, she’ll cry if she just damn well feels like it.

As adults we feel ashamed to be upset. We hide our feelings. We keep it all in. How can that be healthy? Emotional crying is something only humans do and I believe it’s for a good reason. (Don’t you always feel better after a good sob session? If even only a little.) Clearly I don’t need to cry as much as a baby does because I can communicate and express myself in ways that they cannot. But from now on, when I feel the urge – when my bottom lip trembles and my eyes become damp – I will cry. I’ll cry unapologetically, unreservedly and unashamedly… just like my baby does.

Have you learned any ‘life lessons’ from your children?

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  1. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 8:33 am

    I always think that about crying!! And it really does help sometimes! Xx

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:04 pm

      It does, I think it releases hormones that make you feel better or some such! *not a scientist* xx

  2. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 9:02 am

    Kids really can teach us a lot. They have such simple ways to look at the things we struggle with in life too.

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:04 pm

      Absolutely, as adults we make everything over-complicated.

  3. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 9:51 am

    I can't believe I actually teared up reading this! (Which I won't apologise for ;) haha). It's so true, babies have such a positive view on everything that we can really learn from! I'm definitely going to remember this…

    Nicola x

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:05 pm

      Heh, yep never apologise for tearing up! :)

      I'm glad you liked the post. xx

  4. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 9:52 am

    Totally agree with these, especially the Love Yourself one x

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:06 pm

      I think that's possibly the most important one… everything else can follow after that. xx

  5. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 10:00 am

    Such a true and lovely post! I will always think my daughter is beautiful so why shouldn't we think that about ourselves. We are funny haha xx

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:07 pm

      Absolutely, we'd never let anyone speak of our daughters in the way in which we speak of ourselves. x

  6. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 10:53 am

    Children are so untainted, so pure. I hope that you are able to teach Jasmine to love herself all through her life. You are an amazing mummy I know she will be just fine. And hopefully you will learn to love yourself too- as we all love you! x

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:09 pm

      If nothing else, I want to teach her that. It will be a tough task but I hope I can do it. xx

  7. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 2:20 pm

    Love this, what a lovely way to think about crying too

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:09 pm

      Thank you, Karen. :) x

  8. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 2:23 pm

    Love this post! One of the things I've learned from my kiddos is how to slow down and have fun! I'm always in a rush, and they're the opposite! I'm trying to learn to be more like them!

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:10 pm

      Thank you so much.

      That is very true – it's all to easy to get caught up in the chaos that is life. It's good to take time to slow things down a little and enjoy yourself. A great lesson from your children! x

  9. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    what a lovely post and an adorable photo of your daughter . I think children however young they are each us so much about life and are self x #TheList

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:11 pm

      Thank you very much.

      Totally agree with you. xx

  10. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 8:14 pm

    Great post Jenna, I am paranoid about my teeth. I was allergic to my brace and had to have it removed but keep thinking oooh should i get one now x

    • Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:12 pm

      Oh you have a lovely smile, Sarah! :)

      I would definitely get a brace again now if I could afford it – they're much better these days, pretty much invisible! x

  11. Avatar January 9, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    Definitely agree with these life lessons that we learn from little ones. I love the self-confidence that young children have, the way that they just see themselves as the wonderful little people they are without any doubts. Having determination and not being afraid to cry are also a good things. I think the other lesson I have learned from my children is forgiveness. I can shout and get really cross with them but they never hold it against me – as soon as I've stopped being cross, they're both showing me how much they love me and giving me cuddles.

    • Avatar January 11, 2015 / 2:54 pm

      It's sad that we lose the self-confidence and determination that we were born with (although I believe it can always be found again if we are willing to seek it out). Forgiveness is such a wonderful lesson to learn from your girls. I think we could all learn to be more forgiving – being angry and holding grudges never did anybody any good. xx

  12. Avatar January 11, 2015 / 5:16 pm

    You are so right! I am currently trying to relax more, enjoy life and have fun! Because that's what my twins love doing! This is a GREAT post Jenna, love it. Jess x

    • Avatar January 11, 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Well done for following the twins lead on relaxing and enjoying life – not so easy when you're a grown up!

      Thank you very much. :) xx

  13. Avatar January 11, 2015 / 6:45 pm

    This is fabulous huni! Much like you, I love Baby's confidence and that she is not bound by inhibitions. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

    • Avatar January 11, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Aw thank you, Aby! :)

      I love how crazy and wild Baby is – you can tell she is very much enjoying life. xx

  14. Avatar January 11, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    Wouldn't it be great to just act like that again (and get away with it!) This age of innocence is amazing, you've captured it perfectly. #SundayStars

    • Avatar January 11, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      It would be AMAZING to be able to act like a kid again (and get away with it). Thanks so much, Ali. xx

  15. Avatar January 11, 2015 / 7:15 pm

    Our children teach us so much, it's incredible. I'm filled with such intrigue watching mine grow. I never knew that life could be so enriching with children. I love their lack of inhibitions too, it frees them to be such 'go getters' never mind the obstacles. They try and try and try again, until it works; even if it takes days, weeks, months! O yes, so much to learn from you and such joy in the learning too. May we know that childlike confidence and boldness as we go through our days, especially when we need it; and indeed have the freedom to cry when we need to. #TheList

    • Avatar January 11, 2015 / 9:02 pm

      That's the wonderful thing, we learn from each other – adult and child. Each new skill they learn seems bittersweet in a way but how truly amazing are our children? I will never tire of admiring my little girl's ternaciousness. :) xx

  16. Avatar January 13, 2015 / 10:05 am

    This is so lovely, I always think I've either become happier in my appearance or just don't care as much since having children. Knowing that you are a little person's whole world is enough! You are such a beautiful mum and Jasmine will always see that xx p.s. loving the blog look, the illustrations are gorgeous xx

    • Avatar January 13, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      Either way, it's a good feeling, isn't it? :) Thank you so much for your kind words. xx

  17. Avatar January 15, 2015 / 9:28 am

    I don't have children yet but I do have baby sisters and I think the best lesson I've learned from them is to sing as if no-one is listening. They are always singing!

    • Avatar January 15, 2015 / 2:47 pm

      Absolutely, I love that children can sing without any inhibitions. :) x

  18. Avatar January 15, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    Ah lovely post, I have a similar one in my drafts but I hadn't thought about the first or third points… Both so true! Xx

    • Avatar January 15, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      Ah, thank you. I'd be very interested to read yours! :) xx

  19. Avatar January 16, 2015 / 12:08 pm

    Awww this is such a lovely read. So many things that we can learn from our kids. Mine would be never be scared to try. My son is always trying new things. Scary but I think he tries it cuz he knows that I will be there no matter what happens. This made me think why I am so scared of things when I know that the people who loves me will still love me no matter what. #brillblogposts

    • Avatar January 16, 2015 / 10:20 pm

      Aw, thank you so much for such a lovely comment.

      I love that your son has taught you not to be so scared of things. And you are absolutely right, those who love you, will always be there to catch you if you fall, just like you are if your son does. :) xx

  20. Avatar January 16, 2015 / 10:36 pm

    My daughter has taught me that life is too short to be an over-sensitive worrier and to sometimes just get over it!… not bad for someone whose work of the week is 'stig' – meaning Steve the cat.

    Love this – and we should all take time to see that our kids are all trying to tell us something <3 xx

    • Avatar January 17, 2015 / 5:13 pm

      'Stig' – that's so cute! What a wonderful lesson to learn from your daughter too.

      I'm definitely going to make sure I learn as much as my daughter can teach me. :) xx

  21. Avatar January 17, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    Love this and your daughter is beautiful. I hope you feel more confident soon, you sound beautiful inside and out. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    • Avatar January 18, 2015 / 3:02 pm

      Ahh, thank you so much. Becoming more confident is slow progress but I'm sure I'll get there if I remain to be persistent. :) xx

  22. Avatar January 24, 2015 / 11:44 pm

    This is a beautiful post lovely. Just like the lady who wrote it. I think it is brilliant that you have started smiling back at yourself in the mirror. You are gorgeous and you should smile at yourself. I'm also a good fan of crying when I need to. it is a great release. Hell, I even shed a tear watching an old episode of "Stargate: SG1" yesterday. That is tragic. Thanks for linking up to #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • Avatar January 26, 2015 / 8:58 am

      Oh thank you so much, Mrs H! You are the sweetest. :) I don't think I'm gorgeous in the slightest but maybe if I try hard enough I might believe that some day. Heh, fancy crying at Stargate but hey, if it makes you feel better! :) xx

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