Children are supposed to learn from their parents, right? That is true, but as adults, we also stand to learn so much from our kids. We learn patience, because they need us to take another deep breath and lean into the chaos. We learn to be in the moment, where they live. We learn to appreciate the small things, like bubbles and laughter and dandelions.
As a mother to three daughters (ages 10, 8, and 5), I have also learned about believing in myself. When it comes to being confident in who they are, those amazing little girls seem to have more figured out than their old mom! I am so inspired by their recent acts of bravery, I am committed to do better to overcome my own insecurities.
Truly, I'm in awe of my daughters. A few months ago, my 8-year-old announced she wanted to try out for a solo in the upcoming chorus concert. As her parents, my husband and I encouraged her to go for it. On the night before the audition, she showed me a note she'd written to herself that said, "I know I can do it." Staring at those simple yet powerful words in the scrawl of a second-grader brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't help but admire her self-assurance and realize I could stand to fill my own life with more of that.
I'd been feeling down about having to lose weight postbaby, and we'd just moved to a new state, where I was struggling to put myself out there and make friends. My 8-year-old's confidence truly lifted me up in that moment and has continued to inspire me since her tryout. I figure if she can believe in herself, so can I. I can meet my weight-loss goals. I can connect with new people. As a side note, she got the part, and I can't help but think it is because she thought she could.
My 5-year-old also went out for a part for the school play. I explained that older kids would also be trying out, but she was unwavering in her resolve to get up on stage and give it her all. Seeing that little person go after something she wanted served as a great reminder that that's what life is about. If you have faith in yourself, you have everything you need, and my kindergartner was showing her mama just that. I couldn't help but think that if a 5-year-old can sing and dance in front of the school, I can walk up to the school pick-up line with my head held high, even if I am still wearing my ratty maternity yoga pants. I am so grateful to my daughter for helping me refocus on the notion that a little confidence goes a long way.
Meanwhile, my 10-year-old has been kicking butt on her swim team. She's shy and reserved at school, but then, she gets in that water and becomes a true competitor. She pushes herself as hard as possible during practices, and at meets, I'll stare in wonder as she climbs up on the blocks, in front of all of those people, dives into the pool, and proceeds to execute whatever stroke is required with grace and determination. I look at her and feel inspired to take on the challenges in my life.
My daughters all inspire me with their sense of purpose as they pursue their dreams. Maybe it's that they aren't as afraid of failure as adults are. But I for one could use a little more childlike ambition and a little less self-judgment. I am so proud to be a mom to girls who go for it and who push me to be better, both for myself and for them.
I want them to look at me and feel inspired, too. To see a woman who is comfortable in her own skin; who isn't afraid to go out of her comfort zone; who isn't perfect, but is trying her best to live her best life, even if I'm tired, or get discouraged by setbacks; who still has goals, and isn't afraid go after them — in yoga pants.