As parents we think we must teach our children so much about the world. We want to prepare them for success in leading their own independent lives. At least that is what I thought before I became parent. Now I realize it is in fact my son that is teaching me about the world. And you know what, these important life lessons mean everything to me, as they show me things that I didn’t know I was missing out on. Here are a few of the important life lessons I’ve learned so far:

1The beauty of nature

Somewhere down the line of adulthood I lost interest in nature. It wasn’t until my son was born, and I saw the excitement and curiosity he had for the world around him, that I remembered the beauty of nature. His excitement taught me to reconnect with the world around me. Somehow in the midst of my busy life, running from errand to errand, I forgot to stop and appreciate the beauty of the world. Through his eyes, I am inspired and awed as I remember what it is like to see something for the first time. How could I have forgotten how vast the ocean is or how sweet it is to hear the birds chirp in the morning? Thank you so much dear son for reminding me of the beauty of the world around me.

2Being a lawyer is easy

Okay so being a lawyer is never easy. I practice criminal defense. It is difficult. The legal issues, the hours, and wrestling with what is at stake. But you know what I’ve learned from my toddler? It was just my approach that was lacking. Motherhood taught me to focus on my practice. Without delay, I get things done. Motherhood has also taught me to be sharp and changed my entire approach to law. It made me quicker, focused, and increased my ability to empathize with the client. And because of that, my little tot, you made my job easier.

3I’m addicted to my phone

Phone addiction is real. I know I used my phone before my son. It didn’t seem to be an issue. But now, something is different. When he sees me on the phone - and looks at me with his big brown eyes in anticipation, it takes my breath away. Why am I looking at my phone? With him, I should be in the present, as he is. So young, focused, and extremely present. When he laughs, it is because he thinks it is the funniest thing in the world. When he cries, it is because it is the biggest tragedy in the world (hello toddler drama). But I can learn from this. He sets the example of how to be totally present. I want to give that back to him and not regret missing these precious moments because I was staring at a screen. I owe it to us both.  It’s not always easy as the phone can feel like a lifeline to the outside world. It’s not. My lifeline to the world in front of me.

4Dancing is happiness

Did I dance before you were born? If I did it was not nearly enough. Now, not a day goes by that we don’t dance together. Dancing is the manifestation of a happy soul and is the quickest way to bring a smile to anyone’s face. As stated by Friedrich Nietzsche, “We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”  I promise you little one, I’ll never again let a day slip by without a dance move.

5I’m a terrible cook

I used to think I could whip up a badass dinner. My toddler has taught me some humility in the kitchen. Have I ever stepped foot in a kitchen before? My tiny chopped kitchen judge is quite critical. If dinner isn’t to his liking - straight to the dog’s mouth. If my plating is less than ideal, the whole plate hits the ground. But I’ve learned to adapt. I’ve hidden protein in weird places and watched him ingest it with pleasure. My cooking may not be pretty (think every kitchen cabinet open while I work), but I get the job done. I feed my young tot the nutrition he needs while he keeps me on my toes, in the kitchen, and in life. If I want to reach my goal of being a chef, I need to stay hungry or he will. 

6The meaning of true love

Before my son was born, I thought I knew what love was. I didn’t. I had no idea how much more capacity for love I had. My heart has grown three sizes. In my son, I see the future of the world. A future filled with love, happiness, and the future of our family. Who knew one tiny creature could turn me into complete mush. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

For more important parenting lessons, check out 10 Parenting Lessons To Learn From The Walking Dead

Important Toddler Life Lessons


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Lawyer, writer, and new mom with a weakness for compulsive planning, red wine, and reality TV. In her 30-something pre-baby life, she thought she had life somewhat figured out. Now, she is realizing how much she didn't know and rediscovering the world through a toddler's eyes. Jeri is passionate about writing and connecting with other moms about life in general, motherhood's many challenges, and motherhood's greatest blessings. She lives in Florida with her husband, toddler, and three dogs. In her free time, you can find Jeri lounging with family, on the tennis court, or at the movies.