Be like a baby and treat yourself like one (occasionally)
5 months, so far, of loving, caring for, nourishing, observing, admiring, and learning from my sweet baby. I find it so fascinating and I feel so honored to be able to witness how a human being actually grows and develops step by step. Having a baby gives you such an insight on life. For me, it also triggers so many thoughts.
First of all, how we as adults should give ourselves more credit and cut ourselves some slack, cause no matter where we are in life, damn we came a long way!
It really does take baby steps to learn a new skill, but it’s so worth it, we just gotta keep going and stop overthinking. We heard a million times about a baby’s first steps or their first word but man, there are so many little skills babies are working on daily before they can reach those milestones.
We, as parents, are so crazy excited about everything and anything our little ones learn. All the little changes, the little discoveries they make, the seemingly basic skills they acquire. Wouldn’t it be amazing, if we could feel some of that same excitement and pride when we ourselves learn something new, when we take a positive step forward in life, no matter how insignificant it may seem in the moment? Maybe without making silly faces or using our high-pitched voices, but still feel the joy in our hearts.
Moreover, what if we stopped obsessing over every little thing that doesn’t go our way, every failure, every mistake, every misunderstanding but rather, like a baby does, just try again or if not, then move on to something else. Again, with a lot of passion, curiosity, motivation, and joy. No fear of making a fool out of ourselves, not doing it the right or the perfect way.
So celebrate your little victories, like you celebrate those of your child.
Another way in which we should treat ourselves like we treat our babies is in our attitude towards what we think we deserve and what we’re worth. Looking at our babies we see how special, worthy, deserving of love, care, and support they are. Just because they are. We see life as a miracle, as a gift and we treat theirs like one. We’re making sure they get all that they need to grow, develop and function at their best. But then how come we oftentimes don’t see our own lives as so precious anymore. We feel like we’re not good enough, not worthy of love or we stay in environments that don’t serve us and don’t promote our growth. How can we look into our babies’ eyes and tell them “You’re so special, life is such a gift, you’re so loved (…)” and then five minutes later look at ourselves in a mirror and don’t feel the same way?
So look at your life like you do at your baby’s, remembering what a gift it is, what a miracle you are, one worthy of love and safety.
Second of all, imagine babies wouldn’t follow their instincts to keep developing their skills, but rather settle on what they’ve already discovered and set their limits there.
For instance, newborns clench their fists until they’re a couple of weeks old. Then they first discover that they even have hands and then they slowly try to use them in very clumsy, weird, messy ways. What if they’d be like “ok, I’ve got hands, whatever” or just go one step further and use them randomly to stretch their faces or put inedible objects into their mouths?
This makes me think of us grown-ups as well. How we feel a drive towards something, discover an interest or talent and just stop there, set limitations, telling ourselves that it’s not for us or that we’re not good enough to pursue something. We too should follow our instincts, our curiosity, our natural drives and keep exploring and developing our skills. Yes, there’s resistance, there’re fears, but mostly they’re excuses and there’s overthinking. If we follow our inner voice we cannot get lost.
Oh, there’s so much more we can learn from babies and so many situations where it would truly benefit us to parent ourselves, again. Obviously, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
However, I’ll stop right here for now and say a big thank you to our little ones for reminding us of all that!