What are you learning?

Hopping on One Foot

I remember when my oldest learned to hop on one foot across the kitchen and family room to the couch. She was so proud!

I asked her to try on her other foot, and it didn’t feel quite as natural. She said, “I can’t do that. But I can do this foot really well.”

Focusing on what was right with her, instead of what was feeling shaky, seemed to come naturally. Hmm. That’s a lesson I needed to keep in mind. I took note, for later (hello, later!).

Being the intrepid little sister she is, my middle child quickly attempted the same feat. And for the first time ever, she hopped on one foot more than once. To say that she was proud is an understatement. She was *shocked* that she did it, proud that she did it successfully, and in a total rush to try the other foot right away.

“Hold my hand, mama, so I can show you.”

That got me thinking, and not just about the girls gaining a new skill. 

How often do we:

  • try something new, only to feel a little shaky or unsure?
  • look back and say, you know, that didn’t work so well, but I have this other thing that works really well?
  • marvel at mastering a new task or learning something new, and feel that rush of “I’ve got it!”
  • need that extra little reassurance from someone we trust to know that it’s okay to try?
  • want to share a new skill with someone we love?

Most of the time, we adults probably just “figure it out”…

…and maybe feel frustrated that we didn’t grok it right away, or annoyed that it took so long. The little voice of shame echoes in the background: “What took you so long?” and “You should have known that.”

Maybe you don’t instinctively stop to give yourself credit for learning something new, and giving yourself grace is not the first thing on a mountainous to-do list.

But what if it could be? What would open up for you if you focused on how capable you are in the face of new and unknown? What if, instead of being upset that you didn’t know what you didn’t know, you said instead “learning takes more energy and goes slow….but slow is smooth and smooth is fast! I got this!

As parents, we navigate new things for the very first time *every day* because our kids are changing every day. My challenge for you this week is to try cataloging the things you’ve done for the very first time each day. And then, when you look back on your list, give yourself some kudos. That stuff is hard work.

I want to hear from you! What are you learning? All this week I’ll be themed around some of the challenges moms (in particular, but not exclusively) face. If you find yourself struggling to find self-compassion and aren’t sure where to start, grab some time on my calendar.

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