Five Lessons Learned in My Son's First Five Years

Mary J. Hawkins is an accomplished editor, writer, and social media enthusiast who has been working in the digital media space since 2009. In a former life, she was the author and owner of The Mommyologist, a humor blog centered around the changes that happen after kids arrive on the scene. She is currently the full-time Senior Editor of Audience Development for CafeMom, and has been a part of their team for the past 5 years. 

Mary also recently launched a lifestyle and travel blog called “Catching the Next Wave,” which centers around the new phase of life she’s navigating as a recently divorced single mom of one charismatic 10-year-old and a pint-sized Shih-Tzu. 

When she manages to find time to detach herself from her laptop, Mary leads an active lifestyle. She has a strong passion for travel and welcomes every opportunity to explore new places and experience new adventures. She is also a huge fan of Pilates and Yoga – though she doesn’t get to class quite as often as she’d like. 

Mary lives in a small town in the middle of Connecticut, though she’d rather live in the city, on the coast, or a combination of both. 

*This post was actually written five years ago, and my son is now 10 years old. But I think it's safe to say these lessons still ring true.

Tomorrow, my little dude turns five. And as I sit here and contemplate where in the world the past five years went, a few key lessons come to mind that I've learned from him. And don't get me wrong, I love my kid more than any other person on the face of this earth and he has completed me in more ways than I could ever write or talk about, but this is a humor blog, so I'll save the sap for nights when I'm alone with a bottle of wine and can cry to myself about how fast time goes by.

Top 5 Things I've Learned From My Son In Five Years Time:

1. Just as moms have eyes in the back of our heads, kids have ears in the same place, plus sticking out of pretty much every part of their bodies, including the bottom of their feet. If you don't want something repeated, don't say it in front of your kid. If you do, it will resurface at the most inopportune time. I promise.

2. If you want to know the real answer as to whether or not you look good in your skinny jeans, ask your kid. Husbands, boyfriends, and girlfriends will most likely lie -- but kiddos tend to speak the truth. And honestly, the truth is much easier to take when it comes out of a cherubic little mouth.

3. Kids will teach you a lot about your "key phrases." And by "key phrases", I mean the things that you say all the time that you probably shouldn't. I can't tell you how many times I've been about to experience road rage in a parking lot and hear my little dude calling from the back seat, "What the heck is that yahoo doing?"  or "MOVE lady!" Gotta love it when he beats me to the insults.

4. Apparently passing gas is socially acceptable when it's done by children five and under. But starting tomorrow, I'm teaching little dude how to suck 'em in. I don't need people in Target thinking I'm raising him in a barn.

5. Ok, I know I said I wouldn't do it, but I'm throwing in a little bit of sap so I don't look like the world's worst mother. The number one thing I've learned from my son in the past five years is that I may not be the most perfect parent, but hearing "I love you" from him on a daily basis must mean I'm doing something right. Oh yeah, and he also tells me that I'm the most beautiful girl in the world sometimes too. It sure is nice to hear once in a while, even if it's just a ploy to convince me to let him eat cookies for breakfast.

I'll take it.