11 Mental Health Lessons Moms Can Learn from Dr. SeussHeather Neal
I’m constantly surprised that the number of familiar (and wise) quotes I read are attributed to Dr. Seuss. Not just a master of rhymes and fun nonsense, Dr. Seuss seemed to actually know a thing or two about having a good outlook on life and turning negative experiences into positive ones. As I read to my son before bed each night and before nap time each afternoon, I often forget I’m reading to entertain a child and more often than not feel like I’m teaching myself some super elusive, secret parenting lesson.
Today, as we celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, let’s not just celebrate him for his wonderful ability to entertain children, but also for the lessons he can teach us as parents and moms especially. We all know that parenting gets tough, and even a good day can be filled with rough moments. Here are a few quotes to stick in your proverbial back pocket the next time you’re struggling with the emotional and mental health difficulties that inevitably come with raising these precious munchkins.
Dr. Seuss Lessons
“Today you are you, that is truer than true.
There is no one alive who is youer than you.”
Lesson learned: Don’t worry about what other people are doing or thinking, the only person that matters is you and your family. Your kids need YOU not super mom xyz, so embrace who you are and your way of doing things.
From: Happy Birthday to You!
“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”
Lesson learned: Parenting’s tough! There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. One of the things that can keep you going when the days get tough is having fun ways to entertain the kiddos. A little creativity and brainstorming now can help you be prepared for the tough days.
“Don’t give up! I believe in you all.
A person’s a person, no matter how small!”
Lesson learned: Our little people are people too, even if they’re less than half our size. That means their emotions and thoughts are real, too. We can’t brush them off just because they’re kids, and we also can’t assume they don’t notice our feelings and reactions, so we should try to set a good example for handling them well. You may be surprised by the mature things you learn when you stop and listen to those little voices.
From: Horton Hears a Who!
“You oughta be thankful
A whole heaping lot
For the people and places
You’re lucky you’re not.”
Lesson learned: See previous lesson: parenting is hard!! There will be days where you don’t know how you’ll go on, what you got yourself into, or how you will ever make it out alive — or even to tomorrow. But no matter how bad it seems at the moment, it really could always be worse. Be grateful it’s not, and seek solace in good moments.
“From there to here,
From here to there,
Funny things are everywhere.”
Lesson learned: It’s easy to see the bad: your kid didn’t sleep last night, the contents of your kitchen is all over the floor, there’s smeared applesauce covering the couch cushions. No one would blame you if you caved in to the stress and difficulties of childrearing. But if you dig deep and change your perspective, you may be surprised by what you see when a different light is casting its glow.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Lesson learned: Sometimes it’s easier to give up or let someone else worry about it, but if you want something to change, you’ll have to tackle it head on.
From: The Lorax
“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
Any direction you choose.”
Lesson learned: Your destiny is up to you. You can choose to go down a road that leads to bad places and poor choices, or you can choose to fight and get to better days.
“Today is gone.
Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.”
Lesson learned: Sometimes no matter how positive you try to be, you just can’t manage to look on the bright side. You count down the minutes until the kids’ bedtime and a glass of wine for mom. That’s OK, tomorrow is a completely new day — a fresh start, a clean slate!
“It’s high time you were shown
That you really don’t know
All there is to be known.”
Lesson learned: You may think you know everything about parenting — that you’ve got it all figured out. But you don’t, and there’s nothing wrong with that! You’ll figure those things out, too, eventually.
From: On Beyond Zebra
“And when they played they really PLAYED. And when they worked they really WORKED.”
Lesson learned: Being a mom is hard, hard work. Whether you work in the house, out of the house, or both, it’s work. But all that hard work pays off when you get to play with those little guys that give us our best job title: mom.
From: The King’s Stilts
“If things start happening, don’t worry, don’t stew, just go right along and you’ll start happening too.”
Lesson learned: Occasionally as a mom you just have to fake it ’til you make it. Not everything will be perfect all the time, but if you just keep on trucking, things will fall into place once again.
Do you have Dr Seuss quote to add? What has he taught you about parenting, mental health, or being a mom?