It’s been a little over half a decade since I first became a mom, and in that time, I’ve learned some valuable lessons about parenting – not from the 500-page books penned by fancy experts, not from well-intentioned strangers who have… feelings about everything you’re obviously doing wrong, but from Winnie the Pooh.
Yep. The chubby little cubby with a fondness for honey and fierce love for his friends.
And yes, I suppose that counts as book learning, too, but when you’re inspired by a bear of very little brain, you open yourself up to much more fluff – laughter and dreams and unconditional love that come out of little kids like rainbows dipped in glitter and sunshine. It’s the stuff that makes the tumble down the child-rearing rabbit hole kind of awesome, despite the sleep deprivation.
To that end, some of Winnie’s most memorable murmurings:
Lesson 1: Sometimes, it’s good to do absolutely nothing. 1 of 10
Because your kids don't always need to be doing something, as long as they're with you.
"People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day." - A.A. Milne
"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day." - A.A. Milne
Lesson 2: Just be nice. 2 of 10
No matter what. Always.
"Just because an animal is large, it doesn't mean he doesn't want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo." - A.A. Milne
"A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference." - A.A. Milne
Lesson 3: Good things come to those who wait. 3 of 10
Not a kids' most favorite lesson, but an important one nonetheless.
"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called." - A.A. Milne
"If the person you are talking to doesn't appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear." - A.A. Milne
Lesson 4: Never stop exploring. 4 of 10
Never stop exploring the world around you. It's what keeps you young at heart.
"Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing." - A.A. Milne
Lesson 5: Try your best. 5 of 10
No one can ask any more of you than that.
"You can't help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday, even if he doesn't spell it right; but spelling isn't everything. There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn't count." - A.A. Milne
"When you do the things that you can do, you will find a way." - A.A. Milne
Lesson 6: Love yourself. 6 of 10
Your children are one-of-a-kind.
"The things that make me different are the things that make me." - A.A. Milne
Lesson 7: Live in the present. 7 of 10
Just keep swimming.
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
- A.A. Milne
Lesson 8: Be brave. 8 of 10
You're stronger than you think you are.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you." - A. A. Milne
Lesson 9: You are loved. A lot. 9 of 10
No matter how old you get, someone loves you. A lot. A whole lot.
"Some people care too much. I think it's called love."
- A.A. Milne
"If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." - A.A. Milne
"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart for so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time." - A.A. Milne
"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." - A.A. Milne
"How do you spell 'love?'" asked Piglet.
"You don't spell it... you feel it," said Pooh. - A.A. Milne
Lesson 10: Be humble. Be thankful. 10 of 10
Embrace who you are and what you have to offer to your children, your spouse, the world. That is where true happiness lies.
"Pooh," said Rabbit kindly, "you haven't any brain."
"I know," said Pooh humbly." - A.A. Milne
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." - A.A. Milne
Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures
Travelhound Pilar wouldn’t mind being at Walt Disney World eating the ears off a Mickey ice cream bar right about now. But, since she can’t be at her “second home” year round, she curates happy thoughts on Disney Social Media Magic, a virtual springboard where breaking news and other Disneyfied thingamabobs are shared. For more mouse-minded geekery, join Pilar on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and personal site, One Mom Media.