Gardening makes you a better mother or parent. Not because you’re “being more productive” or “more natural” but because you can learn a lifetime worth of lessons in one garden season. If you allow it, the garden can help you grow and evolve. Gardening has taught me many lessons in such a short time. My garden has forced me to hone skills and qualities I’ve tried many times to master as well as qualities I’ve never utilized. From the natural process of growing a garden and the environmental challenges, such as deer devouring my garden, the following are a few of the skills and lessons this garden season has forced me to practice.
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A seed cannot grow if you never plant it: in gardening and parenting. If you don’t put forth the effort, you can’t get what you desire. If you want Zucchini, you need to plant Zucchini seeds. If you want a child who lives with kindness you must show and teach kindness. We have to put in the effort to get the beauty & bounty; whether that be a thriving and healthy garden or child.
“Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.”— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
It takes time to see the growth from your efforts. A sunflower doesn’t bloom the day after you plant the seed. It takes time.
“A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.”— Liberty Hyde Bailey
As the garden takes time to give back for the effort you’ve put in, it teaches you patience. Instant gratification doesn’t exist in the garden. We find instant gratification with most things in modern society, which leaves us inept with patience and therefore unprepared for parenthood. With gardening and parenting, we learn even with love and effort, we won’t immediately get what we desire.
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”— May Sarton
The garden, with all it’s beauty and calmness, teaches peace & contentment. Something about it’s beauty feeds the soul and shows you the way to your inner peace.
Gardening will show you how important it is to have a relationship with dirt. As a parent, this is an important lesson. Your child will crave to play in the dirt and for their health and wellness, it’s important you allow them to do so and even encourage them.
“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”–Margaret Atwood
The garden will never go exactly as planned; neither will parenting. The garden will show you that no matter how astray things may go, with commitment and love, it will still be beautiful. Flowers will blossom and fruit will form.
“A flower falls, even though we love it; and a weed grows, even though we do not love it.”-Dogen
These are all beautiful and necessary lessons to hone for motherhood and a garden is a wonderful and forgiving place to learn such lessons.
What have you learned or hope to learn from your garden?