10/06/2014 13:13 BST | Updated 10/08/2014 06:59 BST

Lessons I Learn From My Baby Daughter

It seems crazy and embarrassing and at the same time wonderful, how a baby can teach me lessons about life and the world. But this is what my daughter does, every single day. She helps me feed and water my feminism, my relationship to myself and to the here and now in ways I never predicted. She teaches me about humanity and acceptance and it's all a bit existential. But here's what she's taught me so far...


Trust that if you think that maybe you can, then you can. You can finally manage to climb on to the bed from the floor. You can pull that lightweight chest of drawers over on top of yourself. You can scale the steps to the slide. You can eat that whole mango. You can crawl as fast as your brother can run for that ball.

I can make time to ride my bike to get some endorphins time. I can accept that I don't have to be the perfect parent. I can take a leap of faith and leave my day job to focus on other things.


Accept that your body is as it is. It's not even about loving your body (that old chestnut), it's that she just accepts her body as it is, for what it is. For the daily obstacles it traverses to the battles it overcomes. My body is part of me, it is me, it serves me and I use it to get endlessly from A to B in the journey of life.

I respect that it facilitates me in this way, and she shows me how everyday.

Say how you feel. Scream it, even. Just make yourself comfortable enough to feel and for those feelings to be heard. Don't bottle. She always calls it like she sees it.

When you're tired, take a nap or go to bed. Don't click on that link or notice that plate is still in the garden with ants all over it or wonder whether there's enough time to write another paragraph. Just to go sleep.

Be present in the moment. It's all you've got, this one moment. Do with it what you like, enjoy it as much as you can, use it for whatever purpose you think it fits. But be there, not in what was, not in what may be, just here. Do it, do it now. She finds peekaboo hilarious, and while I'm one third on Twitter, one third wondering if we're running late, one third in the game, she's totally in it with her whole body, mind and soul.

Occupy as much space as you need. You have every right to all the space you need in the world; take it and use it and wave your arms around in it. Make the air around you dance with your carefree present-moment living.


Eat what you like. If you don't like it, don't eat it. Enjoy and savour what you love.

Experience is your best teacher. That tree bark tastes gritty and of nothing. Banana makes me feel full. If I break up my brother's train track, he will be angry with me. She learns from her experiences, to me as an adult, that's amazing.

Be fearless. That's it, simple. She goes into each situation with a focused head and an open heart, and it's awesome and beautiful.

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