Baby Steps

Correct me if I’m wrong, but, the expectation of a baby when they start walking isn’t to run a marathon the next day.
And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who squealed with delight when my children took just one single step before plopping on their bum.
And…the next time they stood up with the determination and slight wobble of a tipsy, stiletto wearing 20something who absolutely can walk to the bathroom on her own- I was rooting for just one more step, nothing more.
We literally start off walking with baby steps. Pretty sure that is a rare appropriate use of literally, but recently rewatching Parks and Rec has influenced my use of that word.
Have you watched a baby learn to walk in front of an audience? When they take that inaugural step and then fall, they are celebrated. When they take 2 steps, they are cheered. Every single time they fall, they aren’t greeted with disappointment but with encouragement, with excitement because they made it one more step.
The baby looks at the faces of those around them and smiles, they don’t consider themselves failures for not making it 4 steps. They don’t beat themselves up, cursing the world and looking for someone to blame.
Sometimes they get back up on their own.
Sometimes they need a helping hand.
And sometimes, they decide they have done enough for the day and enjoy playing on the floor and putting something they shouldn’t eat, in their mouths.
At some point between learning how to walk and watching our own babies walk, we forgot to be delighted by the baby steps.
We started only seeing the falls, not the additional step.
We stopped accepting help standing up.
And we viewed quitting as failure, instead of recognizing the importance of knowing our limits, trusting ourselves and being content with our progress.
If baby steps were worth cheering for decades ago, aren’t they still worth cheering for today?
I plan on sharing lessons from the past month of working with teens on mindful leadership and mental health over the new few weeks. Before I do, I want to remind parents of this important message:
Baby steps.
Your teen will not go from not sharing with you to hour long chats overnight. But you may get an “okay” instead of a ‘k’.
Baby steps.
And you must be willing to take the steps alongside them. Willing to fall. Willing to know when to just lay on the floor and be done for the night, knowing and believing that they’ll make it back into your arms
Parenting isn’t easy. But last I checked- an easy life is not why we had kids. At one time in your life, you couldn’t walk. Now you can run. You got this, and you aren’t alone.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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