How Being a Plant Mom Transformed My Mindset for the Better
I was awful at taking care of plants — until I learned these 5 lessons
I used to be the worst plant mom you can imagine. My house plants always died, no matter how much I tried — or didn’t — to keep them alive. Every year, I gave this plant-owning business a try. Every year, I failed.
I am currently in the possession of seven (!) plants, and they’re all in a thriving or at least an alright state. I’ve even had some of them for over a year, so I can actually attest this to my plant-mothering skills, not just the fact that they had taken good care of them in the store where I bought my plants from.
What’s more, taking care of plants has opened my eyes when it comes to some lessons that apply to life in general. My plants keep growing, and I grow with them.
Self-improvement is a slow and tough journey, just like growing from the roots to the very top, but in the end, it’s ultimately worth it. Who wouldn’t want to bloom?
These are the 5 lessons being a plant mom has taught me.
Too much care kills
The number one reason why all my plants always used to die was that more often than not, I cared a little too much.
I watered them almost every day, not bothering to research any information or to check if the soil was dry enough. I didn’t even know the soil should be dry if I wanted to water my plant. Honestly, it just seemed ridiculous to me that my plants would need so little water for so many biological functions.
The thing is, every being, let it be a plant, a chicken, or a human, is different. Everyone needs different amounts of water.
Think of water as love, and you’ve got yourself a great life lesson. Sometimes, bombing people with too much love makes them feel smothered and suffocated. I’ve definitely done this and had it done to me before, and trust me, it’s far from ideal.
Sometimes, giving people freedom and space is how you express your love in the best possible way. That’s because real love is kind, forgiving, and selfless. As soon as you want to usurp someone for yourself and you shower them with overwhelming affection 24/7, it’s a sign that you might feel insecure in the attachment.
Remember — too much care kills. Let them breathe, and they’ll love you even more.
Happiness means celebrating small victories
It takes a long time for plants to grow. You might have to wait months before you see a new leaf. This means you’re always excited to see every single progress, however small, because it means your plant is indeed thriving and is doing well on its growth journey.
This is such a vital piece of advice. I couldn’t stress this enough — ever since I started celebrating small victories a few months back, my life has transformed. I don’t get discouraged so easily. I’m happy for every single step in all aspects of life — my writing career, language learning, or even knitting a scarf for all that matters.
I’m happy for every single day when I make small progress in what I do, who I am, and who I plan to become. The benefit of embracing this positive attitude toward small victories is that more celebrations lead to more motivation, which leads to more effort. And more effort translates, of course, into more rewards and bigger victories.
Celebrate that you’ve baked today, or that you’ve done a lot of work or spent the day doing self-care. It will motivate you to keep winning.
You don’t ‘suck’ at anything
I always used to say I sucked at taking care of plants.
I sucked at DIY, at knitting, at baking, at dancing. I embraced this I suck attitude as a part of my personality, and my failed attempts at cutting a paper in a straight line or gluing two pieces of paper together without making a mess everywhere served as a good comic relief for everyone.
It made me feel bad about myself, though. It was funny and sad at the same time, and that’s because as much as I had fun sucking at things, I also wished I could do better.
And then I started actually trying. I painted a bookcase, I crocheted myself a headband, I found out I was actually a pretty good dancer, I managed to keep seven plants alive.
The difference between me then and me now is that in the past, I said I sucked and just gave up. Now, I say, “I want to learn. I want to improve.” And I go and do it.
You never really suck at anything. Your skills just aren’t developed enough, or you haven’t had enough practice. That’s all there is to it.
Appreciate the details
I often overlook the details in favor of a bigger picture. Taking care of plants has taught me to focus on the small things in life — watching how my plant bends or how many leaves it has is a great form of meditation.
Try to observe life a little more. Embrace the beauty of it because it’s everywhere around you. The way the sunrays fall on your skin, the beautiful building in front of you, the people who make you happy.
Stop for a second. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be mindful of your body for a moment. It can calm you down, make you feel more content, and improve your life a great deal in the long run.
Life in all forms is beautiful and deserves respect
Watching my plants grow has shown me that every single form of life is beautiful and worth cherishing.
I never much cared about plants before. Anything smaller than a mouse didn’t really matter to me, let alone plants who can’t look at me with cute puppy eyes.
Watching plants and taking care of them for months and months has changed the way I appreciate silent forms of life, which has in turn made me kinder and humbler.
The little quiet things matter, too.
So far, all my plants have names. I’ll probably stop naming them after some time because I aspire to have a house that’s basically a jungle, so it would be hard to keep track. But I’ll never stop appreciating their silent presence.
Plants are a wonderful form of life that can not only make your room feel fresher, but it also reminds you every day how wonderful nature is, especially if you live in a city.
Personally, being a plant mom has improved my overall quality of life and my levels of happiness a great deal.
So why not try being a plant parent?