Today Chandler turns 3. THREE. She’s no longer a baby or a toddler, but a little girl with an even bigger attitude. She’s learned how to count, how to tell (or make up) stories; she’s learned to love broccoli and how to (almost) do a forward roll. But none of it compares to what she’s taught me.
I have learned more in these past 3 years than I have in my 25 years of life. This year hasn’t been easy, in fact, it may have been one of the most difficult years of my life but I wouldn’t have come out as strong as I did if it weren’t for her- for her resistance, her love, her smile. She’s taught me about unconditional love, she’s taught me patience, she’s taught me that it’s OK to have Lucky Charms for dinner, in fact, in her eyes- it’s preferred. And while those things may seem surface level, the lifelong lessons she taught me are ones that have helped me grow and become a better mom.
1. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.
The days are long and the nights are longer. Sometimes you question whether you can handle it, but truth is, you can. You’ll have to re prioritize and learn the art of scheduling and not just remember to brush your teeth but to make sure your child does the same. Trust me, your boundaries will be pushed but you will be able to handle more than you think you can. And it’s all worth it when you see your babe smile.
2. Let them make decisions.
It’s a hard internal battle to face. We want them to stay little forever, but want them to grow up and become strong, independent people. So with that being said, let them choose and choose your battles. If they want to wear their Princess Belle dress to go grocery shopping, then Mama, that is not your battle to win. Let them play on the playground, let them have ice cream before dinner- they will be OK and showing you trust them to do the right thing will show them more love than you can tell them.
3. You’re doing great.
There’s not right way to do this. None of us knew what we were getting into when our children were born and hell, I don’t think I am alone in saying I still have no idea what I’m doing. We all have mommy friends, or are apart of forums, or even our own mothers telling us how to parent- take all the advice with a grain of salt and choose to do what’s best for your child. Keep it up, Mama.