Menu

I’m learning to let go and trust my daughter—and the results are magical

It’s so worth it to watch you grow and develop and thrive.

I’m learning to let go and trust my daughter—and the results are magical

It’s kind of wild, the process of learning to trust your kid.


For so long, as babies, you need to do everything for them. They are totally dependent upon you and you’re in charge of their well-being—everything from making sure they’re eating enough to making sure they’re safe, warm and loved at all times.

But then, funny enough, they grow and develop into toddlers who not only want to do things (okay, everything) for themselves—but they are also starting to become very capable of actually doing certain things by themselves, without any help or assistance.

It’s so cool to watch this independence develop, and it’s our job to help it flourish.

What Im finding, as I learn and grow as a parent—and as my children learn and grown alongside me—is that I need to lessen my ability to control situations and instead, broaden my ability to embrace their need and desire to figure things out for themselves.

It all reminds me very much of being a brand new mama. Motherhood was very new, very foreign territory to me—and I needed to do things for myself to figure out this new life of mine.

Failing at swaddling, making “rookie mistakes” like forgetting diapers to an outing to the library and knowing when I needed to ask for (and accept) help, have all contributed to the confidence I’ve gained as a mother and have ultimately taught me how to trust myself as a parent.

So I know I need to give them room. Room to figure out how they can make things happen for themselves. How they can be responsible. How they can take charge and do big things.

I know I need to have more faith in my kiddos.

Because, it turns out that even though giving our kids space to do their own thing is difficult, it is totally worth it.

It turns out that when you say you want to fill our water bottles up by yourself, that you actually can and will and it’s also super helpful for me. I was nervous to leave the room when you did this—but pleasantly surprised when I got back and saw the water bottles all set and ready to go and that big, proud smile on your face.

It turns out that even if you get some bubbles in your eyes during your bath because you wanted to wash and rinse your hair yourself—that it’s not the end of the world. We can dry your eyes and you’ll calm down and you’ll still brag to your dad that you did it all alone!

It turns out that giving you some space (like you asked for) to process your thoughts and emotions after you hurt your sister will help you get ready to apologize and ask her if you can give her a hug—and definitely melt my heart in the process.

It turns out that while letting you climb into the car and buckle the top part of your car seat takes longer than it would if I intervened to help—it’s great fine motor skill practice and you’ve gotten really good at it which has built up your confidence 100%.

It turns out that even though it doesn’t seem like you’re listening to me when I ask you to get dressed... you actually are and you will eventually get dressed—just not in the clothes I picked out for you. And that’s okay because you’re learning how to be your own person, and that’s one of the biggest things your father and I are hoping for in this parenting gig.

It turns out that letting you be my sous chef at dinner time may be a little frustrating or lengthy—but relishing in your excitement and enthusiasm is a much better area to focus on than the frustration and rushing part.

It turns out that even though you can’t do everything for yourself just yet—that practice makes perfect, and you’ll get there.

Because it turns out that learning is—yes, so exciting!—but it’s also hard. It’s hard for children and adults.

It’s hard to give up control and take on trust. To believe in ourselves enough as parents and our kids enough as people who are old enough to do things for themselves.

But its important and its worth it.

It’s worth it to see such pride on your face.

It’s worth it to help build your confidence levels.

It’s so worth it to watch you grow and develop and thrive.

So let’s make a deal: I’ll be more patient with you as you learn how to be a child, and in turn, could you be patient with me as I learn how to be a mama? I’m trying every single day. ?

Create a school-ready capsule wardrobe for your kids

Dress for success whether virtual learning or in the classroom!

Tina Meeks

Going "back to school" this year may be less of a literal statement than in years past—but there is just as much reason for your kids to celebrate moving on to new grades. Just like in every new school year, a big part of the fun is refreshing your kids' wardrobe with clothes that allow them to express themselves.

Even if finding back to school clothes this year doesn't include a trip to the mall, you can still make an event of it by shopping H&M's kids collection from your computer. Pull up another chair for your shopping buddy and get the cart started with these fave capsule wardrobe options we've already scouted.

Here are our favorite picks:

A t-shirt made for play

H&M t-shirt

Call them essentials, not basics. A graphic t-shirt aces the test when it comes to being perfect for school. And because your little student will probably want to wear something that expresses their personal style as often as possible, it's great to know the shirts can stand up to school time, playtime, downtime and everything in between!

$4.99

Dressed-up casual shorts for total comfort

H&M boy shorts

Whether pulling up a chair for a virtual meeting with the class or heading back to the school for in-person learning, some comfortable, yet stylish, shorts will help your kid focus on the real tasks at hand: learning—and having fun while doing it!

$19.99

Layers for when seasons change

H&M sweatshirt

When it comes to feeling comfortable at school, layers are the MVPs. Whether the AC is blasting or the day started off cool and is warming up quickly, having a unique sweatshirt to shed or add will help your kid look cool while staying warm.

$9.99

A bit of flair with distressed denim

H&M distressed jeans

A school staple for generations, denim is both classic and continually fashionable with updates like distressing and new wash colors. If you're shopping online for jeans this year, take note of H&M's generous return policy—your kids can try on the orders at home and return anything that doesn't fit without a trip to the store.

$24.99

A fashion statement piece

H&M girls skirt

What's better than expressing yourself through a stylish outfit when school is back in session? Still feeling perfectly comfortable and ready to tackle anything the day holds while looking so good. With so many fashion-forward looks available at budget-friendly prices, H&M's children's collection means every kid can find an outfit that speaks to them.

$14.99

Some comfy kicks

H&M boys shoes

A sure way to put a little pep in your child's step this year, cool and cozy shoes are a staple on all back-to-school shopping lists for good reason. (Plus, it's fun to compare them to last year's shoes to see how much your kid has grown!)

$19.99

Anything-but-basic blouses

H&M girls blouse

Whether in the classroom or showing up for a video call with the class, a styling blouse or button-down shirt is a great way for your student to comfortably dress up the day. Better yet? Style doesn't have to come at the expense of comfort with so many made-to-move tops designed just for kids.

$14.99

A shirt ready to go whatever the day holds

H&M boys shirt

With "going to school" meaning anything from showing up in the classroom to doing a virtual session, it's important to have clothes that are perfect for anything the day holds. A classic, cotton shirt with a fashion-forward design is a great way to keep your student feeling ready to start the year with an A+ attitude.

$9.99

This article was sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

5 brilliant products that encourage toddler independence

Help your little one help themselves.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

Keep reading Show less
Life