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 I'm 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 it's important and it's 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.