It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the carpeted floor with chubby thighed Layla watching her lay there and kick and coo. She didn't want to crawl or roll over to her tummy. Why would she want to do that? Her momma did everything for her. If there was a pink plastic toy out of her reach I would just hand it to her. What was I thinking?
I think as moms we want to make life easier for our children in the moment. I wanted to hand her that pink horse rattle or her Ellie the elephant so she didn't have to struggle.
Clearly, she is fine and me babying her didn't hurt her, but looking back I should have let her do more for herself. How do you tell a new hard headed mom that?
And just like that, way too fast she turned three. I still helped her, but then I was half way starting to get it. I knew she needed to do things on her own to grow and become independent. In my eyes she was 3 years old for many years. When she was 4, she was still 3. When she was 5 she still seemed 3 to me. When she turned 6 I had an awakening. She had a little mind of her own, as she always had, but I didn't want her to change. She was so smart and had the cutest personality. She was reading and learning math facts. I had to stop babying her and let her grow. She met friends in kindergarten and wanted to have playdates. What? She was still three. Kids don't do that at that age, I didn't want to let her go and grow. But she was 6 and very social and super cute. She needed that!
No one tells you that about parenting. I wish someone would shake me sometimes and MAKE me stop what I'm doing and look down into my life as if I'm looking into a snow globe. You know what? Now she isn't 3 or 6, she is 9! How in the world is she 9 years old? And she'll be 10 in July. I read in a beauty pageant packet advertisement that was mailed to our home that 10 years old is considered pre-teen.
She's washing her own hair. She's painting her own nails even if it looks all crazy. She can scramble eggs and make a mean bowl of mac n cheese. I have to step away from my perfectionist mind set and let her become the amazing little girl she is ment to be. Gary and I had to let her fall off her bike to learn to ride it. I now have to let her try to blow dry her hair even when she gets mad and begs me to do it for her. "Please mom, you do it better. I don't know how!!" I can remind her to wash her face and brush her hair, but she has to do it. I have to be quiet during homework so she can solve the problems on her own without me doing it for her. She gets mad at me when I make her do her own stuff sometimes. I get that awful mommy guilt that us moms feel when we least expect it. I know deep down she isn't 3 anymore and I must let her grow and make mistakes. After all, isn't that how we learn the best lessons?
All this to say, I have learned so much through having Layla and Hayden . A little girl and a little boy, each one growing and learning their own way. No one tells you how to parent or what you'll feel. I'm learning how to stop and step back to make sure I'm helping and letting their brains make decisions and choices that in the end help them grab their dreams and run with them.
What have you learned about yourself after becoming a parent?