Did you know that our little babies, our little toddlers, are their own person?
Well, of course, you say. Especially little toddlers....who become more and more independent everyday.
OH, I miss being pregnant a lot. Feeling my tiny Isabela grow in my tummy, knowing that she is safe, sound, and shielded from the cruel world!
For 9 months, we were one. And then, my Isabela Eliana was born, a tiny little girl with a head full of hair.....So special, individual...unique.
Like all of us are (:
And for the next few months, it was like we were still one. I wore her in a sling and we breastfed almost every hour around the clock.
Sometimes, I miss those days. What a powerful and tremendous feeling! Knowing that my body was making just what she needed to sustain her!
And very gradually, her personality started to emerge. Little miss stubborn. Headstrong. Funny, Silly.... Strong, knows what she wants and won't settle for what she doesn't want!
My little dancer, cuddle-bug, busy, smart, sassy girl!
Its been so amazing to see her personality emerge. And as she grows, her need for independence grows as well. I'm so very proud of my little tot....as only a mother can be!
Lately, its been very evident that Isabela is a little shy. Its not surprising at all, as I was a shy kid and so was her dad. It pains me to see her shyness, sometimes. Her hesitation around other kids. Pains me because I know how badly she want to try and socialize and play, yet, she hasn't developed the "know-how" yet.
And the comments some family members can really make me upset. Stuff like, "oh, she's only a mommy's girl because you stay at home with her." Or, " Oh, she's not used to other kids, you need to get her out more."
I totally remember how I was shy as a kid. And I was a daycare kid, too. Always around other kids. My well meaning parents tried to break me out of it by trying to push me into being social, more independent. I remember even getting spankings on the days I was really shy.
No way. There is no way in HELL, that I plan on repeating that behavior. You know why? Because it doesn't work! I remember being punished because of being shy or being pushed into social situations, and the only thing it did was make me more insecure and more shy.
See , if your kid or kids are outgoing, its because thats simply their personality. It has nothing to do with you teaching them to be outgoing. Its DNA, genetics, its who they are supposed to be. And, there is nothing wrong with either way!
You know, you cant make a kid be outgoing, but you can certainly make them insecure. You can make them even more shy, by failing to NUTURE THEIR DEPENDENCE.
Thats right. Babies, toddlers will be independent when they are ready. Key word...when.
Until then, as a mother, all I can do is continue to encourage my daughter. WHen she is seriously scared and insecure, I will hold her and whisper comforting words to her. And when she wriggles to get away from me, I will let her go. When she is ready.
I will let her be who she is supposed to be. I will encourage her to develop HER personality, not the one I think she should have.
I REFUSE to impress my ideas of what others think she should be, on her.
Because I love her. And love encourages. love is patient. love is kind. And above all, love never fails.
One day, my daughter will be totally independent from me. She will have her own friends and her own dreams. Totally separate from mine. I know that she will grow up one day. Its inevitable.
SO why rush? Why do we, as American's rush our children into independence. Why do we rush them into weaning? Why do we fight against nature?
I cherish these moments of today. Even as my little tot enters that "terrible two" stage ( who named it that? i hate that term).
All I can do is continue to love her. To continue to educate myself on the type of parent I would like to be. To continue to follow my instincts. Build her confidence. To encourage, encourage, encourage. To nurture her. To not EVER let her think that she should try to be something she just isn't wired to be.
And most powerfully, to pray.
Lets not impress our ideas of "the perfect child" on our children. Instead, let us let them be who they are. Nurture their dependence while we can , so that they will grow to be more confident and more independent.
And, let us LOVE them for WHO they ARE, never once making them insecure in their journey in life.
No matter what.