Last week my toddler stared intensely into my eyes, pouted her lips and shouted “NO!” It was at this moment it dawned on me that, although a toddler stood before me, I am in fact raising a young woman. When did my little baby girl, who I nursed and rocked to sleep, suddenly develop this strong will, stubbornness and a mind of her own?! Gone are the days when she used to do as I say. Did I mention she is only 17 months old?
My little madam is learning how the world around her works. She is testing boundaries and expressing her emotions. And, if I am honest, I am struggling. I didn’t realize the many roles one takes on when becoming a mother. Mentally I had prepared myself to meet her physical needs, but I could not foresee that this sweet baby girl would one day grow into a defiant toddler! I find it fascinating to behold each stage of her development. The rate at which she is growing both astounds and challenges me.
Motherhood and marriage have both become like a mirrors to my soul, revealing my qualities and characteristics that need refining. How can something so beautiful bring out something so ugly within us? No one wants to be an angry mum and a nagging wife. I desperately desire to stop shouting and moaning. For I know she is watching me, closely. She is studying and copying me. I have begun to notice traits in her that seem familiar. Yes, she is imitating my ways and mannerisms. Some are positive and others, not so….
When I shout, she copies my tone. When I do the laundry she comes and helps me load the washing machine. Yes, my little shadow is watching my every move and and listening to my every word, even when I am unaware of it. It is my prayer that as she continues to grow, watch and study me, she will learn useful skills. How to cook, clean, sew, keep her home and love her husband. Each of these skills will equip her for life and a family of her own in the future, God-willing.
I pray with all sincerity and urgency as I know that one day I will look into those beautiful brown sparkly eyes and a woman will stare back at me. When I stand before the Lord, will I be able to say that I raised my child in His ways? I hope I will be able to be confident that I cared for the treasure that He placed into my care. I am her guardian. Have you ever wondered why we are called guardians?. I believe mothers are the “angels” assigned to them on earth.
It is my hope that any mother reading this will be encouraged. So often we beat ourselves up and count our failures. Yet, I feel God saying “Well done.” None of us are perfect, we all miss that mark. Yet, what’s important is that we press on and strive to be all that God wants for us to be. His grace and strength is sufficient for us. You are doing an amazing job.
I wonder, do you have any advice on how to survive the toddler tantrum stage?