Creative Child

The 3 Most Surprising Lessons I’ve Learned While Raising a Toddler

by Michelle Dempsey M.S., CPRW

When I first gave birth to my daughter and spent days on end holding her in my arms, I couldn’t imagine anything past the sweet, subdued calm of infancy. I never thought I’d be able to enjoy the unpredictability of toddlerhood. And before I knew it, my little cherub became a toddler — a fiercely independent, strong-willed, wise-beyond-her-years, boss of a toddler, at that.

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I have to admit that I was terrified for this stage. Every time I logged onto social media, bloggers and exhausted mamas everywhere were posting incessantly about the horrors of toddlerhood — the struggle of dealing with a terrible two’s tirade, the agony of living with a threenager. I began to feel as if I’d signed up for a three-ring circus that forgot to pay the lion tamers.

The last thing I ever expected was to fall in love with this stage.

Yes, you read that right. I have fallen head over heels for the insanity that is this toddler stage, and here’s why.

There is so much beauty in the madness. There is an excitement in not knowing what each day will bring. My daughter expresses so much strength in those tantrums that I wonder if even today, as an adult, I could convey the level of conviction and determination that this little 24-pound human does every single day. I am amazed at the growth I see happening before my very eyes, amazed at the new words I hear my daughter saying on a daily basis, and amazed at the patience I’ve developed for the meltdown that ensues when I give her a blue sippy cup instead of a green one.

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Here are the three most surprising lessons I’ve learned while raising a child in the toddler stage:

3. My toddler is more decisive than most people I know.

I am notoriously indecisive. Just today I flip-flopped about six times about whether to order salmon or chicken on my salad at lunch. Not my daughter, though. She wakes up knowing what she wants, how she wants it, and where she wants it given to her. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it surprises me each and every day.

2. Toddlers won’t say what you ask them to say, but they will mimic the things you wish they wouldn’t mention.

I was so excited for the day that my daughter’s one-word utterances began growing into two-word phrases. Naturally, her first two-words formed a commonly used expletive that rhymes with “Oh, split.” That was a really fun trip to Target, let me tell you!

1. I am a much better toddler-mom than I ever thought I would be.

I didn’t exactly have high hopes for myself here. I was scared of the unknown, terrified of failure. Just as my toddler has surprised me, I have surprised myself. I’m calmer and more patient as a mother than I ever thought I’d be. I roll with the punches and allow my daughter the space to learn and grow in her own way. I’ve learned not to hover or to try to control every little outcome of every situation. That, my fellow mamas, is the most surprising bit of all.

A writer, entrepreneur, radio host, and powerful motivational speaker – Michelle Dempsey, owner and founder of Michelle Dempsey, Very Well-Written, has one goal in mind: empowering women from all walks of life with her incredible personal life story of overcoming adversity and using the lessons learned to achieve success. Internationally published and known for her ability to connect with readers on a deeper level, Michelle has successfully united her passion for business and writing and developed a thriving career, offering writing and editing services, business coaching, branding expertise, and content marketing to business of all kinds.

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