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What My Strong-Willed Daughter Has Taught Me

strong-willed girl

I should have known from the beginning that she would not be an easy child.

Yes, motherhood is not an easy road to travel down, but I feel like a higher power above laughed and said, “I pick her to carry this crazy one!”

The moment I found out we were having a daughter, I bawled tears of happiness, despite the terrible morning sickness I was plagued with all of the hours of the day. My heart was filled with a joy that was so raw and real, and nothing I had been experiencing up to that point mattered anymore. I was having a baby girl!

There were moments during my pregnancy I would find myself completely consumed by her. I often wondered what she would look like. Would she have dark hair like me? Brown eyes like her daddy? I would find myself driving the long highway to work, listening to my favorite music and imagining her unabashedly dancing along to the songs. I pictured the future ahead of me as a new mom through bliss filtered glasses. Motherhood was only going to be picturesque, and relaxed because I KNEW I was meant to be a mom.

Man, does the universe have a sense of humor. No, seriously.

strong-willed girl

From the moment my child entered this world, motherhood was the furthest thing from relaxed and easy. My labor and delivery was 18 hours long, full of stress and intensity, and came with too many complications. During our stay in the hospital, we allowed her to go to the nursery for a few hours so I could get some sleep, but they had to bring her back to us because she was inconsolable. The entire 45-minute ride home from the hospital she screamed herself hoarse and had completely chapped her lips up. The weeks to follow she dealt with colic. She LOATHED the car seat. We had difficulty breastfeeding.  For the first time in my life, I felt like I was drowning and had no idea what to do. I had never felt so terrified.

As the time passed on things became easier, and we found our rhythm and routine in life. When she was about four months old, I noticed a little sassiness and fire inside my baby girl. She liked to scream. A LOT. The feistiness was real with this child, and it was safe to say she had a big personality for such a little girl.

I began to notice her strong will when she was around 15 months old. Her fits were hard for me to understand, and I had no idea how to handle them. They made me question my ability as a mom, and at times they still do.

From the time she was a baby I have had close friends and family, and people I hardly knew voice their opinions about her behavior. And through the years I have constantly been reminded that she is not an “easy” child. Time and time again I have been told “she’s a handful,” and “I don’t know how you do it with her.” I have been given advice, books to read, and podcasts to listen to. It used to hurt terribly when people would make comments about her. No matter who she was, what her temperament was, she was my daughter, and a part of me.

I credit Norah for most of the growth in my life these past five years. I have always been somewhat of a submissive, docile, easy-going, never-say-what-you-think kind of girl, but Norah? The exact opposite.

With time, encouragement from my husband, lots and lots of tears; through my fits of frustration and anger, my baby girl has taught me so many lessons.

strong-willed girlShe’s Taught Me…

…that different is okay.

…understanding for others.

…to speak up for me.

…to never judge another mama again, especially the one with the child throwing a tantrum in Publix.

…to let go and live in the moment.

…to release any expectations and just enjoy the process of life. 

…that it’s okay to not have all the answers to motherhood.

…what it really means to feel and feel deeply.

…empathy for those around me.

…how to get outside of myself and talk to others.

…what unconditional love can truly be.

…forgiveness.

…GRACE. Not only with myself, but also with others. 

strong-willed girl

I most definitely need this little girl in my life. Parenting her has never been a walk in the park. And I am not going to lie and tell you that having a strong-willed daughter is a breeze. But it has definitely kept me on my toes and continues to humble me day in and day out. Through this journey of being Norah’s mother, I have grown and will continue to grow as a mother and a woman.

As new phases of her life come, I will continue to discover and grow into what I need to be for her. My biggest hope through it all? To never break her strong and wild spirit.

I will forever be grateful to my “beautiful light” for making me a mama, and showing me what love and understanding truly are. 

Thank you, my precious Norah Belle. You are a rare fire, and I cannot wait to see what you bring to this world one day. Break all the glass ceilings, babe.

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