The Terrible Twos: Lessons From My Daughter

My daughter is amazing. Not just because she’s my daughter and I love her deeply, but because I learn so much from her each day. In watching her grow I have realized that children are a lot wiser than they let on, or maybe as adults, we just forget some of the basic tenets of life that kept us grounded to the universal reality. My daughter has two favorite words right now: mine and no. Hearing her slide them purposefully into conversation admittedly brings a smile to my face, but it also forces me into teacher mode. I want to share with her that the things she often calls hers are not hers merely because she just has them in her hands, or when she says no that it doesn’t have to follow with a tantrum when someone disagrees. Yes the terrible two’s are in full effect at my house, but in dealing with her mini meltdowns I’ve gotten some real revelations.

Mine

My daughter has no problem proudly proclaiming what things are hers, or what she thinks should be hers. She confidently walks up to any child who dares play with her toys without asking and lets them know who’s in charge. While this makes me add sharing as the next lesson on the to-learn list, it reminded me that it’s alright to take some time to be selfish. As an adult we are often forcibly required to do things for other people, be it at work, at home, or wherever and eventually some of us forget to do things for ourselves. I was having a conversation with a close friend the other day about this same issue. I shared with her that at times I feel guilty when I miss work. Now mind you I don’t do anything groundbreaking that requires people to truly depend on me. I’m a Quality Analyst, which is pretty low on the responsibility totem pole. Even so, I truly feel a wave of guilt anytime I decide to not go to work to do for myself. My friend admitted that she felt the same way sometimes, and maybe you do too. At some point we allowed our jobs to mean more to us than our own peace. My daughter definitely doesn’t have that problem, and it dawned on me that I shouldn’t either. Of course, you should do what you can at your workplace to be dependable, but it shouldn’t be at the cost of forgetting to or feeling bad about taking care of yourself.  Unapologetically focus on you and your needs because as an adult no one will take care of you if you aren’t willing to.

 

No
My daughter as cute and pleasant as she is will tell me no in a second if I ask her something that she doesn’t want to do. She’ll even do it with a smile while hugging me sometimes. While it bothers me, it also reminds me that as an adult I have the right and responsibility to do what works best for me and if something is presented to me that doesn’t align with my life goals I have the right to say no. You don’t have to add any more weight to the load you’re already carrying especially if you don’t see the point in doing it.  So, graciously turn down anything that people may ask that won’t make your life better. At the end of the day it’s your life, so live it doing the things that best suit you.

Me Time
YouTube has become one of my little one’s favorite vices. She sings the same songs over and over again never feeling a bit silly or bothered by what makes her happy. Watching her get comfortable and relax to those videos taught me to do the same. Sometimes it’s alright to shut out the world and just do what makes you comfortable. We adults constantly rip and run until the day is over only to get up and do the exact same things the next day. We’re in an endless cycle of movement that only tires us out day in and day out. It’s okay to get off that hamster wheel and focus on yourself. Shut out the background noise, ignore the non-essentials, and take the necessary time to hear your own voice again. I’m sure it has a lot to say. You are the only you that you will ever have. As convoluted as that sounds it’s true. God forbid, if something were to ever happen to you we couldn’t do a mulligan and simply give you another body. You are all you have. Sure we have materials and family, but they aren’t yours to control. The only thing you can truly own and control is yourself, so why not make sure that you’re in top condition. Love yourself and make sure that you are always working in your best interests.

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