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Parenting

6 Lessons My Daughter has Taught Me

August 13, 2019, Author: Tamra Cater

My life most definitely changed when I had my daughter. And I will say while there are challenges, it changed my life for the better. She is rambunctious, playful, smart, and beautiful. She has probably taught me more about life in the three years she has been around than what I have learned in my entire life. Thus, my daughter has certainly taught me some lessons about life that I will have forever.

6 Lessons my Daughter has Taught Me

1.I’m stronger than I realized. First of all, I have struggled finding a stable job in the academic world. Part of it is probably that it is over saturated, and therefore, very competitive. Another issue is that I developed a speech disorder that developed some time after I finished my degree. Literally, I have felt like I wasted my time with my degree, because I haven’t been able to use it like I had hoped. I have jumped from job to job hoping that the next one will be more permanent (Some of the jobs I took were only visiting or 1 year contracts).

I have wanted to give up, because I couldn’t understand why I was not getting a tenure-track position in the academic world. But, I have someone watching me and someone that I want to be better for. I want to show her that yes, life can come with it’s challenges, but you keep going. There’s more to life than letting challenges get in the way.

To add to this, 2018 was not a good year for my daughter in terms of her health. Right before she turned 2, my daughter developed a bad case of RSV. I guess the best way to describe this is that it’s a respiratory tract infection, but it sent her to the hospital for a week. My daughter wouldn’t eat much at all, so they had to put a tube in her for a while. It was incredibly disheartening to see my daughter weak and completely not herself. I was worried sick and anxious every day. However, I kept going and remained strong. Thankfully, she pulled through that and left  the hospital on the day of her 2nd birthday!

Later that year, my daughter had 2 weeks where she was vomiting nearly every day. At one point, she vomited and she was choking. I managed to do back blows and stop the choking, but this was by far the scariest moment of my life! Several months later, we learned that she has a food induced allergy that inflames her esophagus. We are currently working on trying to figure out what food is causing it, but she has medications that keep her esophagus from becoming so inflamed.

Through all of this, my daughter taught me that I am strong and can help my daughter pull through these challenges. And I have learned that I am enough and that I want to be her rock that she can count on.

2.I have also learned not to take life so seriously. If anyone knows anything about me, I tend to be a very serious, inhibited person. I’m a hard worker, and I don’t play as often as I should. There are not a lot of people that can bring me to the giggles or laughing so hard It hurts. However, I will say my husband is one of those individuals who can make me laugh until I hurt.

My daughter is too. She has made me smile and laugh more times than I can count. I have to admit that I have even played “frog” with my daughter and hopped on the floor like a frog. But, we both giggled over it, and I laughed so hard at her emphatic, “Bibbet!!” for “Ribbet!”

Even just the other day, my daughter got me to run through the splashpad at the park and to have fun doing it. I was the only adult out there running around in it, but it was fun!

 

3.Toddlers may have the endurance of a marathon runner. I always wondered how my daughter could run around and have so much energy and never stop. According to one article by Science Daily “Children not only have fatigue-resistant muscles, but recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise–even faster than well-trained adult endurance athletes.” While these findings were for children around 9-12 years of age, I wonder if some of the same kinds of things are going on with toddlers.

My toddler has a tradition of running around after bath time with no clothes on (not sure where this comes from, but she just does it). As she does this, I will chase after her for the fun of it, but I do find that I run out of breathe a whole lot quicker than her! And even better than that, she can nearly out run me when kicking a ball around in the yard.

4.My daughter taught me about a different kind of love. When one becomes a parent, it’s a new kind of love. It’s hard to describe, but it’s one you would fight for no matter the cost. My daughter means the world, and I would do anything and everything to protect that beautiful girl. Even with the sleepless nights, the tantrums, and periods of not listening, I will always adore and love my daughter. I have learned how patient I can be, because I love her and know that she is learning how to live and develop into the person that she will become.

5.Be fearless. My daughter is fearless and rambunctious. For example, she had no fear of getting in front of an audience and singing to her heart’s content at a church program. She even tried to steal the microphone many times from her counterpart. She also was willing to walk around and play in the ocean like it was nothing (with us watching her closely, of course!). As adults, we may be more inhibited about trying new things and worried about what others think. Granted, toddlers may be fearless about trying some dangerous things sometimes. However, she has still taught me that sometimes we need to stop worrying about what others thing and just do it! It helps us live life!

6.Toddler facials may be a thing. 

In other words, self-care is important! And it truly is, as we are are better parents if we take care of ourselves.

Final Thoughts

At times, life has been dark and hopeless. However, there is a beautiful family at home that needs me. I want to be that person my daughter can look up to and model. In a sense,  I want to teach her that no matter how hard life gets, you keep going. The light will come out again. You just have to be patient and have faith that it will.

I am blessed beyond belief to have this wonderful daughter. And even though she is so little and so young, she has taught me so many lessons about myself and about life. And for that, I thank her.

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comments (16)

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    This is a wonderful post, it really is! Who says one can't learn from children!

    Yaya

    August 13, 2019 Reply
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      Cute post, Tamra! I like the facial picture. Also, you are totally stronger than you realize!

      Jamilyn

      August 13, 2019 Reply
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        Thank you!

        Tamra Cater

        August 14, 2019 Reply
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    I absolutely loved reading this! It's amazing the things we learn from someone so small. And my daughter runs around crazy after bathtime too! It has become a game we play every night, she runs around and when I catch her I tickle her and carry her off to get dressed for bed.

    Jazzy's Mama

    August 13, 2019 Reply
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      I know! That's funny that she does the same thing! We make a game out of it too!

      Tamra Cater

      August 13, 2019 Reply
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    This is so beautiful. I was recently trying to put into words how my daughter has changed me as well. You've done it so wonderfully! It's amazing how much their existence teaches us.

    Kaci

    August 13, 2019 Reply
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    This is such a lovely post. Its amazing how much these little people change our lives isn't it? I was having a rough evening, but reading this has cheered me up.

    Amy

    August 14, 2019 Reply
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      It is! I’m so glad!

      Tamra Cater

      August 14, 2019 Reply
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    What a wonderful post, a sort of love letter to yourself and your daughter. Beautifully written and very touching!

    Molly @ Transatlantic Notes

    August 14, 2019 Reply
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      Thank you! :)

      Tamra Cater

      August 14, 2019 Reply
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    Aw this was such a cute read. Children really are a blessing.

    Mariam

    August 15, 2019 Reply
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    I love learning things from my toddler! These remind me to look for the little things all day!!

    Josi

    August 17, 2019 Reply
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      Me too! Thanks for reading!

      Tamra Cater

      August 17, 2019 Reply
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    Ugh. I hear ya. Gave up my hunt for that elusive TT the year my hubby was up for tenure (which is the year we said "what the heck, let's get married!"). There was no point continuing to even try to teach as an adjunct or visitor anymore once my daughter came, as I didn't see the point in losing money on childcare in exchange for the "privilege" of teaching with lousy pay, horrid working conditions (like the time I finally got to SIGN MY CONTRACT, let alone get my first paycheck, about 2 mos after my teaching was done!), and miserable coworkers. Blogging may not pay a lot better, but I can do it with my kiddos around and the coworkers/working conditions are a thousand times better.

    Flossie McCowald

    August 19, 2019 Reply
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      Yeah, I can't believe how adjuncts are treated. It's nuts! I really want to try to make this blogging thing work out myself, as I would love to be at home more with my little one! I hope it works out well for you!

      Tamra Cater

      August 19, 2019 Reply
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    Beautifully written, Tamra! Every child teaches us more -- and without the "credentials"! God gave you this precious one [my snuggler all grown up :-( ] and God has surely been with you all along the journey --- and will continue to be with you at every step to come! Much love to you three!

    Nancylee Cater

    August 19, 2019 Reply