Usually by ages 12-24 months babies and toddlers go through an independence stage. They want to make decisions, explore, do it by themselves... Yet often still beg to be held, cry when mom leaves briefly and continue to be seemingly indecisive of whether they want our presence or not. While your little one continues to venture their independence and need to check back for guidance and reassurance, here are some reasons to celebrate the process for your own benefit:
Reason #1: These are the last moments that mom is the only thing that matters. As your child slowly grows to his independence, he learns to think, have desires and interests, and develops his own purpose in life. He will always need your love and support, but the time when mom's love and attention are the single most important things in life is very short. Embrace this period while it lasts!
Reason #2: They Remind Us of what is Important. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own drama of life; cleaning, running errands, paying bills, etc. that we forget why we're doing it all. For most of us, it's to enjoy life; our hobbies, new experiences, and our loved ones. Your toddler is reminding you not to forget the real reasons you take care of stuff. So enjoy your little loved one, the dishes can wait.
Reason #3: They Bring Us to the Present. There's is nothing more difficult that trying to stick to a time frame with a toddler in tote. They have no conception of time nor do they understand why they have to "hurry". When our toddler demandingly asks for our participation and attention, it takes letting go of time to truly be present with them. Jump into the experience of timelessness with them!
Reason #4: They teach us how to unconditionally love. The truth is, it can be difficult for most of us to remember that our toddler lives in a different world than us. A world where time and money doesn't exist, manners and social norms don't matter, and the only thing logical is to go with the flow of each moment. We demand and expect so much out of them and often get frustrated when they don't cooperate or understand. If we can remember the beautiful perspective they come from, we can learn to love them and be loving towards them when they track muddy shoes in the house, pull all the eggs out of the fridge, or throw a fit leaving the playground. Unconditional Love: meaning under any condition I will love you and treat you with love.
Reason #5: They teach us to respect and accept differences in others. As stated in Reason #4, toddlers perceive and experience the world so differently than we do. To discover their personalities, interests, and who they are is much more freeing to both you and your child, rather than to attempt to shape them the way we wish or expect them to be. We liberate ourselves, and the rest of the world, when we accept others for their differences, because we too, view and experience the world differently from one another.
Your children have come here to teach you, not the other way around. Holding them back will only hold you back.