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I see you over there. Bent over quietly pleading for your child to get up, stop touching things, talking back, or whatever other challenging behavior you deal with daily.

I know you feel the weight of judgemental eyes on you. All you want to do is retreat, make a quick exit, become invisible. But as much as you wish things were different, they aren’t, and you just have to roll with it.

Related: Tips to Help Your Toddler Cope with Change

You deal with well-meaning comments from friends and family. They are all telling you to try different things. But I know you have. I know you have tried everything, but still, your child’s behavior leaves you exhausted at the end of the day.

But Mama, I know you are trying harder than anyone can imagine. I know you read all the books and listen to all the advice to help your baby manage their strong will and strong emotions.

I also know you blame yourself. Was I too strict? Was I not consistent enough? What did I do that makes my child think they can act this way?

Your child is their own person. While it is our job to shape them and help them grow into responsible humans, they have their own personalities and no instructional manual for how to navigate their world.

Mama, hear me now. You are not your child’s behavior. And, you are more than the sum of their tantrums and outbursts. You are fierce and strong. You are exactly who your child needs to get through this stage of life.

So cry when you need to and laugh when you can. Always remember to love them in their giggles and wiggles. Their laughs and their cries. Their tantrums and triumphs. When it gets really, really hard; Love them through that too. Above all, love yourself. You’re doing a great job, and everyone will be okay.

mama loving on child