When my beautiful daughter was born, I somehow knew I'd be in for a challenge (to say the least). From the moment our eyes met, she telepathically whispered who'd be in charge for the rest of her life (hint: her). Eerily similar to my own feisty, headstrong will to do things, there's a lot of lessons my daughter taught me before turning 3 that, as a young, new mother, I hadn't quite anticipated. Like, at all.
My pregnancy was a surprise, but my partner and I jumped in with both feet, hoping to be the kind of parents our baby deserved. We had no clue how to do that, mind you, but figured we'd learn along the way (we did and still are). However, I was in no way prepared for the reality. It was a lot harder than I imagined and even while suffering through devastating Postpartum Depression (PPD), I really tried to be what she needed. Of course that's not always possible, especially when dealing with PPD, but I did what I was capable of and to the best of my ability.
In her first three years on this planet, my girl taught me a lot. About her needs, about myself, and about the world around me. Wise beyond her years, I didn't always understand the lessons at the time — like when I was tired and exhausted — but, looking back, it's clear. I like to think she chose me to be her mother long before I knew of the pregnancy; that she saw something in me I didn't and couldn't see until I met her. Here are just some of those lessons she taught me during her first three years of life that I'm beyond grateful for.