Building Character, Confidence and Compassion Through Motherhood

In my opinion, nothing builds character better than failure, hardship and trying to progress in the face of resistance! In my nearly 21 months of motherhood, I've failed numerous times and often deal with the challenge of trying to make progress with a little human who often resists what I want to do because he is strong-willed and impulsive. My son, Avery, is a great child, but motherhood has become more challenging as he became a toddler. As you can see from the picture above, he often tries to loosen my grasp on his hand because he wants to run uninhibited. What he doesn't understand is that I'm holding his hand because I want to protect him from the danger he could experience if I wasn't holding him. There are so many things that can happen to to a child and I want to keep my baby safe forever.

Recently my son has started throwing tantrums when he doesn't get his way which is the ultimate form of resistance! In those moments, we both get frustrated because we want different things and neither of us wants to give in to the other person. Dealing with tantrums have been my most humbling moments as a parent, especially when they happen in public. Those moments have taught me the importance of choosing my battles. Sometimes I discipline my son so that he knows what is and is not acceptable behavior. Other times, I let him be and give him freedom to express his feelings.

Motherhood has taught me that I am here to be a guide. It is not my job to control Avery, but teach him to be the best version of himself. I won't always be able to protect him, but I trust he will be okay. Last Sunday, we were playing outside and of course he was fighting his way out of my hand. So I let go and he grinned from ear to ear as he ran freely for a few seconds. Then I walked towards him with my arms stretched out so that we could walk towards our home. Avery decided to run away from me and ended up tripping over his feet, tumbling and scrapped his nose. Of course he started crying.  In that moment I felt like I failed to protect him as him mother. I beat myself up silently while I comforted him and cleaned his wounds. However, I later consoled myself by reminding myself that children will run, play and hurt themselves because that is part of life. After I comforted Avery, he was back to playing in no time. Children are resilient and my son loves me even when I feel like I'm failing.

When you feel like you are failing as a parent, give yourself the same grace and compassion you give would give to your child when they hurt themselves. I don't have all the answers to life or motherhood but I'm learning as I grow because I have a great teacher, my son. If I can handle a strong-willed toddler, I can handle anything.


  1. Thank you for sharing this Ashely! I'm not a mommy yet but it gives relief and is a great reminder to give yourself grace especially when raising the little ones!