I’d like to thank my friend for suggesting this one. She also has a toddler. Neither of us know how to live with a toddler. It’s not something I can actually help anybody else with because unfortunately no toddler is the same. I’m constantly learning. I can share what I’ve learned and what I’m still learning.
In all honesty, here is the most important part of raising a toddler: you feed them, watch over them, get them to sleep, and you let them know they are loved. That’s the serious answer.
The truth is sometimes living with a toddler is all about getting through the day, and other times, it’s all about love and laughter. We are lucky enough to have a good balance in my house. Sometimes I have all the patience, and other times I have no patience at all.
I’m so glad to have other friends with toddlers the same age. It’s interesting to watch all of their personalities. I see a mix between crazy terrible two behaviour, to sweetest kid ever, to independence, to very dependent. That last one is my son. He’s not very independent. He doesn’t like hanging out by himself, and always wants his mommy to play with him. I love play time, but I also would love to watch him play independently. It’s a work in progress though. Some days are better than others.
Sometimes, my toddler breaks me. I have cried before. By myself. In public. I’ve cried because I don’t know how to live with my toddler. I cry because I think I’m failing. I cry because of Mom Guilt. I cry because I don’t know what I’m doing. I cry because I think my son deserves better. I cry because I don’t have the patience I wish I had.
Then, in a flash, he smiles at me, and makes me laugh. He gives me a hug. He says, “Love Momma.” He fixes me. In a flash, I’m no longer broken, and reminded of why I love being his mom, and why I chose to stay at home to watch him grow up.
How do I survive with my toddler? I enjoy the little things. My son does so many amazing things every day. Watching him learn new things makes me incredibly happy. Hearing him try out new words is amazing. Watching him try new activities is an adventure. He is a tiny bull of energy that makes me laugh all the time.
He makes me yell sometimes as well. The laughter outweighs the frustrations. Having him say “Anthony Happy” is the best thing I can hear in a day. (He refers to himself in the third person, and actually calls himself Ana. Not Anthony. So he says “Ana Happy.”)
In these cold winter months, with a major lack of sleep, the way we live with a toddler is with activities. I spend a lot of time on Pinterest trying to find something new that my kid will love. We end up adapting a lot of things to include cars. We also try to get out of the house so he can play with other kids. It’s been hard to do that in January because we’ve been sick all the time, and it’s freezing out. Activities with a mix of screen time, snacks, and play are what we do during the day. (There will be an entirely different post about screen time.)
I’d say the way to survive a toddler is to make sure he naps, but at two and a half, my kiddo naps about once every three days. I love the days he does, but it’s not a fequent occurance.
How do you live with a toddler? Sometimes it’s about survival. Other times, it’s about enjoying as much as you can. Not every moment will be perfect, but every moment is a moment you won’t get back. You also don’t have to enjoy them all. It’s not easy to love life when you have a toddler scream crying because he didn’t get his way. You can love the next moment. Let yourself breathe. Then give him a hug. He’s a kid. He has bad moments, and you have bad moments. I’m sure it will get better. In my case, it gets better in the next minute.
Sometimes, I’m amazed when I look at my son. I’m filled with wonder and love and pride for creating this little human. I will ditch the guilt for not being the perfect mom, and be good with the fact that I’m the mom he needs.
How do you live with a toddler? You just do. Once you’re in, you’re in. Plus, whether I’m frustrated or not, the truth is, I love this kid more than anything in the world. I’m incredibly grateful everyday that I get to be him momma. Not everybody gets this chance. I won’t ever forget that.
To any Mom struggling right now… You got this Mama! (By the way, I’m constantly spelling it ‘Momma’. I prefer that spelling, but will throw in a ‘Mama’ spelling every once in a while.)
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