Thursday, May 28, 2015

10 Reasons Why I Know I Seriously Love My Toddler

Being a mom is hard. If you don't believe me, just read any mom-blog out there. Those blog posts about how hard it is to be a mom used to be just an annoying thing that clogged up my facebook feed. But now, I totally relate. Oh, how I relate.

I'm not gonna lie, there have been days where those blog posts have just given me that extra boost of energy to make it through. I realized I wasn't alone and that I'm not the worst mom ever even if I let him have his binky at night still and ruin his teeth.

There are simply days of mothering a toddler and newborn that push me to the breaking point though. Today is not one of those days. At least not yet. Seems like the climate can change in 30 seconds around here though. Every day is an adventure.

But for when my life does get overwhelming and I have to stop myself from scheduling a vasectomy for my husband, I thought it might be nice to have a list to remind me how much I freaking love my toddler.

1. I make him eat healthy food. This may seem like a no-brainer. Every parent should try to make their kid eat healthy food, but it is easier said than done. Growing up, I used to think that my parents wanted me to eat healthy food because it was cheaper than the yummy desserts and things. I never realized that healthy food can be so expensive! Even if you make all your own meals, feeding a toddler healthy food can be a hefty bill and it is so frustrating when they waste all of their meal.

It would be so much easier to always give my son food that I know he likes, like french fries and milkshakes, but one of the ways I know I love him is that I'm willing to spend a lot of time, energy, money, and deal with a few more tears to make sure he's healthy.

2. I'm willing to act like a crazy person. When it comes to keeping my toddler happy, I'm willing to do a lot out of my comfort zone. I'll make faces at church and crawl around with him at a playplace. I don't have a lot of pride left.

3. I change my behavior so he'll be better than I am. I'm not the most outgoing person and I have a lot of inhibitions when I'm in public. I'll initiate talking to other parents at the park so that he can be comfortable playing with their child. I want him to be more outgoing than I am, so I'm constantly stretching my limits and pretending I'm more confident than I am.

4. I constantly talk to him. Even though he only says a few words right now, I know he understands a lot more, so I'll go down every aisle in the grocery store saying every thought that enters my mind. I tell him what sauce is the yummiest and I tell him which can of tomatoes is the most expensive. I show him what ingredients will be in his dinner that night. I used a good combination of big and small words so that when he decides he wants to talk more, he will have a versatile vocabulary.

5. I tell him "no" and mean it. I love to see my kid happy. It is the most rewarding thing to hear my little guy laugh. In fact, a majority of my day is spent trying to keep my son happy. However, there are times when I have to put my foot down. If he is crying because he wants to watch TV, I'm just not going to let him watch it. I know once I put on a show, he will immediately be happier, and honestly, if he is happy my day is just so much better. But because I love him and I don't want him to turn into a spoiled teenager who then turns into a tool that no one will ever want to marry, I have to say no every once in a while.

Yes, I really do think that far in the future when I am making small parenting choices like this.

6. I don't sleep like I used to. It is impossible for me to completely relax, ever. Sure, I get some solid stretches of sleeping time at night even with an infant in the works, but my brain never, never, never, NEVER turns off. No matter how I try.

I sleep with a fan and earplugs just to try and keep my brain from straining to hear crying or knocking on doors. I know that my toddler is capable of sleeping through the night, but I am always listening for him. Even with my earplugs, I wake up immediately when he starts making noise. Even if he's completely fine playing in his room. I cannot sleep through it. I can't turn off the natural mom concern for her babies. I'm hoping that I will be able to sleep when he is a teenager but I'm not counting on it.

7. I let him get dirty. I try to let my son get dirty whenever he can. When we are out, I let him roll on the ground and stomp in puddles. I want him to know what it feels like to have water sloshing in your shoes. I want him to know what it feels like to be covered in mud.  I don't love to do laundry, but I do love watching him explore the world.

8. I let the house get dirty. I would love to have a clean apartment for a whole week. It would be so exciting, I think I would cry. I'm not purposely making my home dirty, and I do spend a fair amount of time cleaning it. I have just chosen to be happy that my apartment will only be clean between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. I could keep my home spotless if I didn't spend any time with my son, but I'm not satisfied with that. I try to teach him life skills, so I do give him several moments of watching me and helping me clean, but I also allot a good amount of play and learning time into his day.

9. We read and pray. There are two things that I never say no to when my son initiates them and that is reading and praying. We have family prayers at meals and before bed but it is a relatively new concept for my toddler and he thinks it's pretty cool. So when he looks at me and folds his arms, we always say a prayer even if it's just me saying that we are grateful for cookies. It is important for me that my babies have a relationship with God and it is also important that they love books. Even if my kids are in trouble, I will never give them a time out from books.

10. I miss him when he's not around. No matter how hard my day was or how many fits he threw, every night when my son goes to sleep I miss him. Logically, I know that I don't want him awake because I just plain need a break and I am exhausted. Even if I've been looking forward to bedtime ever since I woke up in the morning, I still always miss him when he's in his own room. That always reminds me after a long day of terrible twos  that my little buddy is still in there somewhere underneath all the fits and sticky hands.

Now I'm not a perfect mom; I'm not even close. But on those days that I feel like I'm doing everything wrong, this list will help remind me that I'm trying my best and that I am doing everything for a reason.


  1. I love this post, Lisa. Though I don't yet know what it's like to have a two year old, I can imagine because of how well you have captured it. Love!!