About a month ago, I wrote this post on my feelings of being a toddler mom. It was (and is) one of those posts I wasn’t super thrilled to be writing, but I wrote and published it anyways because I want to be honest on this little space of the internet and also because I hope other moms can relate to difficult stages of motherhood.
But here’s the thing, a little over a month later, I don’t agree with myself anymore.
This is why I can’t wear nice things.
Here’s what’s changed… last month I was tired. Sick and tired. So, so tired. I was about 20 weeks pregnant and still wasn’t feeling like myself. My tolerance was low and I just felt like Clara took up so much of my energy that I didn’t have to spare. Plus, Tim was working way more at the office than any of us are used to.
Not to mention that whole cross-country move thing that we did.
(In case I haven’t made it clear before – I really, really thought the first trimester of this pregnancy was TOUGH.)
And now? I feel great. I have a ton of energy, I love eating, I can sleep well, I’m not nauseous, and I’m loving life.
I’m at that sweet spot of pregnancy in which everything is happy and not too uncomfortable and I honestly feel like I can conquer the world. And this attitude (predictably) is making me a much better mom. Yes, Clara has tantrums every day, but now I find them hilarious because I have the patience to handle them.
I no longer need to sit on the couch all day and Clara and I go on play dates and other fun adventures more frequently. Getting out of the house works wonders for both of us, let me tell you.
Plus, I think she’s hilarious. I think some of our frustrations in prior weeks was caused by Clara not being able to communicate her wants and needs effectively. She was frustrated, and her tantrums were causing me to be frustrated. But now she has found some words!
If she wants eggs, she asks for eggs. Sometimes she asks for apples. She can tell me when she wants her diaper changed. Most recently she learned to say ‘yeah’ instead of just ‘no’, so now I understand that sometimes it’s not that she doesn’t want to put on any jacket, she wants to wear a specific jacket. I mean, wow! These days, if Clara throws a tantrum about putting on shoes and socks, I’m able to ask her if she wants to wear a different pair of boots instead. Generally, she agrees with at least one choice. I love giving her options, because if I ask her what she wants, she can answer in the affirmative! What a game changer this has been for us. It sounds like such a small deal, but it has transformed our relationship.
As Clara’s personality continues to develop, I love her more than I thought possible. Her having preferences used to be painful for me, because I didn’t understand that she had specific preferences and instead thought she just hated absolutely everything for no reason. Well, now I absolutely love her preferences! She wants crackers instead of apples for a snack? Well, sometimes I give in and sometimes I don’t, but at least I know why she’s crying when I hand her apples! And I love knowing what she likes to eat, because it’s something I can learn about her! She is also able to ask for help, so I know when she feels stuck on a chair or when she wants to be held or put down. Her demands are entertaining to me because she has so many of them and I can usually help her with what she wants. And as a mom, I love to feel wanted and needed by my little girl.
I guess what I’m saying is that the last month or so has been a time of immense joy for me, and I can honestly say that I absolutely love being a toddler mom (at this stage). Clara is only 18 months old, and I’m so excited to watch her develop and change and grow in the coming months. I can’t wait to see her little personality develop. I can tell her brain is working so quickly and it blows my mind how quickly she learns things. Plus, I can see the results of what we teach her. What an awesome responsibility Tim and I have in her life – it’s really mind-blowing and beyond awesome!
Being a mom is such a roller coaster. Last month I didn’t know how I would survive being a mom to a toddler, and this month I can’t get enough of this daughter o’ mine. Yes, she has a ton of energy, but it is fun and I am incredibly thankful for her and her willfulness.
Yes, I’m so psyched at the thought of having a(nother) newborn in our house (is it April yet?!), but in the meantime I am just loving the heck out of my quality time with Clara. It’s such a blessing that everything is falling into place and my heart has changed in regards to being Clara’s mom at this important stage of her life. Phew.
Cheers to the ebbs and flows and crazy emotions of motherhood!