My revised perspective on being a toddler mom

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.

Honest thoughts on being the mom to a toddler

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.

Honest thoughts on being the mom to a toddler

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!

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11 Responses to My revised perspective on being a toddler mom

  1. Susannah says:

    Oh my goodness, I can’t wait until Caleb can communicate his desires with me. He’s in the having an opinion but not being able to express it stage and the tantrums are ridiculous! I’m glad I’m not pregnant because I think I’d totally be like you – just over it! So glad things are easier and your little munchkin is enjoyable again. 😉

    • Lisa says:

      I FEEL YOU. It’s still so frustrating but babies change a ton between 12-18 months, it turns out! I’m hoping these next few months get easier before we ‘officially’ reach the terrible twos.

  2. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED this post!!! Joe this weekend kept yelling back to Bensen, “What are you trying to tell me?!?!?” Usually I can read his cues and know when he’s tired, hungry, uncomfortable or whatever else, but being able to fully communicate with him would be amazing! But really, this post was perfect and made me so happy that Bensen is still growing up, even though I miss my snuggly little newborn sometimes.

    • Lisa says:

      Ohhhhh the newborn stage. I hope this next baby doesn’t destroy my love of it, because I’m really, really excited to snuggle a newborn again!

  3. Love this post! I love how you make motherhood sound like such a joy even when you’re being brutally honest!

    • Lisa says:

      Ohhh maybe I need to be even more brutally honest then 😉 Hahaha motherhood is definitely always a joy even in it’s worst moments, because no matter what it’s about a little person I love with all of my heart! But I still feel like I’m going crazy 70% of my days.

  4. erinhzauner says:

    YESSSSS THE TALKING SAVES EVERYTHING! Amelia (thankfully for my sanity) started early, which was great because girlfriend has preferences like clara. and once she was able to get where she wanted to go and tell me what she wanted, crying decreased by 80%. we still have tantrums obviously, but they are fewer and less intense, because on some level she can understand the boundaries. so glad that you are feeling better about all this. and can’t wait for you to get that baby!

    • Lisa says:

      I think Clara is always going to be a bit slower of a communicator, because she was physically really ahead of things and her little mind can only give so much energy to anything other than climbing on things and destroying our house. Hahahah! But it seriously has helped SO MUCH that she is able to say ‘yeah’. It’s amazing how much easier it is to keep us both happy during our days!

  5. Rachel Kim says:

    I’m not a mom yet, but this was really encouraging! It’s refreshing to hear your honest perspective about motherhood and pregnancy. Good to know for the future 🙂

  6. Pingback: Love is a Choice | Naptime Chai

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