Toddlers are tiny little people who have big personalities. I have two of these currently under my roof and a baby approaching her first birthday. While I love my children--the good, the bad, and the crazy--I have learned some things along my parenting journey. As I sit and reflect on what raising toddlers has taught me, I am amazed that I can still sit here and type and laugh. Maybe you can relate?
- Emotions are a tricky thing. My daughter is all drama. My son is Mr. Sensitive. I can look at him sometimes and make him cry. If he gets put in time-out, it’s an all-around come apart. For toddlers, navigating emotions is not easy. Tread carefully.
- Each toddler is different. My son loves to play independently. My daughter needs mommy or daddy to help her play more. Personalities are different.
- "I’m hungry" means many things. My kids get hungry but they don’t always approve of my home-cooked meals. They may prefer Cheez-Its or granola bars. As long as they’re fed, we are good some days.
- Toys add up. I constantly am amazed at how many toys we have. We are so blessed and I make regular trips to Goodwill. Kids don’t need all of the stuff.
- Brushing teeth can be a battle. I remember holding my daughter down and getting her to open her mouth. For my son, teaching him to slosh water and spit has been a losing battle.
- You will wipe many butts. I am just going to leave this here, but just know it’s so true.
- My kids know when I need to make an important phone call. Toddlers have a special talent of getting loud, fighting, or making a huge mess when you’re trying to adult. Be warned.
- Babysitters come and go. For us, we haven’t found someone we can use to babysit regularly. My kids have had several babysitters and none have been a good fit. Sometimes toddlers scare babysitters away. The good ones stick around.
- Little things matter to little people. I once threw a picture away in front of my daughter that she had colored. Not worth all of the tears.
- It’s all worth it. The mess, the sticky fingers, the butt wiping. It’s all worth it. Someday you will look back and miss it. Toddlers adore their mommies.
So toddlers may be a hard journey, but man, are they worth it. I know someday I will miss the tiny footprints on my mopped floors and the constant need for snacks as we grocery shop. I love my toddlers and I am so glad I get to be their mommy.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves her kids, messes and all.