Motherhood is a hard journey for many mommas. There are all kinds of obstacles that can make it hard to navigate. I have always found joy in the journey and figured out how to parent in each season. Well, that’s until my third baby.
My sweet team green baby, who I was convinced was a boy, came out a sweet, spunky little girl. My Audrey Faith is a ball of fun. I love her to pieces. But, I am completely convinced most days that God gave me this little one so I won’t bug my husband for a 4th or 5th baby.
Audrey is 20 months. Most days, I feel like I am just surviving with her. Here are some ways to survive if you have a difficult toddler.
Remember they’re little. This makes me cringe. I constantly find myself losing my cool with Audrey, and then I look into her little eyes. She’s a year old. She may not understand, or she may just be learning something new and not know how to handle it. They’re little, mommas. We are here to be their parent and mother them. Sure, they’re going to drive us a little crazy, but they’re our little blessings. Bad days and good days.
Communication is definitely a frustration. Audrey is by far my best talker. She can communicate with me quite well, but we still have frustrations. She doesn’t understand why mommy has to put her in a cart at Target. She doesn’t understand when she can’t have another tootsie roll for using the potty. She gets frustrated when I won’t let her out of her carseat while going down the highway. While I try to explain to her in simple language that I am here to keep her safe or we are almost there, she just doesn’t get it. Little ones are still developing. Communication will get better, trust in that.
Have a joyful attitude. This can help me most days. Usually, Audrey makes a scene in the store. If I look at the stares and watch people’s reactions, I can easily leave in tears. But, if I focus on my attitude and how I can’t control her but only how I react and parent her, it helps me to finish what I came to do. Attitude is everything, and this can be even more important when my other children’s little eyes are watching how I respond.
Get some help when you need it. When kids are difficult, it is vital to remember we are all in this together. You’re not alone. Talk to your spouse, your family, or your friend. My husband knows when I need a break. He knows I need shared responsibilities, especially when my sweet Audrey is being difficult. Go on a playdate with another momma. It always helps to see other kids are just kids, too. No one is perfect- no mom or toddler. Asking for a break or some help in parenting does not make you less of a mom.
So, mommas, we can survive the hard days. I love my kids so much and I wouldn’t change my Audrey for anything. Someday, she is going to rule the world or maybe just be an amazing mommy. Whatever she does with her life, I do know I want to always know she is loved and that mommy tried her best.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she is ready to go squeeze her babies now.