Being a mother to a toddler is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever experienced. There’s so much that isn’t discussed about motherhood – specifically the toddler stage. Toddlers can sometimes feel impossible to manage. Since they cannot speak at first, they have to get creative with the way they express themselves on top of having endless energy. Mothering a toddler is so overwhelming some days that I slip into a fight or flight mode for a week or so. Having to always be alert and protect a tiny human being from themselves is exhausting. Other days I feel so empowered to be a toddler mom, knowing that I am gentle and resourceful. This love letter is dedicated to toddler moms.
Recognize Your Positive Mom Traits
I think it’s really important for us to acknowledge our strong points in motherhood. I think we all have at least one super power. That one thing we do really well, that our kids love and need. I think I’m a really organized mom. I feel that my organization keeps Phoenix (My three year old son) and I as calm as we can be. Being able to keep his room, schedule and mealtime organized allows him to thrive. I also feel that I am a festive mom that keeps things fun and funky. Planning my son’s birthdays and celebrating small milestones are some of the things I love most. I think as he gets older he will appreciate my spirit and knack for sentimental moments. What are some characteristics about your parenting that you’re honoring today?
It is extremely important for us to highlight the beautiful ways in which we nurture. There can be so much guilt attached to our daily decisions that we forget how amazing we actually are. I want to remind mothers that we are so radical and inspiring. We are radical because we are abundant sexual beings, who are capable of birthing and raising beautiful people. Outside of motherhood we possess other strengths and identities that make us radical. We are most radical because we are dynamic thinkers and can exist amongst many different realities. So many days as a toddler mom, I change hats by the hour to be whoever I need to be each waking moment. I know it can be easy to forget who you are, because you are so wrapped up in your household. It’s important that we uplift our solidity and role.
Self Care Is A Must
I want to demolish any shame around mothers taking time for themselves. Recently, I began to prioritize having time to myself, away from my son. The first few times without him, I didn’t even know what to do. I just sat there contemplating if I even deserved that moment to not be doing something. I learned very quickly that the free time goes quick and to begin taking advantage. Now, when I get a break from my son, I fully relish and sink into the moment. When I see him again, I am so full of love and warmth, because I had a chance to really breathe. I’d like for all moms to feel free to spend some time and energy on themselves. It improves everyone’s quality of life.
Don’t forget to take a break even when your children are present. It is important that your child sees you prioritizing yourself, so that this is normalized in the relationship. If you always disrupt what you are doing, you’ll never get anything done. Know that it’s okay to ask your toddler for five minutes to finish up what you’re doing before assisting them. This will teach them patience and that you are a human being – not a robot.
Be Present With Your Kids
Learning my son’s schedule, and anticipating his needs makes our relationship smoother. I am learning that being present with my son and treating him with respect allows us to grow. Honoring his feelings when he is upset or tired creates trust. Being creative with the ways he stays entertained has been key. Paying attention to what his interests are and investing in them has been my latest joy.
He’s just arriving at a point where he can have a fluent conversation with me. The more and more I nurture his soul, the more his personality shows itself. Keeping life interesting for him has been my latest project. Our biggest quarrel at the moment is potty training. Patience is what this chapter of motherhood is teaching me. Give your children grace at the brink of milestones that are challenging for you all. Creating a safe place for error is essential for the growth of our children.
Things I do for peace in moments of stress or tantrums:
- Express to Phoenix that I am overwhelmed and need a break – this helps to create healthy emotional expression in an intentional way.
- Drink a big glass of water – getting immediate oxygen to your brain in high stress moments can be calming
- Get a babysitter – call your mom, call a friend, call WHOEVER just get you time.
- Choose my battles – every disagreement shouldn’t be a major blow up. Be sure to differentiate a potential lesson or an unnecessary blow up.
- Call A Mom Friend – try some good old fashioned healthy conversation and healthy venting. This will keep you from feeling isolated.
In this season of love and appreciation, I want to extend acknowledgement to mothers. We need to start holding space for one another, because we know how the battle feels. Do know that your work and efforts do not go unnoticed. You are not in this alone. Your child chose you specifically to be their mother. Remember, that you were divinely chosen for this.
Leading image courtesy of @discochlo
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