My rose colored glasses faded as I grew up and lost my sense of innocence and childhood make believe. Just like the young boy, Jonas, in my favorite childhood book, “The Giver” who ultimately learns the true pain and pleasures of the ‘real world,’ so too do our children. Right now my two year old is in the pre-enlightenment stage if you will. She sees the world within an arms reach of us. To her, the world is us, our home, her extended family, and that one dream trip to a water park, which she does not stop talking about.
Bedtime. It is definitely not the sweetest spot of our every day. Lately Lo wants to stay up later and later, and I tend to be mush when it comes to bedtime. I am that Mom who cannot stand when her child stands at the dinner table, or when her two-year old refuses to eat decent food and instead insists on white bread with butter, but two hours of fighting bedtime and I am all like, “Oh, she is just a baby.”
We are back – Logisms Part 2. When I typed that in my mind I heard the voice from the Cha Cha Slide. You know when the guy says, “This is Part 2.” Is there a Part 1, Part 3? I have been to many, many weddings since the Cha Cha Slide was first introduced and to this day, I am always cha cha in again and turnin’ it out to part 2.
Because I want no reader in the dark, This is what I am talking about.
So, I am back with Logisms Part 2, and if you missed Part 1, well, you missed out. Luckily for you I care and will easily redirect you to Part 1, Here.
Yes, you read the headline right. Parents, I figured it out. As I stared at my wide-eyed, what the heck just happened to me two-year old, who laid on the bathroom floor in disarray looking up at me, it hit me… living with a toddler is like living with a drunk person.
You see, I asked my daughter to join my in the bathroom as I was home alone with her and needed to iron my clothes. Our ironing board is attached to the back of the bathroom door, so technically I lock myself in when I need to iron. Of course, she could not do damage with me by her side unlike if I was locked in a room with her free to roam the house. It was two minutes. That is it! And, in two minutes she caused enough damage for an hour worth of repair work.
“Look at me Mommy!” And as I turned, my two year old, Lo, had moved her potty over to the wall, stood on top of its lid and was hanging from our towel rack. When she lifted her little feet backwards into the air the towel rack ripped in a hurry from the wall, pulling some of the dry wall, and she crashing to the ground.
Yep! Just like living with a drunk person.
#1 – They spill their drinks all over the floor
I have physically witnessed my daughter laugh as she squeezed the life out of a juice box and watched the sugary substance spill all over the floor. Leaky bottle in the bed? No worries! We like sleeping in wet bed sheets. If there is a drink in our home without a screw top lid, well then we are just that – screwed.
#2 – They are always getting hurt
Clumsy! My toddler will walk straight into a wall or door. This morning when we opened the front door to leave, she tumbled outside onto our porch. Flat out tumbled. It is like her feet are their very own tripping hazard. She had so many bruises on her face that my husband posted this to SnapChat last month.
#3 – They cry… a lot!
Their emotions are all over the place. Lo has cried recently because I would not allow her to open glitter eye shadow she found in my old makeup bag (heck, I cried that I wore that stuff), because her bottle of milk seemed too cold, because the toy bucket in the shower had cold water in it from the night before, and because I told her she could not eat butter out of the butter container with a spoon.
#4 – They ask why way too much
Everything is why? Everything! Our dinner conversation the other night went something like this.
Me: Eat your food.
Me: Because it is dinner time.
Me: Because you have to eat before you go to bed.
Me: Do you want to be hungry before bed?
Me: Because I said so.
Lo: Because Why?
#5 – You cannot have nice things
Hence my story above. We now have a hole in our bathroom wall and ripped drywall. All thanks to a “Look at me Mommy,” hang! Don’t even get me started on my carpets!
#6 – They do not care what scene they make in public
It does not matter that the restaurant is full and your client is seated with his wife across the room. They could care less if the lady at the end of the grocery store aisle goes to your church. Really care less as they knock over the display and you are left deciding if you should clean it up or run for cover. Heck, the mere fact that there are eyes upon them means nothing, their emotions show through regardless of who is around. There is no need to impress and zero care about causing a scene.
#7 – The flip their dinner plates
Don’t like that? Ah! Just throw it off the table. We love cleaning up beneath and around you.
#8 – My phone has drunk dials
I do not know why I have not yet learned from my mistakes. Lo has called a business contractor on my husband’s phone at 9 pm at night and Facetimed one of my old colleges. Awesome!
#9 – They want pizza, Oreos or chicken nuggets for breakfast all the time
My daughter wakes up asking for gummies! Partly my fault since we do give her a vitamin gummie so she then thinks she can have a bag. She will cry for pizza for breakfast and ice cream just before dinner. It is like she could eat all the time.
#10 – They can fall asleep anywhere
In the car, on the floor, across your lap, any where other than their crib or bed. My favorite was after a long day and a missed nap, she walked in the house, boots and snow coat still on, scuffled over to her toy couch and face dived into the cushion and just laid there.
Motherhood and all its craziness, I mean greatness! More motherhood reads here:
- When You Give A Two Year Old A Mini Shopping Cart
- The Best Parenting Advice I Can Give
- Sunday Morning and Poison Control
There is no motherhood guidebook. Sure there are great resources out there. Books, mobile apps, Pinterest links to blogs like this one, your own mother, etc – but there is no ultimate guide that we are all working from. No uniformed source, that we can reference to.
I remember the first few days when I started my job with the company I am with now. Eight years ago, my job was digitally focused. I created email campaigns, website pages and was on the brinks of something big which would one day be termed “social media.” Part of my tasks was to update the company’s website on a regular basis with the various outlet’s hours of operations. I remember asking my director, “Well, where is the guidebook? ” He looked at me quite strange. I had all these places to go to look for the many outlet hours and very few resources matched. “How am I suppose to know which of these options is correct?” I again spoke up and asked.
I could tell I puzzled the man as he blinked hard and said, “Well, you will just have to call around and ask.”
It is the same with motherhood. No real – book or resource to end all books and resources. No real “Bible” of parenting or motherhood. We are all mad collectors of information. We ask and sometimes we receive without even asking, tips and tidbits on ways to coop and handle our kids. Sleep training and potty training, building self-confidence, discipline methods, best foods for their diets and how to the lose the pacifier and the bottle. We are absorbent creatures. But how do we know if our way is the right way? Or if there is even a right way at all?
A few of my girlfriends are expecting babies and turn to social media for recommendations. They will post things such as – “Looking for a childcare recommendation. Looking for the best brand of baby monitors. What are your baby registry must haves? Do I really need a wipe warmer?” I use to thrive so much more in assisting and offering my opinion. I mean they are asking! But, I have learned that everyone has an opinion. Everyone! To the point that I have made a recommendation based on my experience and then had someone comment below me basically telling the friend, “Do not listen to Ashli. Instead do this…” Well not in those exact words. It was more like a big “NO” and a pointer finger emoji pointing to my comment and then the exact opposite advice. It hurt my feelings quite frankly. First, because someone had the nerve to call me out in front of everyone and secondly, that my personal opinion was discredited as “wrong” and hers “right.” How could it be wrong when it worked so well for me?
I often like to participate in chat loops on Instagram. Last week, a group of mommas included me in one and the one mother posed the following question, “What is one thing you said you would never do before becoming a mom and now you do?”
I actually referred back to This Post on the Blog and shared how I said I would never give a binkie, or allow them to watch too much TV or co-sleep and now my two year old sleeps in between us at night, while watching Sprout, with a binkie in her mouth. Mom fail?! No, definitely not. Motherhood has taught me many, many valuable lessons. One being – never say never, but ultimately that you have to do what is right for you and your child without the influence of others. I added, “Each parent and each child are on their own unique journey.”
What is right for one family, one child or one parent may not necessarily work for another and that is okay. We are all dealt different circumstances that alter our wants and needs in this life. Everything little thing can add up in a big impactful way. If you ask me my opinion or my advice, know I will gladly share because I want to help you, but also know it is coming from a place that has worked for me, and may not you, and guess what – that is okay.
We all learn as we go. Some days motherhood is pretty great and others days lousy. Some days I feel like supermom and other days question my sanity. We can talk about those things too. The good and the bad. It is not all roses being parents, and having a bad day does not define who we are or how well we are at raising our kids.
Social media has a brilliant way of making us look like super stars, with perfect lives, doing it all the right way. We don’t post pictures of our grimy kids, who have not showered in two days and have dried maple syrup on their sleeves. We would be mortified if someone posted a video of us losing our minds when our kid(s) have literally pushed us to our breaking point and we would be devastated to share the not so nice words we say to our spouse over something so minuscule because we are tired, no, take that back – exhausted and completely stressed. But, that is really our real lives, and that is okay. I am here to say. I got you. I understand you. I have been there. I am there.
There is no guide to being a great parent. There is no one-stop, end-all-be-all, that will tell you exactly how to handle motherhood. There are a ton of great resources and there is a great deal of mixed advice. The best advice I can give to you – There is no wrong or right. There is only your wrong and your right.
And, as a parent, you will learn what is best for you and your own children. Learn it, love it, accept it and own it.
Here are some of my other favorite motherhood and parenting posts:
It wasn’t until she laid there lips slightly puckered upward, those big round eyes closed with her naturally long lashes whispering against her face and her tiny baby hands clutched into fists that I watched and wondered her dreams. She was so peaceful. The home was so quiet. Her beauty so breathtaking that the clock had passed two minutes before I realized I had just sat there starring at her with a smile on my face.
A true genuine smile that slowly faded and a pang in my gut and an incredible sense of guilt overcame my body. I felt heartbroken in that instant. Heartbroken for my beauty as she rested her head on a big comfy pillow with her legs across mine.
Happy New Year’s Eve! Wow. Another year. How does this happen? How does time move so suddenly? How are we going to be joining together to count down from 10 this evening and kiss at the stroke of midnight to celebrate the turn of a New Year?
I feel relieved that the year is over, yet blessed that I have had this time. I feel exhausted from the stresses that occurred in 2016 and yet so grateful for every bump along the way. Mostly, I am optimistic that 2017 will be my year and your year. That good will come from the days ahead of us.
Looking back on 2016 one of the proudest accomplishments has been this space. I started to feel like 2016 was the year small successes and victories started happening. Baby steps if you will towards something much bigger for this space, my writing and for me. You are behind that, because you as a reader are also a supporter and I adore you!
There have been many great moments that have come from some of my experiences that I have translated to words here for you. These are my Top 2016 blog posts based on views. I hope you take a moment to re-read a favorite or read one you may have missed along the way.
#7 – Mama Bear Syndrome
#5 – Dear Little Sister
#1 – 10 Hotel Hacks When Traveling With Kids
So, there we are. The top 10 posts of 2016. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. I really cannot express my gratitude enough. This space is therapy for me. It is finally the hobby I had been searching for. When I am having a rough moment in time, I think how I can translate what I am going through into words. When I experience pure joy, I cannot wait to share with you. So, once again, thank you.
May 2017 bless you and your family and may we look back on 2016 and seek all the good.
And, poof! Just like that, she is now two… TWO! Now seriously, Mr. Time, how does that happen? I am still baffled by this. I remember when I found out I was pregnant and 9 months seemed like an eternity. I felt like this little baby would be growing inside me forever, and then before I knew it I was in my second trimester, then 20 weeks, then 30 and then baby, all baby. And, now two?
Tears have been shed. My sweet girl is all smiles, attitude (yes, that happened) and giggling and laughing. Instead of trying to find the words to say, I put this little video together. I act like it is for her, but I know it is for me. I am celebrating her BIG life in our little world.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl. It really is a better place since you came along.
My heart bursts with pride and excitement; yet selfishly, I miss every single milestone that I anxiously wished away for you. Not because I hoped for this, but because us parents have a way of wanting to hit milestones and witness our children’s achievements. I can only imagine that veteran parents feel this same way as they witness their child walk across the stage to accept a diploma or walk down that beautiful flower lined aisle to say, “I do!” I understand that the magnitude of my example is quite possibly far more dramatic and impactful than each tiny victory you and I have celebrated, like graduating from rice cereal to baby food, weaning from a bottle, crawling then walking, learning new words and even this inevitable potty training. While in the big grand scheme of life, these achievements may seem minor, to you and I, they really have been huge.
And, yet I did like many other mommies warn in retrospect. They prepped me that time would fly. I don’t know why I did not listen. Maybe I thought I was exempt or maybe the daily grind was too much and I just felt I would be in this shirt stained, sleepless cycle forever.
Yet, two nights stand between you and the new number you so sweetly proclaim with those two tiny fingers.”Two!” I encouraged, as I bent your other three fingers down, practicing and practicing until you now do on your own.
You just absorb so much and our new norm is me watching you gain your independence and you partaking in every big or small success. Eating with a fork and opening your own cheese stick. You focus as you try to poke the straw into the ridiculously small juice box pouch hole, place toothpaste on your own toothbrush and dress yourself. Sometimes it is your pants that you are stretching onto your arms, but you are relentlessly trying. I hold you back for mere convenience of time, but mostly because I don’t want to let you go.
Moms and Dads, I raise this glass for you. Can we talk about how often our children truly annoy the heck out of us?! Seriously, though. I love my little girl. With all of my being, with all that I have, I project my love for her. She is my all and my everything. I cannot explain the level of love my mind, body, soul and every inch of my beating heart has for my child. But, some days, she annoys the shit out of me. There, I said it. #KeepingItReal #NotAllUnicorns up in here.
I can only imagine you parents out there with more than one child, with children that can actually, consciously talk back, with children that can run to their rooms and slam their doors, with tween children that are a roller coaster of emotions, with teenager children – yeah, just teenagers, with adult kids and with children that are married to beloved in-laws. I feel your pain, maybe not the same level, but the same struggle and root of your pain. Okay, parenting is hard. It is the ultimate in personality swings and gauging the day to day changing tides.
But, I cannot help but feel slightly guilty for the amount of eye rolls I project towards my daughter in one day. Yes, in one day! It takes me back to high school when the eye roll was forced from a place of detest for the girl sitting across from me at the lunch table, with perky boobs and perfect teeth and hair, but the most annoying way of bragging with every word. I digress.