Dear first time mother of a toddler,
You have made it through the first year of your baby’s life. It was amazing, but it certainly wasn’t easy. From day one there was the realization that you are a caregiver of this fragile human. You would wake up at night after three short hours worried if the baby was alright. You watched fat tears roll down her chubby cheek when she cut her first tooth. She had her first boo-boo and you kept your poker face, but your heart bled too. You celebrated each milestone with unimaginable pride. You watched her rip the wrapping paper from her first birthday present piece by piece, and marveled at how your child had grown. Your baby is toddler. Things should get easier.
I see you now. You are beautiful and well put together, but under your eyes there are circles. Your hair is braided but loose strands blow as you chase your child. The baby you brought home is growing, learning, and discovering everything, including electrical outlets and chocking hazards. She screams in the store, not understanding why she can’t eat the toilet brush. You apologize to strangers. There are times when you fear you are a terrible parent. Mothers are expected to be to be quiet, kind, and calm, but there are days you get loud, frustrated, and emotional.
I get it.
I have felt like a monster mother when I see my son balling because of a punishment. I have shed tears into my pillow after day of constant noise, saying no, and doses of humiliation. I’ve worried nonstop about the dangers of…everything. But it will get better and when it does, you will miss these toddler days. The high voice, slobbery kisses, and those pudgy fingers.
It’s a crazy world with a toddler, but please know this. You are amazing. Your child is clean and well dressed with tidy curls. The diaper bag is packed full of ready-made treats, hand sanitizer, and extra clothes. Your well-nourished toddler spits out the green beans but eats the peas. You’re tired because you’re up at night worrying about how to do things better tomorrow. Your child will grow up to be a well-adjusted person because you take the time to stubbornly teach her. We see the love you give.
You are super.