To Mom, From Toddler: I Am Doing the Best Can

To Mom, From Toddler: I Am Doing the Best Can

Hi mommy. It’s me, your toddler.

I want you to know something that might not be so clear all the time: I am doing the best I can.

Sometimes it seems like you wish I had a whole lot more figured out by now—like how to control my body and emotions all the time. Or how to manage my time, fix my mistakes, or keep myself busy on my own.

But, I haven’t been around very long, and this whole life thing is still taking some getting used to.

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Toddlers Sure Can Teach Us A Lot About How to Live... If We Let Them

Toddlers Sure Can Teach Us A Lot About How to Live... If We Let Them

“No! I can do it by myself.”

It’s the current mantra of my two toddlers that echoes throughout the walls of our home, the doors of our car, and sometimes what seems like the clouds in the sky.

Getting dressed. Putting shoes on.
Brushing teeth. Putting car seat buckle on.
Doing hair. Putting soap on.

Walking. Cooking. Eating. Playing.

You get the picture.

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One Thing That No One Really Prepares You For is All the Thinking That Moms Do

One Thing That No One Really Prepares You For is All the Thinking That Moms Do

One thing about motherhood that no one really prepares you for is all of the thinking that moms do.

If it were possible to do so, I think it would be done, but it simply isn’t; there are some things about being a mom that you just cannot begin to understand until you become one.

Moms across the globe may differ in more ways than one, but there is something that surely unites us all: we do not stop thinking about our children—ever.

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What I Never Knew About Your Year of Two

What I Never Knew About Your Year of Two

I never knew.

Now that you are three, I can honestly say I never knew how life-changing the year of you being two would be—for both of us.

From the day you turned two all the way through the day you turned three, you taught me more about life, love, myself, and you than I could have ever imagined.

Oh, the days were long, my little firework, but I wouldn’t dare change a single moment.

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While I Stay in the Present Moment Today, I Can't Wait For Tomorrow With You

While I Stay in the Present Moment Today, I Can't Wait For Tomorrow With You

I want to stop time from moving so fast.
I want to stop time from letting you grow.

I want to stop time so we can stay in these moments longer.
I want to stop time so we can be in this phase on end.

I want to stop time and just be present in these precious moments forever.

And though it is hard to know I can't, I know our future moments together will be just as special.

So, while I stay in the present moment today, I can't wait for tomorrow with you.

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Let It Go

Let it go!

I sit up on my living room couch - ears perked, mid-movie - as I hear my two-year-old daughter singing her rendition of “Let It Go” for the first time of the night...

The night- you know- the time when she should be sleeping.

Let it go!

I cringe knowing she will surely wake her sleeping baby brother as her lovely notes ever-so-gracefully escalate with each repetition of the key phrase.

The sound calms for a moment and then I hear a vivid recount of the Frozen book we read before bed.

Let it go!

I look in the camera and I see her holding up a book, like a teacher, arms flailing as she acts out Elsa and Ana creating ice palaces left and right.

And then I see it - the shadow of my son…popping up in his crib, arms stretched out to his sister squealing for her attention.

She continues reading and then I hear him utter two of the four words he knows to date, “Uh- oh!”

They go back and forth.

Let it go!
Let it go!

And suddenly my cringe turns into a smile.

I tell myself to “let it go.”

I fight the urge to hush them back to sleep.
I fight the fear of a horrible night of sleep for us all (because I know how this ends up.)
I fight the need to stare at the monitor, only to quickly gaze at the clock, as I count the minutes they spend awake and not sleeping.
I fight the habit of playing out the picture of a sleep-deprived day tomorrow in my mind.

And I choose to just let it go.

I choose to see their delight in each other’s company.
I choose to see the love in their voices and communication with one another.
I choose to see their playfulness when they know they should be horizontal and snoozing.
I choose to see their joy in just being present in the moment.

And though it can be hard for me, I choose to heed my daughter’s advice and I join her in her ice filled dream world of letting it go.

I might even sing a verse or two from out here on the couch...

They Say to Enjoy Every Second; I Think They Mean Be Present Every Moment

They say it all the time. “Enjoy every second.”

And when you’re a new mom, it gets kind of annoying.

You hear it over and over again, as though you’re exuding the essence of something other than “enjoying every second.”

Sometimes it even adds to the already growing pile of mom guilt— how can you complain of feeling tired or overwhelmed when you’re supposed to be enjoying every second?

I know. I get it. I’ve been there.

But I’m coming to you from not so far on the other side; my babies are only toddlers now...and I’m starting to get it.

I used to think people said it because they were so sad their kids weren’t babies anymore—you know, tiny, little newborn cuddle bunnies or six-month-olds learning to sit and giggle with those adorable chubby cheeks.

But that’s not it— because, you see, as they grow, so does your love. I can already tell that each “phase” will have it’s own perfection, each age will have it’s own adventures, and each moment will have it’s own joy.

I think they say it because they know all too well that in the beginning when it’s all so very new, it’s just really hard to truly stay in the moment.

Let’s be honest, it’s nearly impossible.

Being a new mom and entering motherhood is life changing in all the ways—all of the beautiful, miraculous, and sometimes incredibly overwhelming ways.

So, I think the women saying this may be looking back and thinking they’d probably do some things differently if they could do it again.

They’d probably care a lot less about what others thought, said and did in those early months and instead take the lead from their very own baby.

They’d probably forgive themselves a lot more frequently and give themselves a lot more grace.

They’d probably forget the dishes, the housework, and all the other things they’d plan to accomplish during their maternity leave and bonding time.

They’d probably trust their own intuition a lot more than the opinions of others.

And, you know what? They’d probably really, genuinely try to simply be present in every moment because they know now that as beautiful as the next moment is, the one you’re in right now with that little one will soon be over and you just can’t quite get it back.

They say “enjoy every moment” but I think they mean “be present in every moment.”

And I also think that this may be the single greatest life lesson we mamas may be able to model for our growing children.

You Won't Hear Me Tell My Daughter She Has To Do It All

You Won't Hear Me Tell My Daughter She Has To Do It All

My daughter won’t hear me tell her she has to “do it all.”

Instead, she’ll hear me ask God to keep guiding us both to do what we’re meant to do and be who we’re meant to be.

And she’ll see me doing my best trying to show her that we’re both better off doing what makes us feel genuinely happy —rather than endlessly finding ways to do all.of.the.things.

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Life With Two Toddlers Is Always An Adventure

Life with two toddlers is always an adventure.
Rarely on the same page, one is often “here” while the other is simultaneously “there.”

One is wide awake, ready to play...
The other is fast asleep after an award winning fight.

One is jumping with excitement over a new idea...
The other is hysterical on the floor because of a different idea.

One is singing songs in a sweet, soft voice...
The other is screaming dissent as loud as lungs will allow.

One is ready to cuddle, snuggle and rest...
The other pushes away and is busy being alone.

One is hungry and sits properly to eat what’s been made...
The other refuses to touch anything that is offered.

One wants to play together and to share toys...
The other wants to do something else—in solitude.

One wants to throw and catch a ball outside... 
The other wants to color neatly between the lines at a table.

One wants the vanilla flavor, the berry fruit, the purple vitamin...
The other wants the chocolate flavor, the banana, the blue vitamin.

Life with two toddlers is never predictable—except that it’s always different in every moment. 
Rarely on the same page, one is often “here” while the other is simultaneously “there.” 

But me?

While I often find myself silently praying they’d get in sync during those times I can’t possibly meet both of their needs, I am trying my best to always be right there in the moment—neither truly here nor there, but rather somewhere ever-presently and whole-heartedly in the middle.