A letter to first time moms on enjoying newborns….
I know you are tired, worn out, and feel like you have no idea what you are doing. You should know that are you doing an amazing job. There are days it doesn’t feel like it, I know I’ve been there, but if your child is fed and loved I promise you are doing this motherhood thing right. I also wanted to give you a little advice, I know what you are thinking not more advice, but honestly listen to me on this one.
Enjoy the newborn stage, enjoy the child that doesn’t crawl, walk, or talk back. Yes, leaving the house may be difficult, but do it anyway. Get out of the house as much as you can, and you enjoy your time. Please enjoy your time out, enjoy the baby who sleeps in the infant carrier during lunch, who doesn’t mind when you run back to back errands all afternoon, as long as there are feedings in between. Enjoy walks in the park that don’t include having to stop at the swings, mall trips that don’t result in your child grabbing everything off the rack as you walk by, and enjoy an entire lunch without having to stop your toddler from throwing their lunch all over the floor. Enjoy it.
Yes, I know there will be trying times, and difficult, sleepless nights, but try to enjoy it. In only a short time your baby will begin to crawl, walk, and then (what seems like overnight) transform into a toddler. A sassy, running all over the place, pushing your buttons toddler.
Still don’t believe me? Here are three ways that having a toddler is harder than having a newborn:
- Toddlers move. There is no turning back once your child starts crawling and walking. There is no running out of the room real quick or getting anything done without having to have your eye on that toddler. They are fast as lightening and can get into anything in a split second. Everything in the house becomes dangerous and disorganized. You will feel like you are consistently cleaning up the same things over and over again throughout the day. You will also find items in random places. The one day I thought I misplaced my daughter’s shoes, I looked everything with absolutely no luck at all. I finally found them later in the evening when I was cooking dinner, since apparently shoes belong with the frying pans (who knew?)
- Toddlers have a HUGE personality. Yes, your baby’s personality starts to come out much sooner, but once you reach toddlerhood their personalities really come out. I have never seen someone go through as many emotions in a single day as my toddler. Toddler seriously go from happy to crying, to mad, to happy again in a matter of seconds. A lot of this has to do with all the development that is going on with toddlers, they strive to be more independent which often results in a lot of frustration and different emotions. Toddlers will also let you know when they want to do something, and when they don’t want to do something. The days of walking past the playground on your daily walk without stopping are probably over.
- Toddlers can be difficult to take places. Yes, I know it can be overwhelming when you have a new baby to plan to leave the house, but newborns do sleep a lot, and are easy to contain. I remember being able to go out to lunch and have an entire lunch and conversation with a sleeping baby next to me in the infant carrier. A quiet lunch out with a toddler? Probably not likely. You have to make sure they are occupied with something to do, and even then they still might want to make more noise than you can imagine (that will make it seem like the entire restaurant can hear you), they may even throw food, it’s really difficult to know what a toddler is going to do. One minute they are sitting in their stroller and the next they are throwing their sippy cup and want out, it just happens. While you can’t let the toddler rule you, sometimes you have to give in, just a little bit for everyone’s sanity.
I could continue you on, but I think this gives you a good idea about toddlers. Even though toddlerhood can be difficult, and you will ask yourself a million times a day if you are doing anything right, I can assure you that you are. Toddlers are just learning the world around them, which can be overwhelming at times for them (and you). They are learning to test limits, but they are full of love, and will make you smile and laugh harder than you ever have before. So, stop at the swings, take a breath when they throw cheerios on the floor or throw a fit over the most ridiculous
things, and enjoy it because we all know too well that this phase will pass just as quickly as the newborn phrase did.
I currently only have one 16 month old sassy toddler, so I’m not sure what happens in the next phase, but I am sure that with each phase there will new challenges and expanded love and happiness. For now, I will be laughing at my toddler’s rambling and dancing and just shaking my head at the ridiculous meltdowns because sometimes you just can’t touch the dog’s butt and that’s really difficult for a toddler to understand.