As a new parent, things seem overwhelming. You have to change the way that you do everything. EVERYTHING. You can no longer just roll out of bed and be ready to leave the house within 20 minutes. You no longer can go where you want, when you want. You no longer leave the house without a huge bag of stuff for the baby that will include anything that you could possibly ever need while not at home.
You probably don’t even recognize your life anymore—but in a good way.
Just wait a couple of years. Things change again. Your child hits their toddler years.
Yes, the toddler years come with some frustration and challenges. However, now that my third child is almost done with his toddler years and starting preschool, I find myself longing for the days when my kids were younger and all I had to worry about was the toddler stuff.
As a parent, those are the best—(and worst)—years of your life. Here’s why:
You get special snuggle and cuddle time with your toddler at bedtime. (Your child will not fall asleep unless you are right. there. by. them. Don’t move because they will wake up and you will have to start the process all over again.)
Your child wants to be with you all the time. (Going to the bathroom by yourself is not even possible anymore.)
Your toddler loves to learn and explore. (Your house is a constant mess for a few years—don’t even bother trying to keep it clean. It. Won’t. Happen.)
Reading books with your toddler is a daily occurrence. (It is inevitable that your child will decide that he or she likes ONE specific book and you will have to read it over, and over, and over, and over… again. You will probably memorize this book and will be able to recite it word for word without even looking at it.)
Your child is gaining independence and can get dressed by themselves. (Your child will end up wearing her favorite pajamas to the grocery store, or insist on wearing clothes that don’t match, but you will allow it because you don’t want to deal with the inevitable meltdown that would ensue otherwise.)
Toddlers LOVE to “help out” around the house. (It will now take you twice as long to do laundry and cook a meal because you have a “helper” who really doesn’t help, but actually makes more messes along the way for you to clean up.)
Toddlers are carefree, happy, and inquisitive. (You must watch your child like a hawk because if you don’t, they will be running out into traffic, playing with sharp objects, or trying to stick something into electrical outlets before you know it. You do not get to rest until you fall asleep at night—maybe not even then.)
Your child receives ample toys from everyone for their birthday and Christmas. (Your house has been taken over with kid stuff—it is pretty much unrecognizable to the way your house used to look before you had kids.)
Grocery shopping and dining out are an adventure with a toddler. (You will learn how to complete your grocery shopping within 15 minutes of entering the store because, after that, it all falls apart. Eating out…well, let’s just say that you had better bring something to entertain your little one and hope that the restaurant is not busy.)
Your little one puts his arms around your neck and says, “I wuv you, Mommy”—multiple times a day. (Sometimes you come to find out that he has made a huge mess and is just trying to charm you, but most of the time, he does it just because…)
And you realize that your life is just about perfect with these sweet little people, that God has entrusted you to raise, in it.
Even through the frustrating and challenging days, take the time to slow down and enjoy what you will surely look back on as some of the best days of your life.