I will never forget the headline of my weekly status email from BabyCenter on June 23rd that read,
“Congratulations! Your baby is now a toddler.”
WHAT? How can that be?
He went to bed as an eleven month old, and now he’s a toddler? No, that can’t be. He just turned one. If we were going to be technical though, it is 8 AM and I did not give birth to him until 5:34 PM, so…he’s not one yet. But a toddler? Isn’t this moving a little too fast? I mean…he can’t even walk yet.
Oh, but I spoke too soon.
The next thing I knew, he was walking, babbling, and dancing. Walking became running a couple of months later. Next came the disappearing act when I would turn away for just one second, and I would find him waving “hi” to me from our upstairs balcony.
That was not all I was experiencing.
Every so often (more so than not), my toddler would start throwing tantrums. The ones where your hands begin to shake out of nervousness and anxiety as your child screams at you with full force tears because you’re not cutting the apple quick enough. Or when your child is pointing at something but you can’t decipher where, and you’re kicking yourself because the item’s name is on the tip of your tongue.
Time and time again, I found myself frustrated. Tears brimming at the edge of my eyes, and trying to keep it together. Catching myself as my voice becomes a scold, but trying so hard to mellow it down before it became a yell. Why? Because toddlers can sense everything. The last thing I need is my child looking at me and mimic my own frustration.
Oh, and the ever so familiar looks from strangers when they witnessed the tantrums. I would look at them hoping that my apologetic eyes would get across to them, but they were never met with sympathy. It felt like I was being judged for a whole new game that I was not prepared for.
Mommas, we need to find grace for ourselves.
I know it is easier said than done. This moment in time will pass, just like the apple over banana phase will pass. YES. It will pass like the constipation from the transition to new solids. Guaranteed. It will pass like the days of your not-so-warm dinner from tending to your child will come to an end.
It shall pass.
There are also moments you will not want to pass.
Their first words, or new dance moves. How their eyes light up upon recognition of you when you enter a room, and their newly formed steps become a quick run into your arms. Or when they finally give you kisses without being prompted. Oh, mommas. This time in life is so bittersweet. There is so much to be said for this small timeframe. Soon enough, you realize it’s their half-birthday. Next comes their second birthday. He or she will have an opinion on what theme they will want for their party. Their wit continues to test you, but secretly, you’ll be proud because they can stand up for themselves. That shall never pass, and you can bet I’m not going to let it.
What are some ways you give yourself grace?
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