The Space Between

For the women trying to live life in the space between it all.

Tag Archives: sassytoddlers

To the momma of the strong-willed child.

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Strong-willed. Stubborn. Spirited. Wild child. Fiery. Free Spirit. Marches to their own beat. There’s so many other words and phrases I could use to describe the incredible nature that is the strong-willed child. You will love them, admire them, get frustrated with them, underestimate them, fight with them, appreciate them, respect them, and so much more. And yet, you have to keep feeding that flame, you can’t squander it. You have to allow that fire to grow. The fire that makes them who they are. The fire that will get them so far in life. How do you think all of the great leaders achieved all they have? They’re the go getters. The wild ones. The ones who don’t follow each rule and who push back when they don’t agree. The ones who question everything and pave their own way. The ones who don’t conform to “normal.” They change the world. They make a difference.

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I know it’s hard – trust me, I really do. I know some days you want to rip your hair out because you’re so frustrated and discouraged. I know some days you question if you’re doing what you’re supposed to in parenting them. I know some days you contemplate tossing them out the window – don’t lie, you know you have. I know some days you hide in the bathroom just for a break from the bossiness. But I also know that you have all the equipment you need to raise that amazing child. I know you sometimes lay awake at night wondering who they’ll be when they get older. I know sometimes you wonder if you’re a strong enough mom for them. I know sometimes you just sit and watch them because you’re in awe of the person they are at such a young age. I know you get defensive when the person at the grocery store makes the “Oh you’re in trouble” or “They’re a troublemaker” comment, because you know you’re not in trouble. You know that even in the midst of the toughest and most challenging days that your sweet baby while yes, very strong-willed is so wonderful and capable and is going to turn into the most incredible adult. (Once you survive the teen years, that is.)

At the end of the day, all you can do is embrace the persistence and determination within your child. It will serve them extremely well in the future. Perseverance. Willpower. Tenacity. Drive. These are all words that could be used to describe great leaders, the world changers, and our strong-willed child. The world needs people like this. The world needs children like this. The strong-willed ones are the ones capable of changing the world. Let them.

I’m going to leave you with this quote from the late Steve Jobs.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Can we just all be super moms?

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I’m a chewy, granola, crunchy, silky, helicopter, unicorn mom.

Oh, the labels. There are SO many ways to parent your child nowadays. I’ve been a mom for a mere 2.5 years and so much has changed since my first was born. I feel like we so easily label moms as something and then that’s who they are. You’re either crunchy or silky. What about those of us in between?

I formula fed my first and am breastfeeding my second. That alone makes me scrunchy. What? It’s all so confusing. I make my own baby food, except prunes – prunes, I buy. I cloth diaper and use cloth wipes – yay environment! I baby wear. I don’t co-sleep. I vaccinate. I use essential oils (a lot!) but I also use Tylenol and ibuprofen. We buy a lot of organic food but we also eat Goldfish. We extended rear face. I chase my kid around the playground with sunscreen and hand sanitizer, reapplying as needed. No shame in my pale, germ-free game. I combo fed both of my kids with purees AND baby led weaning. *gasp* No! Yes, I did. It worked great for us. We play outside a lot but we also have a lot of movie days. We do a lot of crafts but we also sometimes do nothing. I try to cook all meals from scratch but sometimes we have a frozen pizza. I had an epidural for both deliveries – I don’t regret it at all. I really wanted to have a home birth but my husband said no…and as it turned out if I had, I probably would’ve died. I don’t spank but sometimes I yell. I count to three a lot and say, “Use your big girl words” way more than anyone ever should.

My point is that NO mom is the same. Everybody raises their kiddos differently. These mom labels are great and all but we all really just need to do what’s best for our families and our kiddos. I think the fact that I fit into six different mom “categories” proves that. And these are just the first ones I could think of. I’m sure there are more. It doesn’t matter where you fit in, or if you even fit into any at all. What matters is you’re doing the best you can and what’s best for you and your sweet angels. Just keep being a super mom. That’s the only label that matters. Keep going, momma! You’re doing great.

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For when you tried your best.

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Oh sweet momma, today you rocked it. You kept the kids busy. You didn’t turn on the TV once. You painted, you danced, you played doctor, you played with playdough, you colored a card for someone who’s sick, you let them paint some more, you kept your cool, you didn’t let the series of unfortunate events get to you. Thing after thing happened but you didn’t break. Not today, Satan. Nothing seems to go right but you’re trying your hardest to make the best of it. But you’re only human and you’re only one person so naturally, it gets to you. Time for a mini meltdown. Or a huge one. Doesn’t matter.

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Why do I even try? Why is this so hard? Why can’t things just go how I want them to for once? Why does it seem like the universe is against me? Why can’t this just be easy?

 I have had those days. Trust me, I’ve had them. However, tomorrow is a new day. You get to start over again! Looking back, I know we had hard days when my second was first born and even my first was born, but I truly cannot remember the details of them. I can’t remember a specific bad day. I remember the good ones, oh do I remember the good ones! But the bad ones? Not so much. This is just a moment. An hour. A day. A week. A season. It always gets better. Sip on some coffee, snuggle with your kiddos and know that tomorrow will be better. Each day holds new hope and promises. You’ve got this.

You are capable. You are amazing. You are super mom. You are radiant. You are a rock star. (You totally rock!) You are incredible. You’ve. Got. This.

You pushed my buttons today.

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Toddler moms. HOW DO YOU DO IT. Man, oh man. I’m the mom of a 2.5 year old and a 5 month old. Two kids, two and under. Whew. I end my days questioning everything. Did I handle that situation correctly? Did I love them enough? Did they get my best self or just my leftovers? Was I patient enough?

 Why is being a mom so hard sometimes? Why do we question ourselves so much? My sweet and sassy toddler got in my face today, crinkled up her nose and said, “No momma!!!!” My emotions went from upset to angry to sad to dumbfounded. Oh, Audrey. You pushed my buttons today. I’m sitting, nursing Quinn and Audrey walks up to me. IMG_6097“Fruit snacks and water,” she demands. So I ask, “Can mommy have a hug?” “FRUIT SNACKS AND WATER!” she yells then runs away. OKAY. You pushed my buttons today. We pull into the garage, I go around to the driver’s side to get Audrey out. “DADDY GET ME!” Alrighty. You pushed my buttons today. “Audrey, I love you.” “No say I yuv you!” Sigh. You pushed my buttons today. And it continues. And yet somehow, at the same time, she has the sweetest heart of any toddler I’ve ever met. Tonight, we sang our bedtime songs and we get ready to pray so we ask Audrey if she’d like to pray. “God, thank you for mommy and daddy. Thank you for Kinnie. Thank you for our food. Thank you for cheese.” She peeks open one of her eyes, “What else?” she whispers. “And thank you for our blessings.” I’m constantly in awe of her amazing heart.

 

IMG_8628I find myself frustrated on a daily basis simply because I’m a strong-willed momma raising a strong-willed toddler. But days like today when she snuggles into momma and falls asleep while I rock her, I realize I must be doing something right. Days like today when her sister is crying, and she lays down next to her and rubs her head and tells her everything will be okay, I realize that in the midst of the hard, daily battles she makes my life complete. She pushes my buttons daily but she’s constantly pushing me to be better and she doesn’t even know it. She’s helped make me the person I am. Her sweet kindness and tender heart inspires me daily. She makes me a better person.

I think we go into parenthood thinking we do all the raising but in so many ways, we do a lot of the growing. I never thought I’d look at my 2.5 year old daughter and see the person I want to be. Someone who prays for others. Someone who thanks the Lord for cheese. Someone who consoles her sister instead of being jealous of the attention she requires. Someone who loves so incredibly well. I pray that she never loses that sweet and tender spirit. And I pray that she never stops teaching me how to love others and have that sweet child-like faith. I pray that she never stops pushing my buttons because I don’t ever want her to lose her fire – even though that fire may leave me grumbling to myself most days. I pray that she turns this world upside down and continues to love unconditionally. I pray that someday she realizes that she can change the world.

The Terrrrr-ific Twos

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Or maybe, the temper tantrum twos? I remember when Audrey turned two, my husband and I were ready for the “terrible twos” to start – we’ll say the terrific twos for the rest of this post. We were pregnant with our second – I think I was around 34 weeks pregnant with Quinn when Audrey turned two. We braced ourselves. But the “terrific” twos never came. Audrey was a joy. We got comments constantly about how well behaved she was. Everywhere we went people ranted and raved about our sweet girl. Theeeennnn her sister was born. Whew.

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I love my daughter with everything I have. But we’ve been struggling lately. I’ll be honest. I said I would be genuine and real, right? It’s not all sunshine and rainbows like the Facebook highlight reel suggests. There’s constant sass and attitude. Lots of back talk and hands on the hips yelling, “NO MOMMA!!!!” My parents laugh and tell me I’m raising myself. They say they can laugh because they survived my toddler and teenage years. My in laws laugh because they see so much of my husband in Audrey. I guess we had it coming. Some days I have grace and practice super mom-esque parenting but some days I match her sassy attitude a tenfold. Oops.

I posted on Facebook a while back because I was so in awe of Audrey’s sweet heart one day.

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I think you officially know you’re a mom when showering becomes an Olympic sport. Feed Quinn, toss her in the bouncer, start Bubble Guppies, then RUN to get your clothes and jump in the shower. Shower as fast as you possibly can while peeking out the shower curtain because you (think) you hear crying. Hurry and finish up and run back into the living room with sopping wet hair…only to find this beautiful sight. Audrey told me, “My sister was crying.” So she’s sitting there making silly faces at her to make her stop. My hair is wet, I’m out of breath but my heart is so so full.

Through all of it – the attitude, the temper tantrums, the sass (there’s SO MUCH SASS), the no napping, the pickiness, the “no momma,” and all of the not fun stuff, there’s moments like this. Moments where I’m reminded that my sweet toddler is just that – a toddler. She’s still learning who she is and how to control her emotions. She’s testing her limits and discovering the world. She’s doing exactly what toddlers do.

But even in the midst of all of the trials and tough stuff, I’m taken back to the sweet, beautiful moments. The moments where I see her true colors and the amazing girl she is. The moments where I realize that they really are the terrific twos.