Mom”hood” in the Toddler Years… Weaknesses & All
May I never forget. On my best day, that I still need God as desperately as I did on the worst day. -Unknown
My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. -1 Cor. 12:9
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. -Psalm 103:8 (ESV)
Here I am… officially, the mother of a two-year-old.
I’m pretty sure I run around our house more than ever just to keep up with our little guy. But, motherhood has gotten easier in some respects…
I am usually able to get at least six hours of undisturbed sleep a night.
My son entertains himself quite often, and he’s learning to interact with other children.
It’s fun to take him to the park or places where he can do a lot more physical activity on his own: climbing, jumping, sliding, running, etc.
He can actually watch television for 15 minutes or more at a time…which then allows me to get basic tasks done around the house- washing dishes, prepping dinner, or cleaning up a mess.
Diaper blow-outs are a rarity. Everyone in the house is thankful for that one.
Solid foods are fantastic, and mommy’s milk is no longer the main source for food. Yes, nursing is healthy and a wonderful bonding experience, but I was thankful to be finished after 14 months.
I have more freedom, and the ability to leave my son for longer periods of time.
My son can communicate better with his wants and needs and often asks or says two-word phrases. His favorites right now are, “What’s that?” and “Who’s that?”
And he gives the best hugs and kisses!
I’m sure there’s a laundry list of other things at this stage that are much easier than the newborn and one-year-old stage, but there’s also been different dilemmas and situations with a now two-year old…
My son has now learned the word, “butt”. I’m not sure where this came from. Yes, it’s hilarious. But, at the same time, when you’re in a public restroom and your son decides to yell, “Butt! Butt! Butt!” in a small room that echoes, you get out of there as quickly as possible (with him in tow of course).
Trying to put clothes on a two-year-old is literally like trying to dress a small greased-up piglet. It’s not uncommon to find me chasing our son to try and get all of his clothes on. If left unclothed, he has recently chosen to rip off his diaper and then gets upset. Hmmm…
Having a dog and a toddler can be quite entertaining most days. Food accidents do happen, it’s convenient to have our dog quickly eat up food that’s been dropped. Unfortunately, when a two-year-old realizes this, it’s a different story. When our son is done eating, he will often choose to dump his food on the floor for the dog. On a positive note, our son has learned to tell the dog, “sit” before doing this, but the dog doesn’t actually “sit” before the food is thrown on the floor.
A two-year old can show quite the gamut of emotions in a matter of 5 minutes: fake crying, real crying, laughing, giggling, screaming, and affectionate hugs and kisses. I would say all of these happen on a daily basis in our household, and probably some more.
When a two-year old wants something, he wants it now. Trying to explain that “you need to wait”, “not right now,” or “just a minute” seems fruitless, but I say it anyway in hopes that he understands. And I’m convinced that talking to myself or hearing myself say it helps too… anyone else?
This mother of a two-year old is tired. It’s not the same kind of tired that a mom has with a newborn, but it’s a different “endurance” tired.
With this new stage of motherhood, I’ve found that I’ve been struggling with anger.
Sometimes the anger arises when my son tips over our dog’s water and food bowls for the fiftieth time this year (another mess). Other times, his squirminess would just wear me out when I was trying to get him dressed for the day. And then there are the times where he tests me to see if my “no” really means “no”.
I want to be a mom who handles her anger well, but it’s hard.
Emotions can and do run high in motherhood. Being tired on top of a dirty house, a dinner to-be-made, and a whining toddler can only escalate these emotions.
I’m weak in areas of motherhood that I didn’t expect to be.
A big part of motherhood is admitting that I’m a mess and I can’t do this alone.
Because guess, what? I’m not “super mom”. I’m a real mom.
…a mom who carries weaknesses, baggage, emotions, and heartache. And a mom who needs to bring that all before Jesus daily.
…a mom that doesn’t need to try and prove that she has it all together, but rather a mom who needs to share that she lives a crazy mess most days.
It’s in my weakness that God is shown to be The Stronger One. He is everything that I am not.
It’s on the days where I mask my weaknesses by pretending to be strong and quickly move from one task to the next, that I fall the hardest.
It’s in His amazing love and grace that He shows and reminds me that “love is patient…” (1 Cor. 3:4). And that He is “…compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” (Psalm 103:8).
He is always patiently waiting, abounding in love, and slow to become angry when my prideful heart wants to run its own course and “handle” my weaknesses rather than turn them over to Him.
He’s a gracious Father who wants to take weaknesses and use it for His good.
These weaknesses are designed to teach me to humbly lean in to God and not on myself.
Motherhood isn’t meant to be done solo; it’s meant to be done with the One who created it.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. -Jude 1:24-25