Dear Friend (Letter To Moms Of Toddlers)

January 29, 2015

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Hello Mamas. I come in peace.

No judgements. No agenda. No advice on potty training or vaccinating or how to get your toddler to stop peeing in the house plants.

I know just as little as you do, which has actually ended up being quite revealing. You can read all about it in my new book, “Honestly, You Just Wait It Out.”

Because that’s what you do. You wait and wait and wait, and then one day they stop throwing peanut butter sandwiches on the kitchen floor and your google searches on child personality disorders seem a bit dramatic.

It is so startling when your precious, newborn baby suddenly becomes a toddler. It sneaks up on you at first; a small tantrum in the Target parking lot, minor hysteria over the inconsistency of socks. Then all of a sudden they are pointing their finger, stomping their feet, and throwing all their raisins into the toilet. Sometimes I feel like, who invited this guy to the party? I am not cleaning up after this guy.

I know there is a lot of great stuff out there about how you’re supposed to carpe diem or not carpe diem or how we’re supposed to stop yelling or cut ourselves a break.

Here is what I want to say to you today:

1) It gets better. Those nuggets eventually do grow up enough to communicate that they do or do not want the red crayon. One day you will wake up and realize you can have a whole conversation and maybe even clean the kitchen without someone standing in the dishwasher. And restaurants? Let me tell you about restaurants. Suddenly going out to eat becomes less like crying in the parking lot and more like eating your chicken sandwich with two hands. I cannot overemphasize this small and important joy.

2) It gets worse. Oh, did you think parenting was going to get easier? Wishing away the toddler years is easy when you’re getting kicked in the mouth during diaper changes. The thing is, every stage of parenthood has its pros and cons. I have learned the hard way that you will never enjoy parenting if you are always wishing they were older. Kids will forever and always be annoying. It just appears in different forms. If you’re feeling despondent, remember the restaurant thing.

3) Friends help. Are you so tired of hearing how it takes a village? I remember thinking, “A village sounds great, but I’m too tired to make small talk about The Bachelor.” Honey these are the golden years, but you will drown without help. Single moms, married moms, working moms, stay at home moms–everyone needs a buddy who says, “This is normal” or “Yes, me too” or “You get the wine, I’ll bring the pizza.” Suffer through the small talk to find your mom soul mate. She is out there. Just a girl, standing in front of another girl, asking for a babysitting swap.

And finally, if you are wondering if your two-year-old will ever stop pooping in his underwear, the answer is yes. Definitely yes.

Honestly. You just wait it out.

Keep on keeping on.

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23 thoughts on “Dear Friend (Letter To Moms Of Toddlers)

    1. Kate Post author

      My three-year-old literally just started pooping in the potty a month ago. I thought it would NEVER HAPPEN. And he was more like three and a half (side eye emoji). I’ve heard from many seasoned moms it is totally normal. I wasted a lot of precious time worrying about it–it will happen!

      Reply
  1. Lindsay M

    We went out to dinner at Red Lobster the other night. My 3 month old cried the whole time and screamed if I ever sat down. Fail. I’m glad other moms understand. :)

    Reply
  2. Kaly

    oh man. There was so much googling with kid #1. How to handle bedtimes, food issues, potty training, ear infections (or suspected ear infections), teething, nursing (and weaning). It never ended. And I don’t think I solved anything, things just eventually…changed. And I never really ever noticed when the change happened, I would just wake up and realize that HOLY CRAP, THE BABY ISN’T WAKING UP AT 5:00 ANY MORE, despite the 50 different things I had tried to do to bend the baby’s sleep habits to my desired schedule. My motto now is “everything is temporary; even the good stuff”

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      My husband and I always remember the “bad phases.” Such as, regaling stories about how our 4-year-old was the spawn of satan for about 2 months last year, but completely glossing over her amazing phase for about 4 months just before that. It’s easy to forgot the good phase. Everything is definitely temporary – I just wish I had more propensity to recall the good times when everything is going down the shitter :).

      Reply
  3. Lauren

    Yes, also I really want this book…”You can read all about it in my new book, “Honestly, You Just Wait It Out.”

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    I really needed to read this today, parenting my two and a half year old was pretty challenging today… Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Lindsey

    I’m still waiting for the not pooping in underwear to go away, but apparently I have a 4.5 year old child that constipates himself and then it makes me a prisoner to poop schedules tracked by an app, miralax, and spending 15 minutes in the bathroom in the mornings and evenings with the iPad and Netflix streaming. My ped tells me maybe next year…

    Reply
  6. Katie

    Congrats on your book, love the title, and I loved this post and I want to amen the chicken sandwich thing. And all 3 of my potty trained kids had to have TV taken away to poop on the potty. Can’t wait to do it all over again with my toddler.

    Reply
  7. tamara h

    Great letter, always so bang on! I also always enjoy your music mixes….there is a song called “wait it out” by Allie Moss. Its on the “wish I was here” soundtrack….suiting for this last piece of writing, and its really good (I think you might like?!) :) also if you look at this soundtrack, “mexico” by jump, little children is another good one that sounds like something that would be on your mixes…

    Reply
  8. Jessie

    Oh Kate. This is so encouraging to me. I’m feeling like a big fat mom failure. I woke up to a punch in the eye from my toddler. He screamed all morning and refused to nap and we skipped church for the millionth time because I just could not get out the door. Plus my house looks like a screenshot from Apocalypse Now. Thank you. There is hope. This was like a giant hug. I will wait it out.

    Reply
  9. Tara

    “I have learned the hard way that you will never enjoy parenting if you are always wishing they were older. ”

    This! I’ve got a 1 week old on my chest right now, my 3rd, and I keep thinking about how I don’t really love the newborn phase. And this has reminded me: I’ll probably never have another newborn, so I should just drink these awkward, floppy, cracked nipple days in. Thanks for the reminder.

    Reply
  10. Cassidy Stockton

    This was so great, Kate! Thank you! Just worked through the big-bed transition and every night as I could hear him thumping around and not sleeping, my husband and I just agreed: this will pass. He will, someday, get the hang of this.

    Reply
  11. Jessica Devins

    Hi Kate!
    I just discovered your writing and think you are fantastic. I’ve read quite a few of your posts now and want to say a huge fat THANK YOU! I’ve read several other blogs and articles by other moms but have yet to come across someone who I feel like I can relate to. Someone who says it like I would. Thank you for sharing your talents and rawness.

    You make me laugh. You make me cry. You give me sanity and hope. You help me check myself and I thank you for that.

    – your new reader/follower
    Jess

    Reply

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