The importance of setting boundaries for your toddler

Thinking about starting to discipline your toddler is overwhelming , especially if it is your first child, both of you are basically unsure of what is supposed to happen now haha.

Firstly you need to figure out what you are comfortable with, and what you believe is “discipline”, with that being said, don’t lend your ear easily to mom groups out there with millions of opinions, all which are , well , not yours. They don’t know your home, your family or your parenting style. Once you have decided how you are going to set boundaries for your toddler, you need to grow a thicker skin overnight lol. Setting boundaries is not only necessary for your household, but your toddler needs it, needs to learn what is acceptable and what not, when things get difficult (and they will) you need to remind yourself that you are trying to raise a well rounded human being who, with the right skills, and go out and conquer the world.

I strongly believe that toddler were put on this earth to test us, and push our limits as far as possible and then some more. The most challenging part is knowing when to take a minute and comfort them and when to draw the line. A lot of the time, the crying spell is due to them being upset, and not knowing how to process their emotions, our role as parents are to help them and teach them to calm themselves down without getting what they want. Distraction usually works the best, or to simply let them cry it out until they realize it is not happening lol, it all depends on your child’s threshold and how much they can take before you reach the point of no return (which usually involves hysterical crying).

As with every stage of parenting; it all just makes you stronger and teaches you something new. One way or another we will get them and ourselves through this lol . If one of you found a foolproof way of disciplining your toddler let me know and we can swap war stories!

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Adulthood VS Parenthood

By now we all know that growing up is a trap and you should avoid it at all costs !

Adulthood is so much more difficult than any of us ever thought, your parents always tell you that you need to enjoy being little , enjoy school because working is horrible, enjoy not having to cook or having to pay bills, yet all we see is the illusion of “freedom” that adulthood supposedly brings. When in reality, the sad truth is that you cant always do what you want, and you actually had much more freedom when you were in school, freedom from worries, anxiety, financial troubles, marriage issues, stress, self doubt and the list goes on and on. Not to say that life as a teenager is this day and age is always easy, but it sure beats being in your late 20’s.

This all seems like child play the moment you have your first child, and keeps upping itself with each child after that. Being responsible for someone else’s life is so intense , and the responsibility to raise a somewhat decent human being in this world is a huge challenge, once you start thinking about all of this it feels like you cant breathe and you have no idea how you will handle it all, yet you just do. You have no excuses when you have a child, no “day off” when you need time to yourself or you need a break, you learn to power through with a smile on your face like nothing is wrong. Because thats what you do when you are a parent.

To me, thats the difference between adulthood and parenthood, I cant speak for anyone else, but I changed so much when I became a mother, I never really felt “grown up” until I met this tiny little human that changed literally everything in my life (not saying that not having children is in any way a bad thing, or the wrong a choice or a choice at all, I am simply sharing my own experience).

Parenting is both the most rewarding and the most terrifying thing I have ever done, and I would do it all over again if it means I get to have this amazing little human in my life ❤️

Being confident as a mother

I cant be the only mom whose heart breaks a little when her toddler runs away from her to grab onto dad or granny’s leg instead.

I have always been a bit critical of myself, but somehow becoming a mother has made me put even more pressure on myself. We are all human at the end of the day, and I strongly believe that if you had any underlying issues with yourself or with other relationships before you became a parent, motherhood is sure to magnify those issues and turn them into full blown shortcomings.

Motherhood is also a time to addressing these issues for once and all, and really work through them. Most of the time , just acknowledging an issue is enough for it to disappear , and other times it takes a bit more work, but it is ALWAYS worth it. For me the issue was not being a good mother , and not being enough for my children (Although I do know that this is a fear for most moms, it was a bit more than that for me).

So much so that I never took a moment for myself because I felt guilty for putting myself first (even though thats not true , and taking a moment is not putting yourself first really, its just human), I put these ridiculous expectations on myself as a mother that no one would ever live up to. It took me quite some time and a lot of effort on my part to let go of this, and to just be who I am, warts and all.

At the end of the day , we all feel like everyone else is silently giving out scores on our parenting, while we are our own worst critics.

Once you realize that it only matters what your child thinks (with the exception of teenage years) and nothing else. Let “them” think what they want ! You are happy right!? That is the only thing that matters ! Do it your way !

Raising a fussy eater

The one day she eats like a champion, eats everything I give her and even lets me feed her. The next day, she hates everything on earth (even though I spent hours in the kitchen making something special for her), spits everything out and throws the rest on the floor and its all met with a very mischievous smile.

The Reality

I read so many articles about “the ideal 15 month old” and these usually include some fantasy universe that I have never heard of – “three balanced meals a day, no more milk and 2 snacks” ; what !? I have days where she eats 3 cubes of cheese and has 4 bottles 🙈 and trust me, its not from a lack of trying or for me not caring, its after I have tried to get her to have 4 different meals with pasta cooked 3 ways and every little trick you can think of. It’s exhausting to the point where once she does eat those three cheese cubes it feels like I just won the lottery haha.

I have tried everything under the sun to get her to eat, one week everything goes great, the next she spits out everything I give to her, but make no mistake, she demands a piece of whatever I am eating, just to spit it out on the carpet and step on it, some days it takes real stenght to take a deep breath and try again. But in the end I do, and we just try again, its a learning curve to be honest, and every littel thing that does not go according to plan makes you very anxious as a new mother, hopefully I will be much more relaxed with the second one.

It gets worse

So I have been ranting on about how she does not want to eat anything, but what I did not tell you is that she is also going through “nap regression”; she is tryiing to drop one nap a day, which means she is transitioning to only one nap a day (keeping a toddler busy for most of the day is an adjustment for both of us haha). The problem with this is that she still falls asleep with her bottle, so at about 10 in the morning she is tired, cranky and yawning, so she is tired right? WRONG! haha, she lies in her bed with her bottle, has it, then throws it out the cot and yells till I go fetch her (this continues for about 2 hours before she actually goes to bed in the end), after which she has had about 3 bottles already (granted, only 90 ml each, but still). This leads to her skipping lunch because she is full, and we are nowhere closer to getting her off the formula.

Success

I have however found a follow up milk for after formula, we have been on it for a day and it is going great, her appetite seems to be a bit better as it does not make her as full as her formula does and then she is more willing to try new foods and to let me feed her what she cant eat herself, its early days so fingers crossed.

One thing I have realized since becoming a parent is that the whole thing is a learning curve, you learn as you go haha, each child is so different and they all have their own ideas about how they want things to go , and as much as we would like to say that our kids do not rule our worlds, lets face it , they just do.

The importance of your child’s happiness

Seeing my child smile is the only thing in the world that can turn the worst day right around ! She is always on my mind, even when I am thinking about something else, she is still somehow in the back of my mind, always there.

Granted, I am a stay at home mom, but I honestly believe that most if not all moms feel like this, being a mother becomes you ! In the greatest sense, it becomes the most important role in your life, overnight everything changes, for the better.

Lets face it, most days (especially if you have a toddler) you don’t necessarily reap the rewards of all your hard work, with the tantrums and the teething it can become quite easy to start blaming yourself for your child’s current mood.

I for one feel like I am not doing a good job if my baby does not have a constant smile on her face, which is utterly ridiculous. Being a toddler must be so hard, you have to master this great big world in front of you, and all you want to do is explore and figure things out for yourself, but there is this big grown up around every corner trying to stop you haha, must be frustrating right? Although watching every move they make is necessary, keep in mind that they are well, “easily upset” at this age haha, and their constant bursting into tears, is not a reflection of your parenting in any way.

But every now and then, you get those rare, but worth the wait days, and your child smiles, eats and sleeps and the day is so rewarding, you even get a few giggles out of it. These are the days when you feel like you are winning at life, your child is happy ! And all the rest just fades away and you would do it all over again (careful of these moments, because it was in one of these that we decided to get pregnant again) haha.

They just are worth all the sacrifices aren’t they!?

Unexpected fears about a second child

Having a second baby should be easy right ? You know what to expect, you know what to do, and you have now found your feet as a mom, so it should all just be a breeze. Uh ?! …. No!!

The one thing that does seem to be easier is the waiting, I am so busy with my toddler that I don’t really think about the new baby and what it will be like all the time, its almost as if I have not really come to terms with it all haha, every now and then it hits me and this wave of excitement hits me.

But that is about the only thing that is easier so far; somehow I can’t imagine my life with two kids, I am already so so busy with her that I can’t even imagine how busy I would be with her and a newborn. I think it is the whole thing that you can’t imagine the change, how different your life will look, all you know is that it will look different. I think we are all creatures of habit, which means that we want to know what to expect, what is coming next.

But thats just it isn’t it? Life is unexpected, you can’t plan for every little thing because that would just make life way too easy haha. learning to let go and let God, has been life changing, realizing that we are all fragile and we cannot control every aspect of life or of motherhood is somehow freeing . Freeing to allow you to life your life without worrying about every “what if” that comes along.

Motherhood is magical, it pushes your limits and breaks down all your fears and expectations, and instead, replaces it with an unexplainable amount of irrational love. And lets face it, none of us would change a damn thing 👌🏻

It makes you a different kind of strong, so I say bring it on !

Appreciating every single parenting moment

It is so secret that parenting is hard some days, grueling other days and just plain impossible sometimes. In-between these are those moments you wish you had on camera; when your baby finally claps hands, or says mama, gives you a kiss or is just too cute for words.

These are the moments that make every little thing you go through, worth it! Worth all the stretch marks and the sleepless nights, the relentless visits to the bathroom at night, the whole freaken pregnancy and the lack of any me time haha. All just worth it when that little person does something for the first time. My little girl (now 14 months old) is starting to become a little human; she now gives me clothes to put on and she takes more interest in every day chores, whenever she does one of these things I get so proud that my heart wants to burst !

Nothing has ever made me more proud in my entire life, and every mom feels like this haha, and she hasn’t even started het life yet, she hasn’t even started school or gotten her first school report or any big event, but I guess thats what being a parent is – any little moment is a moment for us and just as big as any other.

As with most things in life, you need the bad moments to fully appreciate the good ones, you need to have a sick child to really know what it is worth to have a healthy child , and to know how blessed you are, and you need to have a child that misbehaves to appreciate the days where they nap when they are supposed to and don’t throw any tantrums.

Just look back on your child’s last year, do you really remember every bad night? Or how difficult those first few weeks at home were? Or do you just remember holding that little body in your arms for the first time ? Thats parenting, you only remember the good ❤️