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!

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!?

Remembering that you were a person before you had kids

So as you all know I am pregnant with my second baby, and I cant even explain all the ways that I underestimated being in my first trimester with a toddler.

My husband is gone this week and the amount of endurance it takes to not throw up while you are dressing your baby for bed – is next level and I kind of feel like a rockstar after that session haha ! Not feeling well while having to still be the best mother you can be, takes effort , and let me tell you something; if you are one of those moms that are going through a tough time and still manage to play with your kids and put a smile on their face , you are one AMAZING mom , and don’t you forget that !

BUT ! Being a good mother sometimes means that you need to know when to put yourself first, never when your child needs you , and not saying that you take your interests above that of your child’s , but in the sense that you know when you need a break, and know that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Recharging for half a day or even a few days with friends does not make you a bad parent, sometimes a few moments for yourself is what resets the clock on your parenting, and gives you renewed, more positive energy for your toddler or your newborn.

Then you get me; I am a stay at home mom and I go into town to do my nails and the usual errands, I don’t have to rush home because my husband and mother in law are looking after Paige. But somehow in town, I feel guilty for not being there, I feel like I need to hurry up because she is my responsibility and not theirs and they have things to do. After which I usually rush everything and head home, only to find that everyone is fine and having fun haha. No one died , no one got hurt.

Although these are all normal “mom” feelings, sometimes it is okay to let go, to let yourself take a few deep breaths and let yourself enjoy something that does not involve being a mother or a wife, just a person, an individual, with interests, dreams and a person who can have grown up intellectual conversations haha.

Practice makes perfect, and that is what it will take to learn to have a balance with this whole motherhood thing, letting yourself have some time without feeling (too) guilty, and to still feel like you are not failing as a mother in doing so.

Being a mother is hard enough as it is, we do not need to drive ourselves crazy (er) by forgetting that we also matter. Take that break ! You deserve it ❤️

How important it is to be in tune with your emotions

Like most moms (although there are a lucky few), pregnancy effects my mood 100% most of the day. With Paige , I seemed to have been very emotional and sensitive. This time around however, I am more impatient and quick to anger.

Lately my toddler has been insanely difficult, needy, clingy and also quick to anger, it took me a while, but I finally realized that its me! She feeds off of my emotions, and obviously picks up that my patience is less than before and that in turn, makes her feel unsure and confused as it all affects her environment (granted, she is growing up and some moods wings are inevitable).

Since then I have tried to get to know myself better, not to stop the emotions, but to recognize them. To realize that I am feeling overwhelmed because I am tired , or irritated because I am nauseous etc. knowing what I feel and why I feel it, makes it easier to take a deep breath and let it go. Instead of wallowing in it and letting it affect my relationships and the overall “vibe” in the house.

Easier said then done right ? We all know those pregnancy hormones take over and is impossible to control (true for the most part), but you can control how you react to them. Practice makes perfect , it may take a while, and it does not mean that it will work every time, after all, we are all only human. But I strongly believe that once you can control how you react to all your emotions and understand why you are feeling what you are feeling; you will be stronger for it, and at the same time. Set a good example for your children and other members of the family.

On the other hand, knowing why you are feeling what you are feeling, also makes it easier to get help or to fix it quicker. It sounds so straight forward right ? Wrong ! Many people don’t even realize when they are stressed. So knowing what you feel might even take some practice to begin with.

Either way , it is a skill worth mastering and will make life much easier for both you and your partner (and children) in the long run, and will most definitely help with your blood pressure and those sleepless nights.

How we underestimate small talk

Who has the time right !? We are all so busy and overwhelmed with our own lives and motherhood in general, that it sometimes feels like no one understands what we are going through, we tend to isolate ourselves in our own self made unhappiness.

Well I do anyway, it cant be said for everyone because some people are better at addressing their own issues than others, but I tend to feel like my husband does not get how hard it is to be a full time mom, to live in the middle of nowhere (#farmvibes) and to have no family or friends nearby to vent to when things get too much (because lets face it; they do).

Today I did some self reflection and it came to me; the reality of the situation is that, well, he doesn’t completely understand, nor can anyone. No one can truly know what another person is going through unless they have been through it themselves, and even then; people handle situations differently. So instead of focusing and fighting about something that simply cant be changed, I just sat and had a casual conversation with him. Simple right?

Afterwards, I felt so much lighter, it was the first time in so long that I wasn’t focused on how stressed or overwhelmed I was, I just shifted my focus for a minute and it gave me a whole new perspective on things. Don’t get me wrong, there will be days that I still wallow in it, because I am only human. But I just realized what a difference it makes to not focus all of my attention on the hardships in life, to basically give myself a break from it all, by simply not talking about it.

Value those conversations, and make an effort to talk less and listen more because it makes all the difference.

You ARE mom enough

Wow the past few days have been tough !!!! I felt like a failure as a mother, a wife, and just in general. My baby is going through well, something haha, I am never 100% sure what.

Everything I seem to do with her upsets her; getting dressed, wiping her face, feeding her, putting her down, carrying her, and looking at her. I do know its a phase, but wow its getting me under these past few days. It’s exhausting, and its something you cant understand until you go through it yourself.

She is at that age where she wants to do way more than she is capable, and she does not understand why she cant reach the dog bowl from her walker, which results in relentless crying and stomping until I take her out and let her have it. I know I know I am spoiling her, but at this point I just cant be bothered as long as the crying stops.

Its very easy to go to that dark place and think ;”boy I am really not good at this”, you look at other moms and you think they got it all figured out and they are so put together. When you have days where showering feels like you conquered the world. The truth is, they also have struggles and that I can promise you ! If you get up every morning and do your best, put your child’s needs before your own and teach your child to be a good and kind person by being one, then you are mom enough !

That is all you need to do, my sister once told me “up until 2 years old all you have to do is keep them alive” haha , that still makes me feel better when I have days where it feels like that is all I did.

Give yourself a break, learn to look for the humor in tough situations and tell yourself that you are awesome more than once a day! Because by being a mom, you automatically are !

Getting into the “mom groove”

A lot of people talk about how amazing and rewarding motherhood is, and this is so true, but what no one seems to tell you; is that it takes time to adjust to this new world you find yourself in. There is new lingo you did not even know about, new brands and products that may seem overwhelming, new stages of life you did not even know existed, and most of all, this new inner strength you never knew you had.

Before I became a mom, I did not even consider how long it would take for me to “feel myself” again, and by “myself” I mean a well balanced person that does not cry over every little thing, does not loose her temper all the time, and has patience with herself and those around her (mostly my husband). The only thing you think about is that cute little bundle, and whose eyes she will have, and rightly so, these are the things we need to look forward too.

But not knowing how hard it will be to adjust, really caught me off guard, and I was not prepared mentally for this struggle at all. I was not concerned about my own recovery after the C-Section (this is the way it is supposed to be, mothers put their babies first), or the emotional recovery for that matter. Only the well being of my baby.

This type of thinking though, soon caught up with me, I was emotionally and physically drained because I felt asking for help meant I am not a good enough mother, this is such harmful thinking; we place so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves, and we simply cannot handle it alongside everything else. When my baby girl was small, and we got visitors, I used to dread it, I did not want people holding my baby and giving me advice at all, even the thought of it made me mad (I was a bit irrational at the time as well). Now, 7 months later, I am so excited when family comes to visit – Yay Babysitters!

As time goes on, I am not insecure about my baby anymore, I know I am her mother, and no one will replace it, I still get the odd unsolicited advice from people, but it does not upset me, I just nod, agree and move on with my day. I feel like I can breathe now if it makes sense, I don’t feel so stressed out all the time anymore, I know what she likes and dislikes, I know her cries; when she is just moaning, or unhappy or sick. Although I am sure as she goes through different stages in her life this will change again, I find myself in a state of contentment as a mother now and this took me 7 months.

It took me 9 months to create a little human being, 9 months for my body to completely change, 9 months of crazy hormones (and a little after) and 9 months to prepare for this amazing little human, don’t rush yourself to adjust to all these new changes, it took me 7 months to feel good and to confident in my abilities as a mother, and to completely immerse our baby into our lives.

Good things take time, and as we all know – It is oh so worth it!

So breathe, and give yourself a break, it will get easier, and then harder and then easier again, and in the midst of all these ups and downs, you will find yourself again; not the old you, but a new you, stronger, happier and yes, emotionally stable.