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!

To the single parent

My daughter has been sick for the last few days, for what feels like the hundredth time in her short life (which makes me feel like I am failing as a mother, but thats a story for another blog haha). In the meantime she has also been cutting not one, but TWO molars.

In between all of this, my husband was here, and he helped so so much since I also started to get sick and cant take anything because I am pregnant. I find it so difficult to be a good mother when I am not in a good place myself, I manage to push it aside and try to just be there for her, but she still feels that I am not myself, and it is at that moment where I thank God that I have a husband who helps and can take over while I rest.

That being said, I know not all parents have a partner that helps, or have have lost a partner or have broken up with a partner. I have no idea how you do it, I know if you are a parent you have no choice to keep going and you just somehow find that strength somewhere to be the best parent you can possibly be. But that still does not make it easy or any less lonely.

Although I don’t know how it feels, I was raised by a single parent and saw the toll it took, you have so much less time for yourself, or well, basically anything! A sick or teething baby takes up ALL your time, whether you are a stay at home parent, or not, the time you have with them is difficult and exhausting. There is no time to unwind after a tough day at work, or to have a glass of wine with supper because you have to tend to a crying baby and get to bed as soon as possible because you have to get up early again the next day, and do it all over again.

I have so much respect for these parents , ones that still give their children the best they can, in-spite of their need for a personal life, well done !! 💪🏻

Does it get easier as they get older ?

A few months back, when my baby was about 8 months old; she started teething, I honestly thought this is it, it cant get any worse than this, she wasn’t sleeping, she had no appetite and she was extremely moody.

Fast forward to the present where she is 14 months old, and I wish it was as “difficult” as it was then haha. I think it has the same affect as the “I wish I was as fat as I thought I was in high school” bit . My baby has this thing where she will cut 4 teeth in about 3 weeks of utter hell, then she takes a few months break of no teething. Then ….. dum dum dum , cuts two molars and two lateral incisors at the same time !! Send help !

She is getting so sick, she is so sore at night and barely sleeps, wakes up crying several times and basically is just miserable all the time. It makes you feel so helpless , it feels like nothing helps, nothing eases her or makes her more comfortable (trust me, I have done everything and still do just incase it helps a little bit), it is as if the further along we get with this teething business, the worse it gets ! 🙈

Beating yourself up because your child got sick again for the 7th time in a few months seems to also be a new state of normal, we live 70km’s from the nearest town, she stays home with me , and yet, she still gets sick ! So for those moms that say their children get sick from daycare, trust me, they would still get sick if they weren’t in daycare.

No guts no glory I say, having children can be so intense and challenging but so rewarding and worth it at the same time, confusing right ? Welcome to motherhood !

Giving your toddler what he/she needs

Learning when to say yes and when to say no to your toddler is a very thin line, one I tread very carefully everyday, my motivation is what makes it more difficult; am I saying yes to avoid a tantrum, or am I saying yes because the activity will allow her to learn, grow and have fun.

Some days I honestly wish I could send her to daycare just so that someone else can think of what to do to keep her busy and entertained, and then I look over at her and just realize I would give her the world if she asked.

I know all toddlers are busy and difficult, but they are still individuals, and as much as we would like to compare with friends and family members, but it is just not that simple. They all need different things , all the time, and the perks of having a toddler is that these needs may very well change every day.

Toddlerhood is like a rollercoaster ride that you cant stop, just when you think its over, you head for another 90 degree drop. Living on the edge I say haha, things can change at any given moment, I’ve learnt to be prepared for anything, nothing she does can surprise me anymore, its like I have a boy on my hands, she climbs on everything, she tests all boundaries and she has absolutely no fear ! While her mom on the other hand has ALL THE FEAR !

Being a mother to a newborn has taught me resilience, how to get by on very little sleep, and what true love is. Having a toddler on the other hand has pushed all my limits even further, and still are. I have never in my life been this busy, and I mean physically haha, she needs constant stimulation or else she gets frustrated, she gets bored with one thing so easily and all she wants to do is be outside , to play in water, sand, both or just plain climbing on everything she sees. Its nerve wrecking !!

Toddlerhood has taught me patience; she cant even speak yet and she is already giving me sass and talking back to me when I yell at her, on the one hand it is adorable and on the other hand I realize I am going to have my hands full for the next few years or so ! Lol

Some days are hard, some are just so worth it that I would do it all again in a heartbeat, and then some days I want to run away haha, raising a strong willed little person takes its toll, and learning to know what to say yes to is a fine line that I am not quite sure of just yet, haha, but once I figure it out I will let you guys know 😘

How my baby has turned into a little girl overnight

My baby girl is exactly 13 months old today, well she is finally not a baby anymore. I am a toddler mom, I love this age, I think it is adorable how busy they are and how they explore and can find joy in the simplest things. Its inspiring really, to be content with something as trivial as a pot and lid. Wouldn’t life be so much easier? And less complicated? But alas, we all grow up And that pot and lid is replaced with houses and careers. Nothing wrong with that, each phase brings new challenges and new excitement. I just admire hat innocence and knowing there is someone there to love and protect you no matter what.

When I look back at how quickly she has gotten to this age , I want to freeze time, I want her to be small for longer, I want her to be a child as long as possible. When I see how other children are treated like little grown ups I feel sad, Life is harsh, its cruel and unpredictable. I want to keep my child’s innocence for as long as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in raising a naive daughter thats not ready for the world, I just want to preserve that childlike happiness for as long as possible.

It happens so quick that we almost miss it, it is as if overnight she started walking, and babbling and pointing towards what she wanted, how on earth did this happen!? Life gets so busy that we forget to stop and take it all in, and when we blink they are all grown up.

On the other hand, I am so glad we are over that newborn phase, it is all just so so nerve wracking, they are so fragile and little and most of the time you are just not sure what to do with them (granted I am pregnant again, so within a few months we start all over again).

Now, she can go wherever she wants to go, and come when you call her. I just love it , even with all the tantrums that are starting and the fact that she is very sensitive and upsets easily haha, it is still an amazing time and we are all having so much fun.

So enjoy each phase as a family , even though each of them brings new challenges, they each also have so many special moments to offer.

As my baby takes her first steps

My baby turns one in exactly one week !! And I find myself so emotional and nostalgic about the past year, having your first baby is so so intense on both parents. It changes every single aspect of your life – for the better !!

The first year is full of uncertainty and doubt around every corner, especially if it is your first like with us. The sleepless nights (well that is still there), the constant worrying (okay this is also still ongoing), the doubting (ha okay I will stop now), although I experience all these still on a daily basis, what has improved is my baby blues, my stress is a little less, and most importantly, I have had the privilege to see this little baby turn into a little girl, and that in itself, is reward enough for this roller coaster of a first year of parenting.

My sister once told me that for the first two years you just have to keep them alive, and well, entering toddlerhood, I wish she would have told me that it is not all that easy, they fall, they stumble and they just seem to have a death wish with the things that they attempt to do!

Thinking back, when we first brought her home I couldn’t sleep, mostly because I googled everything before I gave birth, and that made me so so paranoid knowing everything that could go wrong (wow was that exhausting).

It all just made me realize how fleeting motherhood is, I mean, a while year has gone by and sometimes it feels like I haven’t done anything this past year, but then I look at that face and I know I have done sooo much and I am so proud of myself!

So have that party, yes your baby wont remember her first birthday, but its important, for the whole family; to celebrate that first year, because lets face it, we survived !

How to keep your exploring baby stimulated

If your 11 month old is anything like mine, they have now officially lost all interest in their toys.

This is such an exciting age for us all, she is becoming more social and now shows you what she wants (it is just too cute for words), she is taking a few steps towards something and she is exploring and learning so much.

This is also a very difficult age for all of us, as she can now reach places she hasn’t before, she goes somewhere by herself, and she is very cranky as her brain is so so busy so she struggles to settle herself when its nap time, she also goes from 0-100 in about a split second with tantrums.

I can see she is struggling with the world around her as she wants to do so much, but just can’t and she doesn’t understand why (hence the tantrums when she cant have my hot cup of coffee)

Being a mom to an almost toddler is so exhausting, you want to watch them every minute so they don’t get hurt (hence my post about my baby’s accident) but you also want to give them the freedom to explore and learn new things by themselves.

For me, keeping het busy during the day was/is such a huge struggle, I let her play with my Tupperware while I cook and she loves playing with the dog food and the bird food. Then I have this random “stuff” basket in my room, with hair stuff, empty boxes and just random trinkets that she loves to play with. She will only play with her toys for a few minutes and if I sit and play with her. I have a toddler swing which she absolutely loves (we put it outside so she can play a bit).

She basically plays with anything and everything in my house that she cant swallow or injure herself with (for the most part anyway).

Other than that she also usually ends up throwing anything and everything down the toilet and my house looks chaotic at the end of the day, but guess what? We had so much fun and I got a lot done and she learned so much during the day , which is a bonus. Doing it all this way is exhausting haha, but it keeps us both busy during the day.

Each baby is so so different so please don’t take this as me telling you what to do, maybe your baby is just as busy and this gives you some advice, or your baby loves her toys and this post makes you laugh haha.

If any of you have any ideas on how you keep your toddler busy, please let me know ? And we can swap war stories ! As you can see I need new ideas 💡