Having an infant is hard, they cry a lot, their attitudes are unpredictable, there’s lack of sleep on both sides, and you experience lots of worry.
Having a toddler though is a whole new ball game. The toddler years are hard, really hard! Have you ever heard of the “terrible two’s?” Well…I think it’s the “trying two’s” and “terrible three’s.” It honestly gets harder before it gets easier.
When your baby turns 18 months this is when it all starts. They are becoming smarter and starting to figure things out more. Outlets are their best friend and they get into EVERYTHING!!!! All these things just get worse as time goes on until they hit the age where they learn what’s not ok and what is and even then, you’d be lucky if they listen. My five-year-old still does things that are extremely shocking to me that she should know not to do.
With that being said; it may be super hard, and you may spend your entire day trying to keep them alive and trying to keep your house from not being completely destroyed; but this age is so fun too! Their personalities are really starting to come to life and it continues to grow more and more each day. It’s just an amazing thing to witness them grow into little people.
Thank heavens these little terrors are cute, or I bet the hard times would be so much harder.
Right now, what I’m personally dealing with, is my 20-month-old twins getting into EVERYTHING!
We’re renting, so I can’t lock up my cabinets because we can’t put holes in them and there is no hardware on the outside. It is so challenging. I obviously have put everything dangerous up high where they can’t touch it, but it gets exhausting having them pull everything out of every cupboard and drawer 15 times a day.
My biggest challenge is our Lazy Susan we have. I have a good portion of our food in it and I have no-where else to put it, and they get into it all day long (mainly my son, he’s a piglet!)
The other day I came into the kitchen to find he had dumped an entire bag of pretzels onto the floor and they were sitting in the pile eating them.
Of course, I hurried to take a picture and just laughed, but when things like this are happening multiple times a day, it gets really-tough, and I just want to hide in my room and cry!
There are days I feel like I don’t do one thing besides chase them around and clean up after them.
I know this is a little more challenging for me because I have two destroyers, but I remember even when I had one how difficult it was.
The constant crying, whining, needing me, wanting me, it gets exhausting. I feel so terrible to complain because I know this is what motherhood is all about and I should enjoy every second because they grow up so fast.
So many older, wiser mothers tell me I’ll miss these days of dirty, sticky finger prints all over the walls, food crumbs all over the house, the laughter, the tears, and the constant noise.
I know they’re right! I totally and completely believe them! I know I’ll miss these days and they are coming sooner rather than later, but it doesn’t take away the daily frustrations that come along with parenting.
It doesn’t take away that I still have other things on-a-daily basis that need to be done and I have other priorities and responsibilities besides my toddlers (like church callings, household duties, family members/friends needing help with things, my older children needing me, my husband, just other life things.)
It’s hard to juggle it all and then when our toddler does something that’s frustrating it throws fuel on the fire.
I think that our frustration with our toddler’s stem from a much bigger frustration than simply it being our toddler that’s causing it.
I think that there are underlying factors creating our frustrations and whatever it is our toddlers do next push us over the edge.
Which bring us to this…
HOW TO DEAL WITH THE FRUSTRATION THAT COMES WITH A TODDLER
- Figure out what is really frustrating you– Is there something your husband did that’s bothering you? Are there upset feelings you’re experiencing towards family members, friends, or neighbors? Are there to many things on your list that need to be done with little time to do them? Figure out the root of your frustration.
- Fix it– Whatever the root of the frustration is…fix it. If there are many roots, fix one at a time.
- Vent/Communicate– One of the biggest things to help ease your frustrations is talking about them. Get it all off your chest and start fresh the next day.
- Sleep– make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest (easier said than done with littles, I know, but try.)
- Make time for your spouse- It’s so important to make sure you are connecting with your spouse and getting your needs met there.
- Make time for yourself- This one can seriously feel almost impossible at times, but it’s crucial and it’s not a selfish act. This helps so much and is so important. You need to take time for yourself and do things you love besides being a wife and mother.
- Get away to recharge your batteries- This can be challenging to arrange, but over-night stays with your spouse, friends, or sisters can really help you recharge your batteries. It’s good for your kids to have breaks from you too!
- Let things go- This is a struggle for me, but it really helps the days I actually do it. Just let things go, let your house go, let the laundry go, let your to do list go. Take a day off and play with your kids, reconnect and have fun, there’s always tomorrow.
- Exercise- If you can even find time for this, heck if you can find the energy for this it’ll really help relieve tension and frustration. It just makes you feels good.
- Baby proof your house the best you possibly can- If you can minimize the messes and all the things they get into and do that drive you bonkers, then things will be so much easier. If this is a difficult task to do because you don’t have the space, or you literally can’t because you’re renting, then get creative at figuring out how to help minimize what frustrates you. If you have to literally put everything in a box everyday that’s in your lower cupboards and stick it in your room, then do it. It won’t be forever, just until they grow out of the phase of getting into everything.
- Find the sweetness- Every time you get frustrated with your toddler over something they do, find the sweetness before you speak to them. Look into their adorable face and gentle eyes and remind yourself they don’t know better and teach them, have them help you clean up the mess.
- Take a break- When everything is going to poop…the house is a disaster, lots of tantrums are being thrown, tears and screaming won’t let up…TAKE A BREAK! Take your toddler outside and take a break, go for a walk, go jump on the tramp, go play in the backyard, go for a drive, go to a park. Get out of the house! They need breaks just as much as we do. They get tired of being cooped up inside all day and they like change of scenery.
There you have it. I hope some of these tips are helpful to you. I know they are no-brainers, but sometimes reading them and having a refresher can really help.
Remember that you’re not alone. It is so natural and normal to feel frustrated with your toddlers. This is a very hard stage because they are right in the middle of learning things and understanding things, but don’t fully understand the outcomes of the things they’re learning.
The toddler years take a lot more time and patience. Find joy in them though because they can be so much fun too! Focus on the fun and do the best you can. Make time for yourself and give yourselves breaks. You deserve them!