There’s a reason people use the term “terrible twos.” Although they are adorable, toddlers can be challenging.
Between temper tantrums, newfound freedom, and constant advice offered by everyone from your mom to your sister to the woman in line behind you at the market, it’s a challenge. Moms with toddlers would likely choose these ten items for the list of the most frustrating aspects of parenting a toddler.
1. Toddlers are unpredictable
No matter how much you prepare, you never know exactly what your toddler will say or do in public. You can plan everything around nap time, mealtime, and bedtime, but you still cannot guarantee good behavior.
You just never know when your toddler is going to ask loudly in the restroom whether or not you have to have a bowel movement. This keeps you on your toes at all times.
2. Advice on spanking
Whether you do it or not, someone always has something to say about spanking when your child acts up. Whether they judge you for not spanking your child or they judge you for slapping a toddler’s hand away from a burning candle, they’re always judging your choices. Fortunately, the choice is yours alone. As long as you are happy, the opinions of others don’t matter.
3. Restaurant behavior
Nothing is worse than a toddler who misbehaves in a restaurant. It’s bad enough in the store, where you can leave without much fuss. However, in a restaurant, you have to wait for your food or the check, and everyone is always staring. Your best bet is to ignore the critics and remember that while your child might not always be an angel, she’s still cute.
4. Kids’ artwork
Hanging homemade pictures on the fridge is a sweet part of parenting. Finding home-made pictures on the bathroom wall is not so sweet. Kids don’t always remember the paper, whether they are drawing on it or using it in the restroom. Baby wipes, however, will always do the trick.
5. Missing your little one
It’s frustrating for all moms to wish desperately for a break and then realize on that break that you do nothing but miss your toddler. It’s a Catch-22 situation. That devious little face makes you crazy all week, but you sure do miss him when you get one of those infrequent date nights.
6. Bedtime routines are questionable
Good-bye crib, hello night-time visitors. Placing your toddler in bed is a bittersweet transition. Gone is your baby and here now is a big girl. You’re so proud of her; until 8:05, which is less than 5 minutes after you said goodnight. She’s made the first of many appearances.
Perhaps she wants more water. She might have to use the potty. Maybe she wants another story or kiss, or maybe she’s hungry. Whatever it is, it’s interrupting the Real Housewives reunion and all you want is to put her back in that crib she cannot escape from.
7. Child care is always stressful
Toddlers are sweet one minute and crazy the next. This means you do a little less in public, and a little more at home. However, when you need a date night or a few hours to shop for Christmas gifts, or you need to go to work, you need to find quality child care.
But absolutely no one is good enough to take care of your child. No matter how wonderful someone else may be, she will never be as good as you and you will always remember this when you leave your toddler with her. Just remember that as long as your gut instinct tells you she’s good, you have nothing to worry about.
8. Emotional moments are not rare
Seeing children living in foster care, orphanages, or waiting for adoption can be difficult when you have a toddler of your own. The realization that a child so small and so sweet can be without a family to call his or her own is heartbreaking, and it might make you want to do something to change that child’s life.
9. Potty training woes
Wondering when it is the right time to train is enough to make any mom a little crazy. On the one hand, you want to stop buying diapers and changing dirty behinds. On the other hand, you want to keep your baby a baby for a while longer.
Add everyone else has an opinion. It’s either too early or you’ve waited far too long to potty train. No one is ever happy. For that reason, ignore them and wait until your little one is clearly ready for the potty.
10. Toddler tantrums
Maybe you dared to sing her favorite Disney song or you chose the wrong blue Hello Kitty shirt for her to wear to the store. Maybe you told her you loved her when she woke up this morning or you put the wrong lid on the wrong cup.
Maybe you just have no idea how to parent and your toddler was put on the planet to remind you of this fact. One motherly pet peeve is that toddlers are a little bit crazy. It doesn’t matter what you do; one minute they love it and the next they are the mean girls who make you feel inadequate. It’s quite endearing.
Nothing about parenting a toddler is simple, but everything about parenting a toddler is wonderful. It might take a few years for you to miss these quirks and special moments, but you will miss them. Pet peeves aside, your toddler certainly does keep life interesting.