The Joys of Mothering Toddlers

As we celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s a great time to reflect on the blessings of being a mommy to two active toddlers. Our days are hectic and filled with lots of drama (aka fighting between my daughters) and it can be so easy to grumble about how tired I am or how difficult it is to raise my little ones who are only 18 months apart (or how many diapers I have to change).

But I know that despite how exhausted I am, at the end of the day I am a very blessed mother. It’s such an honor and privilege that we shouldn’t take for granted, especially as I think about my friends who have been waiting to get pregnant for quite some time. Furthermore, I know that God truly had mercy on our family by granting us healthy daughters as I battled hyperemesis with both my pregnancies.

Here is my list of the top ten joys of being a mama to toddlers:

  1. Hearing them say, “I love you.”
  2. Receiving hugs and slobbery kisses from them.
  3. The way they eagerly imitate everything you do (from the way you eat & drink to the way you scold the dog).
  4. Knowing that you are their security in times of distress.
  5. The privilege of training them to obey the Lord
  6. Losing yourself joyfully in sacrificing your body, time and energy to these little ones because they are so needy
  7. The complete and genuine joy in their faces when you come home…from a short trip to the grocery store.
  8. Hearing them say the darnedest things like – “Mommy, don’t worry.”
  9. Having a little shadow with you all day – they follow you even into the bathroom.
  10. Witnessing their amazing milestones – walking, talking, climbing, spinning, engaging in pretend play, making friends, saying their own prayers.

As Annelise would say – “Happy Bir-Bir!”

Last weekend we celebrated my older daughter Annelise’s 2nd birthday. I’m still in disbelief that my baby has somehow morphed into a walking, talking, jumping, giggly, bubble and balloon-loving, tantruming toddler. I never thought the day would come when she would sleep through the night. Well, now she sleeps from 8 pm to 8 am in her crib with the help of her bunny and her trusty thumb.

She has begun to string two words together – “more cracker”. She has started to actually play with other children and also engage in pretend play. She’ll pretend her bunny is a baby who asks her “hold hold?” and she’ll proceed to hold the bunny just like I hold her. She likes to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, especially the “howa howa” (“how I wonder”) parts.

She can be so sweet at times – hugging her baby sister tight. And darn right impossible at other times – yelling at the top of her lungs when she can’t do something exactly the way she wants it.

It’s been a bumpy road at times – especially when I was pregnant with Katelynn and so sick that I couldn’t even care for her. Our relationship only recently became stronger now that I’m no longer nauseous 24/7.

I am still waiting for the day she says, “I love you” back…but for now, I am totally smitten with the way she puckers her lips and blows pretend kisses when I say “Love you.”

It all goes by way too fast. So I try to remember this on sleepless nights with baby no. 2 who is still sleeping in bed with me at 6 months. I have to remember to enjoy the little moments and hold Katelynn tight before she starts crawling away from me!

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