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Flunking Toddlerhood: There Are Worse Things

By Lori Garcia |

Your mommy's a failure, yay!

Mothering a toddler is hard, yo.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, mothering a toddler is totally awesome too, but I’m talking about the hard stuff right now.

So I’m pretty much flunking toddlerhood and this will probably go down on my permanent record.

Toddlers exhibit lots of undesirable behaviors as they navigate through their tyrannical need for independence. I know it’s all a normal part of toddler development but just because it’s normal, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. I used to get all “What does this mean? Will he grow up to kill small animals? Is this normal?” about everything, but I’m over it. I’m so over it.

With two kids, a full-time job and my neighbor’s ever-barking dog, I think I may have finally reached the point of sweet submission.

Yep, I gave up trying to figure it all out. Peace out to the fear that every naughty behavior has some deeper psychological meaning. Goodbye to the worry of a dinner left unfinished. So long to the idea of an afternoon nap. I have to believe there are worse things.

Does the fate of the free world hang in the balance while my toddler decides whether or not to eat his broccoli? I’m going to go with probably not (I really hope I’m right about that).

I’m not down for a life of constant warfare, so in the game of toddlerhood, I’m choosing my battles.

My personal toddler battles worth fighting for include: honesty, kindness, tolerance, respect, health & safety and hard work. These are the biggies in my house and the rest of it — the picky eating, cleaning up messes and nighttime struggles — we’ll deal with all that stuff somehow; we always do.

I’m not giving up. I’m not giving in. I’m choosing peace.

Mom and Dad are still as large and in charge as we ever were, we’re just focused on the bigger picture and honestly, it feels pretty fantastical.

My only regret: Not flunking toddlerhood sooner.

Flunking toddlerhood, totally genius or totally stupid? Sound off!

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About Lori Garcia


Lori Garcia

Lori Garcia is a writer and mother of two living and loving in Southern California. When she's not fussing with her bangs, you can find her shaking her groove thing on her personal blog, Mommyfriend where she almost never combines true tales of motherhood and mayhem with her degree in child development. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lori's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Flunking Toddlerhood: There Are Worse Things

  1. By Word of Mouth Musings says:

    Its not flunking, its choosing the battle, letting them grow and keeping your sanity ;)

  2. bikerdad says:

    are you flunking or both you and your spouse flunking toddlerhood?

    it sounds like you have found realistic goals and success in your family. i feel there are too many influences on families and parenting these days. you are the expert on your child+family, embrace it, relax, enjoy, and tune out all the other stuff.

  3. JamieAnne says:

    It’s about picking your battles. I think you’re doing a brilliant job!

  4. shelia butler says:

    Great post and I SOOO love the battles that you have chosen. We are on the same path. Stay strong and remember that it’s about the journey ( or so that’s what my Statistics professor use to say).

  5. Greta @gfunkified says:

    I think it’s genius. I have four, the oldest being almost six years old. He made it through toddlerhood, as did my second. So, the third? Yeah, she’ll make it through relatively unscathed. There are too many things to worry about already, and I think your list of “battles” is a good one.

  6. Ren says:

    That is the most insightful parenting concept I have heard since the sacred “5 S’s”
    Thank you so much, I am writing those “battles” down and posting them on my fridge to remind me!

  7. Hopes@Staying Afloat! says:

    I can totally relate! Choosing your battles is definitely the way to go to save your sanity and your voice! HA!

  8. Hillary says:

    Genius! Love this post. I’m getting a big fat F right now too! What a relief though….

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