Mamas to be: ever wonder what a day in the life of a toddler mom looks like? Well that’s preeeeetty ambitious of you—let’s start with simply a morning in the life of a toddler mom, shall we? Dissecting an entire day will no doubt have you wide-eyed and rocking back and forth in the fetal position, and we don’t want to be responsible for your inevitable anxiety attack.
And to all our toddler moms out there reading this nodding in silent agreement (or in not-so-silent agreement, yelling out “YEP” or maybe even “HELLZ YES” every other line), we really just want to give you a virtual fist-bump and a vat of wine—we’re in this circus act together. And, if we’re honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way. (Yes, we might be delusional, but it works for us, okay?)
You should meditate in the mornings, they say. Eat a well-balanced breakfast with an equal mix of protein, fiber and healthy fats, they say. You also should go for a brisk walk, pump out a few yoga poses and write about your feelings in a journal for approximately thirty minutes while sipping a cup of homemade matcha tea with collagen peptides in it to keep your wrinkles at bay, they say.
Welp, “they” were wrong. Welcome to a morning with a tiny human.
6:00am – Guttural screams come pouring through the monitor, giving me what I think might be a seizure and making me pee on myself a little (don’t let that alarm you, this is commonplace once you’ve shot a human out of your vagina). However, there is zero chance I’m getting out of this bed a minute before 7am, so I roll over and try to tune out the exact same sounds I heard in a war movie last weekend.
6:50am – Eventually she fell back asleep but now she’s up again, wailing and pacing the crib maniacally like a caged animal. I close my eyes tight for ten more minutes praying today isn’t the day she tries to catapult her body over the side of the crib using her Minnie Mouse doll as a booster. (I know this day is dangerously close, but I am most comfortable living my life in complete, blissful denial in most situations, and this is no exception.)
7:00am – I trudge upstairs still asleep (I don’t do mornings, which is unfortunate because she does the hell out of mornings) and open her door. Upon seeing me she immediately flings her body back down to the mattress, burying her head and assuming sleep position again. She then shrieks when I try to rescue her from the crib – like she wanted me to do for the past hour – because that’s what toddlers do: they scream like their fingernails are being plucked off one by one when they want something, and then they scream like their fingernails are being plucked off one by one when you finally give it to them. It makes zero sense and there is no rhyme or reason. The sooner you learn and accept that, the less time you spend crying while hiding in your closet.
7:02am – I attempt a diaper change but she’s writhing around and flailing every limb like she’s literally on fire. I say sternly, “Okay, you’ve let me no choice, you’re gonna make me pull out the belt!” which sounds like I’m a drunk abusive step-father from the 1950s, when in reality I’m just talking about the “seat belt” attached to her changing pad, which she absolutely hates. I strap the belt across her mid-section in an attempt to keep her still enough to wipe her butt and slap on a new diaper. I’m breathing heavily at this point and I’ve somehow already worked up a slight sweat—how can a 22-month-old have so much sheer, unbridled strength?! I try to tell myself I’ll appreciate it when she qualifies for the 2030 Olympics and shares her earnings with her parents because she feels guilty for making diaper changes so emotionally traumatic so many years ago.
7:10am – We finally get downstairs and I immediately gear up for the anarchy that is breakfast, or any mealtime, really. After first offering pancakes, then jelly toast, then yogurt, a plate of day-old chocolate chip cookies and a straight up tub of pudding with a straw, she declines every single morsel of sustenance and ends up chewing on a plastic Tupperware lid while crying, probably because she’s starving.
7:25am – I wave the white flag on breakfast and set her loose for her morning terrorizing of our dog, Milo. I sort of feel bad for Milo but it’s truly every man for himself in our household since we’ve entered Scout’s “spirited” phase, so I kind of slink into the wall and act like I don’t see anything, even though Milo’s “HELP ME” eyes are boring a hole into me.
7:40am – Has anyone ever tried to dress a toddler? Toddlers equate you putting a shirt on their torso with you breaking their arm in three different places. The tears that come with clothing their bodies are other-level. Much bartering ensues, mainly centered around giving her a bag of cookies if she agrees to wear pants today (which she accepts, because she is starving, because she still hasn’t eaten a crumb of food today).
7:47am – Mama already needs a break, so I turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and let her zone out for a few minutes while I attempt to eat a healthy breakfast (i.e. I just eat all of her breakfast leftovers because they are obviously way better than my smoothie). Then I slip into my trusty uniform: leggings, a tank top, dry shampoo (spray), more dry shampoo (powder), top knot, enough makeup to cover the zits and the bags, and my running shoes (which I will not run in). This is literally what I live in every single day, yet I continue to buy cute “real clothes” to just chill in my closet in hopes that someday I’ll have a self-imposed intervention and actually wear them.
7:58am – If she has school that day, I now toss a bunch of organic, stupidly expensive food from Whole Foods into her lunch box, none of which she will eat (obvi), and pack up her backpack.
8:00am – On Tuesday/Thursdays, we’re off to school at this time; on Monday/Wednesday/Friday, we’re plotting how to seize the day (and most likely hitting up one of THESE activities to save mama’s sanity).
Stay tuned for the next installment entitled “Timeline of the Mid-Morning With a Toddler” (I was serious about approaching the day in small increments, you guys. It’s safer for everyone that way.)