Parents Have Milestones, Too
As many of us with children know, there’s a profound difference between infancy and toddlerhood even though the age gap is small. Of course, there are the milestones that define major cognitive differences, emotional advances and social development on the journey from infancy to toddlerhood- talking, walking, eating. But we rarely discuss the differences and changes established in mothers, fathers and caretakers during this time.
These are what I like to call ‘parent milestones,’ and if you’ve hit the ten below, congratulations! Welcome to the chaotic, awesome mess that is life as the parent of a toddler!
- One day you realize you have to stop watching that raunchy, guilty pleasure of a show around your little one because they can somewhat comprehend it and fully repeat it.
- When you literally have to start biting your tongue after stepping on a Lego because you know your little one will grab onto to the one cuss word that comes out of your mouth and repeat it for the next two months. Especially at daycare and around the extra-conservative family members.
- You can no longer hide food from your little one once they’ve seen you with it because they’re now smart enough to know it’s still in your hand … or your mouth.
- You can finally pee in peace because you no longer have to bring your little one into the bathroom with you. Just kidding, now they can open the door themselves.
- In a bind, using some unicorn of a bribe you don’t plan to follow through with no longer works because your little one will actually remember it and call you out later.
- You can no longer put off quitting those bad habits and making those lifestyle changes because you notice your little one’s actions and personality are starting to look awfully familiar.
- Making any noise that sounds remotely fart-related no longer goes unnoticed and is instead put on blast for everyone to know.
- All decor or items displayed below three feet must either be moved up to a higher spot, picked up 27 times a day or broken.
- If you dare to look away for more than two seconds in Target, your little one is no longer there when you look back, and you have a small panic attack until you see them turning the corner down aisle three, 50 feet away.
- At some point, you had to give up teething as an excuse and justify your little one’s behavior as ‘terrible twos’ or ‘threenager’ instead.
Met all of those Milestones?
You’re embarking upon one of the most trying stages of parenthood (among every other stage of parenthood). Although that may seem discouraging, it’s also one of the most hilarious, honest and bittersweet stages, too. Throughout your days, you’ll often find yourself hiding in the corner of a closet trying to inhale a square of dark chocolate in peace. You may feel like pulling your hair out in an effort not to scream. This is offset by the moments when your toddlers melt your heart, respond in a way-too-adult manner, or finally start doing all of those things you’ve been trying to teach them for literally their entire lives.
Those offsetting moments make this stage one of the greatest.
So, go forth proud parent and take on the toddler years with class, closets full of laundry, sinks full of dishes, floors full of toys, clothes full of stains and occasional meltdowns– whether those meltdowns are from the toddlers or parents is neither here nor there–but know you’ll come out the other end stronger than you ever thought possible.
Feel free to tell me about your own parent milestones in the comments or share stories you may have that fit the ten milestones listed above.