Parenting The Podcast

Raining for Days, Toddlers, and Podcast Update

June 18, 2019

The weather here has been kind of lame. It has literally been raining for days — I can’t really recall a day without rain/a thunderstorm for at least the past 10 days or so. It’s even raining (slightly) INSIDE of our (rental!) property which is . . . not good. We are awaiting an evaluation of the roof, which I am quite thankful is not actually our roof.

We had a lovely weekend, though it feels rather superfluous to discuss it now that it’s Tuesday. (side note: how is it already June 18? Didn’t the month just start!?). We celebrated Josh’s parents’ 50th anniversary, and there was a lot of family fun. I reflected on the fact that attending family gatherings with a toddler is kind of a pain. There were many moments when everyone was chatting happily and I was alone, refereeing said toddler. In retrospect it was still a very fun weekend and I have pleasant memories of the event. But my experiencing self was mostly tired, and kind of bored (at times), and jealous of those not wrangling toddlers.

Which is why I am wondering whether I will feel the same way as Lagliv (PS: she’s back after a long break! MISSED her blog so much!) when I have Big Kids like she does (it’s funny, because their family is essentially ours in terms of kid spacing, but projected a mere ~4 years into the future). I have this weird fierce love/dread thing going on with toddlerhood. I am so physically connected — almost addicted — to G. I love hugging her, snuggling with her, reading to her, playing with her, nursing her (yes still, mostly because it makes her so calm and snuggly while it is happening). I do not love following her around during the day when I am trying to accomplish . . . anything other than those activities.

Do most people just forget about the hard parts? I know that many people forget the tough parts about residency. I listen to my fellow attending wax nostalgically about long (LONG) shifts. Maybe it’s because I have my writing to look back on, but if you pull up August 2008 (my first of 2 memorable months serving item in the PICU as a resident), there is very little I wrote that is positive. I appear to have written 10 frantic pep talks in between posts filled with despair. Yet I don’t really remember the negativity all that vividly, other than the sleep deprivation part (though to be fair, I think this was the factor that colored the rest of my experience).

Anyway. I guess I’m trying to say that I find parenting toddlers equally magical and trying. I am going to miss this stage, but I also look forward to the next one, even with Bigger Kids / Bigger Problems / etc. Maybe I’m just the kind of person who will be better at solving Bigger Problems than I am at suspending nearly all of my own activities/household management tasks when G is awake and I am with her.

(One might ask what Josh’s role is. If we are both home and not working on a weekend, he’s often the one with the big kids. Not sure why but sometimes it’s a natural split — like on Sunday he went to Home Depot and worked on some house stuff with the big kids for hours while I had G, and it actually was great — we played and then she did entertain herself for enough time to enable me to cook dinner.)

Anyway. Am I the only one who read LL’s post (and this is NOT a dig against LL or her experience, I love reading her thoughts!) and thought — what is wrong with me that I DO find toddler parenting so challenging and all-consuming and just . . . a lot? And G is not even a difficult toddler, as toddlers go. She’s pretty chill and sweet although she does not like to stay in any one place for more than about 5 minutes (including her high chair . . . she will proclaim “OUT!” and dramatically rip off her bib. Sigh).

C’s truck gets a second life!
This lasted about 5 minutes, but it was super cute
She kept finding the rooks and saying “horsey!”
PS I have no idea how to play chess
so sweet

In other news, our (much-requested) Frugal Tips Episode (#98) is up! We picked our favorite tips (and your favorite tips) and compiled them into one ep, but there were so many we may feature a sequel at some point. Also, a personal finance-themed guest may be in a future lineup. This is also our very first episode with an ad, about 15 minutes in. Hopefully this will not detract from anyone’s enjoyment of the podcast. I know that personally, having the ads makes me feel a little bit better about spending the (fairly sizable) amount of time and effort that I do on the ‘cast, kind of like this blog. There really is something oddly satisfying about having a side gig that is centered around creativity and connection. I like it.

43 Comments

  • Reply Omdg June 18, 2019 at 7:48 am

    Lol. I stopped blogging during training because I noticed I had literally nothing positive to say for months at a time, and then occasionally people would make unhelpful comments which made things worse. Anything positive I had to say at the time was manufactured and fake. I also worried that a future employer would see it and think I was weak and whiny, because as you said, people forget, and a lot of them (maybe even doctors in particular) are not especially empathetic. So yeah.

    I love having a big kid SO MUCH. I miss some of the snuggles, but it is so wonderful to be able to take Dyl with me to do stuff and have conversations with her. I liked her as a toddler too, but I do not miss the time that we had to make up weekend activities for ourselves to get out of the house to prevent ourselves from going insane, and being a slave to the nap schedule.

  • Reply Ellie June 18, 2019 at 7:48 am

    If something is wrong with you for finding toddler years hard, then something is wrong with me too! 🙂 My daughter is a month older than G. and I could write the same stuff as you recount about her. She is quite an easy child too but I find it equally demanding to be constantly watching her (she is way more adventurous than her older brother and has already tried more dangerous moves than he ever did even being 4!). People often complain about the first months with babies but to me, this was probably the best period. I was lucky to have children who slept well at night, were quickly regular with naps and when awake, could just lie on a play map and not scream out if I was disappearing from the room. The hardest part for me started when they began crawling and walking and require much more supervision.

    I totally get your frustration with the family party. We were recently at my birthday party and I have barely spoken to anyone since I was just following my daughter around and stopping her from climbing the stairs, getting out of the garden onto the street, etc. (Our friends have older children so their house is no longer kid-proof!) I felt very resentful after that. The key for me is really to set low expectations for that kind of event. I don’t go there thinking “great I’ll have a good time with my friends/family”. If I want quality time with relatives, it needs to happen without having the kids around. It also helps of older kids are there at the party and are willing (and trustworthy enough) to watch the younger ones for a while.

    So low expectations and trying to see the positive in all moments of life, that’s how I am trying to endure those changes. Good luck and keep on sharing your thoughts. It’s great not to feel alone!

  • Reply BPS June 18, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Hi Sarah! I have a toddler, he is almost 19 months, no other kiddos yet. And I am right there with you! LOVE this age (for me, it’s gotten incrementally better the further away from the newborn months), but EGAD it can be challenging. The “UP UP UP” once in a highchair, non-stop movement, being so easily stimulated, etc. I am grateful he’s on the easier side of things generally (so far), but it can be a lot at times. Just wanted to share some empathy.

    Y’alls podcast brings me so much joy. Bring on the ads! 🙂 Excited to listen to this one.

  • Reply LL June 18, 2019 at 9:40 am

    I’m not sure if it’s because Landon’s first year was so hellishly hard and/or because he was a super mellow toddler and those are the years we discovered parenting could be fun, but I really truly adored the toddler phase with all three kids. Cora’s first few years with us, when the big kids were 6-7 and 3-4, were some of the happiest of my life. There were a lot of physical demands, but their world- and our world with them- was very small and simple and cozy. We controlled their schedule and whole universe and now when Landon comes home with some new crazy thing a friend told him at school (“if you get an abortion you go to hell; also, what’s an abortion”) or I discover my 8-year-old accidentally saw horrifically explicit and violent porn on an accidentally unlocked computer, I do long for the simplicity of “I’m mad at gravity because it made my ball roll down the hill I pushed it towards.”

    I LOVE having big kids to talk, travel, and experience life with and I wouldn’t trade the phase of life we’re currently in for anything, but the problems of big kids are just so much harder that I look back on my complaints of the struggles of a 2-year-old and think, oh man, I really had no idea.

    (So short version: love love love the day to day schedule and adventures and freedom of having big kids, but I find the challenges of this age – because every age has them – to be much harder. They are just so much more complicated and nuanced and occasionally brain/heart-breaking. There’s also the understanding that your 12-year-old is going to remember how you handled so many of their questions and that adds another level of “oh please let me get this right” that makes me sometimes wish I could just cheerfully say “looks like you need a nap!” and be done with it :P).

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 18, 2019 at 10:01 am

      Love your perspective even when we are in a different spot right now! (Also- is school age but pre puberty the sweet spot?!? Can I just keep all my kids 5-7 forever please??!)

  • Reply gwinne June 18, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Parenting toddlers is hard, absolutely. But it also comes with a lot of joy and snuggles. Parenting bigger kids is also hard, in different ways. This is not one of those ‘I have older kids so I know more’ messages….but I’d trade my teen for the toddler version of herself any day 🙂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 18, 2019 at 10:04 am

      But would you trade a Saturday of your life (or say 10 Saturdays in a row bc clearly one would be a novelty) parenting a toddler vs a teen?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 18, 2019 at 10:04 am

      (ps not challenging you, just genuinely curious!)

      • Reply LL June 18, 2019 at 11:59 am

        I would trade for one weekend. I would NOT trade for 10.

        Big kids are very awesome and 90% of the time that’s what I write about. I love that I can read my own books during the day and attend parties and have full and complete grownup conversations and all the other fabulous things you gain to compensate when the mental aspect of parenting gets harder (or at least more nuanced and complicated!).

        But one weekend of snuggles and naps and no existential crises and questions with no good answers? Yes! And then I’ll joyfully take back my big kids and appreciate them all the more 😋.

        • Reply Allison June 18, 2019 at 1:53 pm

          As someone who reads both of you, and has younger (4 + 2, not sure if there will be more 🙂 ) kids, I am loving these comments!
          I know it will be more challenging emotionally, and I love babies, so I’m in a constant state of not wishing time to move faster/being nostalgic for when they were littler/looking forward to no naps and greater independence for all.

      • Reply gwinne June 18, 2019 at 9:46 pm

        OOOH. That’s a tough question, really. In a given specific moment (like a Saturday afternoon), I hear you. There’s no question that right now my Saturdays are(more mine than they were when I had a toddler. Parenting a toddler in any given moment is HARD and stressful in the can-I-keep-her-alive sort of way, but the solutions are fairly straightforward: feed, sleep, snuggle, etc. Parenting a teen is often easy in the moment (like, I couldn’t give my kid a ride today so she took the BUS!!!!) but philosophically challenging….and frankly not as emotionally rewarding. (I can’t remember the last time LG let me hug her. She pretty much literally doesn’t talk to me. Teen angst is HIGH.) So, yeah, I’d probably say give me the 10 Saturdays with the toddler. (We recently borrowed a friend’s toddler for the afternoon and it was super fun….but I’m not her mother.) I do need to be clear that I love my kid, and there are definite cool things in the person I see developing. She is a brilliant artist and musician and savvy in ways I definitely wasn’t at her age. I’m hoping something magical happens in the next few years.

        But so much is individual. Tiny Boy might be much easier as a teen? I wouldn’t want to revisit his early years for anything the sleep deprivation was so awful.

        To your other question: yes, I think the golden age of childhood is elementary school (5-10). Tiny Boy is yummy right now. LG was fabulous too at that age.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 19, 2019 at 6:09 am

          I totally get that (and I see it in many of my patients and their interactions with their families, so it shouldn’t be a surprise). Moms of teens typically look … piqued about the whole thing. I tend to really notice the interactions in my diabetes pts, because I get to know them well AND the family dynamics. It’s also interesting that even the kids who seem so angelic at 10 seem to get tough when those hormones really hit. The worst seems to be ages 12-16 or so (I often notice that things seem to improve by senior year).

          Sullen 15 year old vs reckless 2 year old . . . so different. “Parenting” as a concept is almost silly b/c the job varies so much . . .

          • gwinne June 19, 2019 at 10:58 am

            Sarah, yup! The verb ‘parenting’ is an odd one. When things are going well with the teen, they are AMAZING (riding the bus solo! being left home alone!) but I worry much more than I did with a toddler (what does she DO with her time? what is really going on in the woods?!). I do think 15 is better (for my kid) than 13-14; some of that is likely hormonal (some legit psych issues spiked just around menarche), some of it is high school vs. middle school and some amount of maturation.

            Still, some of it is the same battle of “I want to strap myself into the carseat but I don’t know how” from age 2, only now it’s not carseat, it’s the actual car.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 18, 2019 at 9:58 am

    We have a 15-month old and while I like this stage more than the baby stage, it’s also harder because he has such a short attention span! Luckily the weather has been pretty nice here in Minnesota so we get out for lots of walks – often 2 on a weekend as stroller walks are something we both love. We only have one child so my husband and I share the responsibility of taking care of him. But I think when/if we have a second, he’ll focus on the older kid and I will focus on the younger one (when we divide and conquer, which makes sense!). I think it’s good to remind ourselves that we can love a stage and also find it really challenging/difficult!

  • Reply Sees a June 18, 2019 at 10:11 am

    I have 3 little kids (ages 5 and under) and I also read lag liv and I also love reading her thoughts usually, and I also was a little unsettled by that post! Obviously she is a different person with different children so I don’t expect us to have the same experience, but I did wonder how things could feel so completely different to me. I’m exhausted by the nonstop physical work, complete lack of time to myself (I’m a former lawyer and current SAHM), and constantly being needed by someone.

    I do think you’re right that we tend to forget the bad parts. My sister has 3 teenagers and she is always saying little kids, little problems to me. That’s true – she has to worry about drugs and social media and college, while I’m stressing over potty training and speech therapy. But one day we went out to dinner as a family and she watched as I took my 5 and 3 year olds to the bathroom twice (not at the same time of course), kept picking up the baby’s toys off the floor, repeatedly told my 3 year old to sit back down and tried to distract him with various toys, cut up everyone’s food only to be told they didn’t like it, and fed the baby, leaving me with time to take maybe a few bites of my own dinner. She jumped in to help of course, but that dinner was exhausting, and as we were leaving the restaurant, she said that she had forgotten how hard this stage really is.

    It’s tiresome to care for little ones, and yet they are so sweet and lovable that I am also trying to treasure these moments because it does go so fast.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 18, 2019 at 11:09 am

      Yessssssss. All of this.

  • Reply Ashley G. June 18, 2019 at 10:30 am

    I think it really just depends on the parents and the kids. Mine are still small (oldest is 5), but I also hear people talk about how easy/wonderful newborns are and I just giggle to myself. Nobody that has experienced a severe case of colic or had babies that didn’t sleep more than 2 to 3 hours at a time for nearly a year says things like that. Meanwhile, I find my 18 month old pretty fun. I’d like to think there’s joy and struggles in every phase (which I think LL does a good job of acknowledging), just some you’re more suited towards. For example, I am bad at being sleep deprived. I am well-aware of this now 🙂

    • Reply Natalie June 18, 2019 at 3:28 pm

      Agree so much with this! Both my kids (ages 8 and 6 months) were colicky for three solid months each. It was pure hell and the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, despite having lived through very challenging situations–military deployment in a war zone for both me and my husband; medical school and residency for me.

      I find the phrase “little kids, little problems” so obnoxiously condescending and so clearly spoken only by people who have never experienced a colicky baby. With the big age gap between my kids I have perspective now that I didn’t have before: I love each stage of parenting after the newborn stage more and more. The toddler stage for my strong willed daughter was physically exhausting, but so much more rewarding than those early months. Once she started elementary school parenting actually became fun! So I guess the moral of the story is that everyone is different, and it is OK find things challenging that others relish, and vice versa.

      • Reply Laura Vanderkam June 18, 2019 at 5:19 pm

        I love that, having been through a war-zone deployment, you’ve decided the colicky baby was harder. Maybe we need to give medals for parents who survive that!

        • Reply Natalie June 20, 2019 at 11:12 am

          Yes! My heart goes out to all parents who have had a colicky baby. It always gets better, but when you’re in the thick of it, it’s the hardest thing in the world.

  • Reply Erica June 18, 2019 at 10:33 am

    I don’t think anyone ever finds toddlers to be easy. Maybe their problems are smaller (I threw my cup and now it is gone, etc.) but they are all the time. Also so much of this seems to be down to disposition. I know toddlers who will, actually, sit still. Or who don’t go rifling through any shelf they can reach. Or who will sit still and play with chess pieces for five minutes! My own 22-mo, on the other hand, is basically the embodiment of chaos; he has not stopped moving in at least the last 10 months, including when he is asleep.

  • Reply Amanda June 18, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I think I’m in the sweet spot with a 6 year old, though he has been saying stuff he learns/hears about at school that requires some conversations that I didn’t have when he was in pre-K. I found the toddler years exhausting and I imagine would even more so now since I’ve seen how great the 4-6 age is.

  • Reply Jen June 18, 2019 at 10:52 am

    My kids are 13 and 9 and I LOVE having bigger kids. Granted, we haven’t reached the full teenage years yet. But right now they are so fun and quirky and I love watching them grow into big people. I don’t miss the toddler years one bit. 🙂

  • Reply Erika June 18, 2019 at 11:06 am

    I can see both sides of this. I have a 5 year old and a toddler-like 3 year old and am about to have one more. I find the toddler phase of not being able to socialize or do really anything I want while in the toddler’s presence immensely frustrating (also, sleep deprivation). However, some of the challenges of bigger kids are starting to creep in with our oldest and I worry/loose sleep over these WAY more and I think it will only get worse. I think I’ll be happier overall with my life with bigger kids, but will also be more anxious about how I am parenting. Hopefully I’ll at least be sleeping by then which makes everything easier to deal with.

  • Reply Anon June 18, 2019 at 11:26 am

    My toddler still won’t sleep past 6AM and sometimes wakes up as early as in the 4s so I’m praying the older years are a little easier. Love this thread though, good food for thought!

  • Reply Erica S June 18, 2019 at 11:32 am

    So now that we have an almost-2 year old and a 7 year old, I can see the benefits of hanging out with both. The toddler is adorable and soft and cuddly (and I also feel physically addicted to that) and says cute things and everything they do is new and magical, whereas the 7 year old is reading, has conversations about books and life, and can play board games. Dan definitely prefers playing with the older kid to the toddler wrangling. I don’t mind it. And if I’m being honest, I’d much rather read board books and mindlessly push Thomas trains around a track than pretend to be a Pokemon catcher. Pretend play is NOT my forte, and that holds me back from really being able to PLAY with older kids. I am getting anxious for Bennett to grow up so that we can do big kid things again and not have to plan around naps, but at the same time want him to stay this adorable sweet age forever.

  • Reply Erica S June 18, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Okay so I just read the LagLiv post. I really can relate to it. In addition to the above-mentioned inability to play pretend with kids, my 7 year old is a big ball of FEELINGS, and I am not. I find this exhausting and I would much rather deal with an irrational toddler than an emotional big kid.

  • Reply KGC June 18, 2019 at 11:56 am

    One of the attendings (peds genetics) that i woke with offhandedly commented once that from birth to 3 years, kids are basically on a suicide mission and parenting is mostly about keeping them safe and alive. I don’t know why, but this somehow validated some of the frustrations that you wrote about because it reminded me that the requirement for constant supervision is part of the toddler territory, that it would get better, and that I really needed to just adjust my expectations for what is feasible on the weekends or in social situations. Not sure if this will work for you, but it did somehow cause a necessary attitude adjustment in me. Or maybe it was just the recognition from someone else that these years are hard? Whatever it was, it did help shift my mental state. Hopefully the rest of the comments from others commiserating will also help yours!

    • Reply Aly June 24, 2019 at 4:52 am

      Thank you! Helpful!

  • Reply Nikki June 18, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    You know, I really think this experience depends so much on the toddler, the siblings, the parents – we’re all human so there’s so many different dynamics at play in the experience and so much varying perspective balancing anyone’s experience! For example, I get saved a lot because my 17 month old and 3 year old play together really well – I honestly don’t know what I would do if I just had one or the other, I would be stuck doing a lot more entertainment myself and would not enjoy that – so maybe always have babies in pairs? haha! Regardless, I don’t think anyone would ever say toddlers aren’t hard work (I remember seeing this quote a lot on social media a few months ago: “Check on your friends with 2 year olds. They are not ok” and laughing). You’re so good at strategizing, I think you can use that to help in some situations too. For example, my brother also has a 2.5 year old. We have all temporarily accepted that restaurants with all 3 little ones is not fun. For Father’s Day brunch we joined forces and ordered in from an amazing restaurant, made some coffee and mimosas and had a great time while the 1.5, 2.5, and 3 year old played in the play area – later we all moved outside together to watch them scooter (yes, my 17 month old has already figured out how to scooter – the drive to keep up with big sis is no joke!). We’ve been patting ourselves on the back for our genius approach to Father’s Day ever since. When we go to the grandparents, they rent a little bounce house for them – seriously, haha and it’s great because they’re kind of contained in there too! Remember when you talked about enjoying kids birthday parties because you get to socialize with the parents? I totally agree! I think I dislike toddler parenting the most when I’m alone with them for many hours – if my husband is also home, that totally solves the problem. If not, I need to seek out other parents for my own social fun and mental health. So the other thing that saves a hard days of toddler parenting for me, is a play date with a family with kids the same age. So wonderful to let the kids run around together and hear someone else who also struggled with nap that day, it’s got to be akin to a great therapy session. I could keep rambling with my strategies, but I’m sure you have lots of tricks up your sleeve already. Agreeing that toddlers can be hard and wonderful at the same time, and I imagine it’s even tricker with a bigger age spread of kids. I personally love the 1 to 2 year old age, I feel so free when I’m finally not nursing at parks and juggling multiple naps a day, so wonderfully freeing! But I don’t disagree with anything that you said was hard, too.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm

      Love this!!! Agree w it harder when either alone OR trying to do things that are more target to my older kids’ ages. Unfortunately in Joshs fam we have the youngest kids by far (no overlap!).

      • Reply Nikki June 18, 2019 at 3:16 pm

        OMG though just read the blog post you linked to and now officially never want my children to grow up. Yipes, I need to become much wiser before the big kid/teen years, I am zero percent prepared for any of that!

  • Reply Andrea June 18, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Is it okay that I find every stage of parenting hard so far and have yet to find my sweet spot?? Mine is 3 years old 3 months and it has been hard from day 1!!! Hence having an only…. can’t fathom my stress levels having another.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 18, 2019 at 3:08 pm

      I think it’s totally ok!!!

    • Reply Natalie June 20, 2019 at 11:27 am

      Andrea, I was in your shoes for years. My daughter’s first 4 years were tremendously challenging, and I wondered what was wrong with me compared to what seemed like everyone else going on to have more than one child. When my daughter turned 7 we finally felt ready to handle another. She has grown into a strong, athletic, and fun kid. My son was also challenging as a newborn but is much calmer as an infant. Each child is different and it does get easier as they get older!

  • Reply sophia June 18, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Clearly this post hit a nerve with a lot of parents (myself included). My 3 are basically the same age as yours (7.5 years, 3.5 years, 16 months) and things are hard. I love my spirited little toddler but OMG it’s hard to keep her safe. I can’t have adult conversations if I’m out with her bc she will kill herself and she’s so attached to me she wails when I want to pee with the door closed, she wants to eat constantly bc she refuses to sit in her chair longer than 10 seconds. It’s a lot. She recently aspirated a carrot while 2 adults were actively watching her and required a bronch + PICU admission. She’s fine obviously but i’m constantly on when she’s awake and it’s exhausting. FWIW, I found 1-2 years to be difficult for the older kids also.

    I did read LL’s post and that sounds really hard too. As a psychiatrist I am very worried about technology and social media’s effects on kids (and adults!) and glad I can control exposures for now. I hadn’t even considered those things and my oldest is close in age to Claire. My oldest asks for his own ipad/phone sometimes and…nope!

    Maybe the grass is always greener but this is not an easy stage though I’m sure I’ll be nostalgic for parts of it once they’re older.

  • Reply Beth Cubbage June 18, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    My two are close in age to your older 2 I think (7 and almost 5). I’m not into the “older kids” phase but I’m further removed from toddler parenting since I only have the two. I’ll say this: for all of the physical and mental work that parenting babies and toddlers required, it did seem simpler to me – less emotionally complex. Parenting toddlers is all about control and, to a point, you can control their environment. You know where they are at all times and you are still their primary touchpoint in the world. As kids get older – and I’m sure you’ve seen this too – they get more independent and spend more time outside of your parental sphere of influence. I think that requires a more delicate balance because it all seems very high stakes with sex, drugs, mental health, etc but you also need to walk the line of allowing your kids to learn how to make choices. Again, I’m not there yet, but that seems very emotionally challenging. Also – a caveat – since I’m an introvert I always liked having an excuse to take a break from socializing! So maybe that colors my memory somewhat.

  • Reply Lori C June 18, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Sarah, AMEN! I have 2 boys, ages 4 and 2 in August, and the little one is so adorably cuddly and giggly that I am addicted to squeezing and kissing him, but oh. My. Goodness. It is SO hard because we can’t do much of anything with him! He’s much more spirited than my older guy and loves to yell, run around, hit his brother, arch his back in frustration, and he’s not even two yet. I vacillate between the same two feelings. He may be our last little one (I’m 39 in March) so I try to savor it but can’t help but wish the time away sometimes. Like you, outings can quickly go south and most family parties, dinners out, etc leave me chasing him while everyone relaxes. Grrrr. Trying to savor his cuteness but it is hard and I feel like the older ages won’t be so trying/frustrating.

  • Reply Erin June 18, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    I feel about babies the way you feel about toddlers. I have two kids, both of whom we described as having “hated being babies” — one who slept infrequently and had reflux, and one who refused bottles. I absolutely LOVE the toddler phase and find it relatively easy, especially compared to the baby phase. (I was by myself on a flight today with my almost 2 year old and my 4.5 year old and I…mostly enjoyed it?!) We are on the fence about a third but I’d be for sure all-in if I could give birth to a 14-month-old. 😂

  • Reply Jess June 18, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I agree with you about the sweet spot-I think about age 4-9 is just awesome. They are more self sufficient, but still cute. They are learning so quickly-to read, ride bikes, swim, etc. They still are easily entertained.

    I think it depends on the person whether they prefer 0-3 or 10+. I love my big kids, but I will say I have been surprised at how much time they still require-and it is harder to outsource. I feel like I spend my evenings and weekends driving them around-not too much different time wise from chasing them around.

    I think in general the day to day is easier with teens, but just a few weeks ago I told my husband I was really missing reading brown bear on the weekends now that I am spending them doing Latin declensions with my 7th grader! Yay for summer and a break from homework!

  • Reply Marci Gilbert June 19, 2019 at 7:24 am

    When i can focus on her (almost 20 months) completely, I find this age enjoyable. But when i am trying to do literally anything else, it is very frustrating like you said. Hard to get dressed, make dinner, focus on another child, etc. I love watching her explore and learn and try new things, but keeping a toddler alive is hard work!

  • Reply Heather Johnson June 22, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Trailing toddlers at a party is not the best part of parenting, but you will forget the less enjoyable moments and one day not even know where your kids are at those kinds of parties:)

  • Reply Meredith June 22, 2019 at 7:24 pm

    I have a two year old and honestly, there’s not much about the toddler age I’m enjoying on a daily basis. I love him to pieces, but it’s HARD. I appreciate the milestones and I get a big thrill watching his language and reasoning develop, but the lack of sleep, the tantrums, the toddler logic…nope. At this stage, I’d just love to have a shower by myself without interruptions!

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