A while ago I wrote a lighthearted post on being a frazzled mom. I was in the thick of learning how to mother, while still balancing the rest of my responsibilities. Everyone else seemed to do this so well but there were days were I felt like I was drowning. Searching for the humor helped me get through those long, and often, demanding days.

Fast forward a few years and now I'm toddlering even more, or uh, I have a toddler.

Here is my updated version: You Know You're a Toddlering Mom If...

• You can bribe your child into helping you with small tasks by saying, "Big, strong Monster trucks always clean up their toys." or "Big, strong Monster trucks like setting the table. Now start your engine, sir!"

• You explain, in detail, to your child that, "_________ (name of someone he/she looks up to) goes poo and pee in the potty." hoping that it will result in successful toilet training and will not become a dinnertime topic the next time that said person super hero visits.

• As your child cups your face in his palms, your heart begins to melt. You live for moments like this, moments where he gazes deep into your eyes and tells you how much he loves you. But as he opens his mouth, instead of the heartfelt affection you were hoping for, his gaze moves down to your nostrils and he states, rather matter of fact, that you have boogers you need to take care of.

• You feel like the child is your undoing, for everything you accomplish he is able to reverse within a matter of minutes.
... Just after you finish vacuuming the carpet he brings in his sandbox toys and begins intense excavating, rolling dirt into the carpets so deep it will never come out.
... As you stand back to admire the windows, all sparkling and clean, you see a small tousled-hair, sleepy-eyed face pressed up against the glass on the other side, his nap is over bringing an end to the clear panes.
... You tie his shoes as you're heading out the door, then think of one more thing you need to grab. Upon returning to the entry where you left him, his the shoes are still there but the boy is nowhere to be found.

• When driving down the road instinct kicks in and you point out the Mack semi trucks, big tractors, and cows grazing in the pasture to whoever is riding along with you, small child or not.

• You find yourself humming The Wheels on the Bus as you prepare dinner, and for the rest of the night the verses play through your mind on repeat. The mommy on the bus says shhhh, shhhh, shhhh... all through the town!

• You know that bobby pins can turn little boys with big imaginations into firetrucks with hair like water hoses; that a Messerschmidt is an airplane and a Zeppelin is a blimp; and that a pat of butter in a plastic tub, when placed on a his head can transform a small boy into an ambulance or police car or any other vehicle with a bubble-light siren.

• Every trip to town you are reminded that you need to stop for ice cream, get the oil changed, and go to the car wash... and yes, in that order.

• And finally, you know that two hours of time away can bring perspective to an entire week of seemingly endless days and interrupted nights like nothing else can, that this messy and chaotic life, it has become your normal, and you would miss it immensely if it happened to be a bit more orderly and quiet, and without your child.

To all you fellow moms toddlering along with me, know you are not alone and you're doing well! This messy and humorous, and a times daunting and exhausting task we've been giving to raise the next generation is a high and holy calling. So as you wipe spilled Cheerios and milk off the floor or fix a bruise with a single kiss, know that you are shaping the Kingdom, and the King will meet you right there in the middle of it to equip you for the task at hand -- now pick up your Mr. Clean Magic Erasers and go forth!


  1. Ayla is just now starting to crawl and get around, and I know that it's the start of the "get into everything" phase for us now. And I KNOW I have a lot to grow in as a mom in being gracious and understanding and patient when she makes a mess or dirties up the just-cleaned floor or learns to start exercising her own will...but I'm hoping I'm able to take it all in stride like you do. :) You're a good mama, Sarah!

  2. I love this piece of writing so much and am maaaaybe in the beginning stages of understanding as my late bloomer son is finally starting to be mobile and messy. You're such a good mama. Oh, and please keep writing. :)

  3. yes! this is so good. my favorite may be the "singing the wheels on the bus as you make dinner" and the "pointing out things as you drive to anyone with you". shucks, ive done both :) The latest that husband laughs at me for is referring to myself as "mommy" when i was talking to him. ugh. but i do it all day to the little man so it just came out too naturally :)