I’m the mom of two toddlers which means I spend a lot of time worrying that my kids will never grow up. I also spend a lot of time worrying that I’m screwing up my kids, but that’s a different post altogether.
Thanks to social media and the internet and celebrities and moms at the park, I spend a lot of time feeling insecure that my kids aren’t keeping up. They should be doing more, talking more, eating more, eating less, etc. And I’ve made a decision: I’m not going to worry anymore.
And I want you, fellow parents of toddlers, to stop worrying, too. One day soon, your baby is going to grow up and they will be completely normal contributing members of society. It’s going to happen so why not take a deep breath and—yes, you guessed it— let it go. Here are just a few things we should stop worrying about today:
1. Your kid will someday learn to use the potty and won’t poop his pants forever. I’m in the process of potty training my son. He sits on the potty roughly 112 times a day with zero success. He begins peeing all over Mr. Potato Head, I rush him to the $5 IKEA potty, he sits for a second, then stands, and proclaims, “All done!” with nary a drop of urine in there. It’s frustrating, annoying, and smelly. But it won’t always be like this. Aside from a shart gone wrong, I’ve never pooped my pants as an adult and I don’t know many that have. Eventually he’ll get it and eventually I’ll be done with diapers FOREVER.
2. Your kid will someday stop using a pacifier. How many juniors in high school do you know who use a binkie while they’re taking their SATs? My guess is not many—unless it’s a double dog dare in which case more power to them. I’m the only one who isn’t concerned that my 2.5 year old still chomps on a pacifier for most of the day and it’s because I know at some point she’ll give it up. Your child will, too.
3. Your kid will someday ask to eat something other than chicken nuggets (or frozen waffles or bananas or whatever). All of us have grown to enjoy certain foods as we, and our palettes, mature. Additionally, many of us eat our vegetables even if they’re not the tastiest simply because we know it’s the right thing and the healthy thing to do. Your child is just going through a phase and eventually the musical number you perform where the carrots and broccoli do a little dance will entice your children to eat them. There will come a day and it is coming sooner than you think.
4. Your kid will someday sleep through the night on a consistent basis. I know the hot button question at the forefront of every new parent’s mind is, “When will my baby sleep through the night?” As the mom of two toddlers I can tell you that time has not come yet. But it will for both you and me. Your kids will go to sleep at bedtime and you’ll actually have to drag them out of bed in the morning to get them ready for the day. It may not be today or tomorrow, but the day is near.
5. Your kid will someday stop wanting to sleep in your bed with you. I own a queen-sized bed and lately I get to sleep on three-inches of it a night because both kids feel it necessary to sleep as close to me as possible. Last night I woke up to my son sleeping on my head. ON MY HEAD. As exhausting as it is, though, one day I will blink and they will no longer want to share my pillow with me. I need not worry.
6. Your kid will someday learn to play by themselves. I know it’s hard to believe now, but as kids get older, they will not need you to play with them every second of every day. They will color and draw and utilize Play-Doh to make accidental phallic images. They will create stories with their dolls and make their cars crash into each other—all without your presence. Right now it feels like you can’t get anything done and you’ll never be able to get anything done, but it’s not true. Hang in there.
7. Your kid will someday keep their clothes on. Unless nudity becomes a lifestyle for them, your child will one day learn that clothes need to stay on when they’re in public or when other people are around. As parents of teenagers know, some kids even learn to like clothes. A lot. Let the kid be naked if they want to—it means less laundry.
8. Your kid will someday stop hating bath time. Alright, this one may not be a given. Maybe your son will always hate taking a shower, but every group of friends needs a stinky kid, right?
My point is this: There’s a million things us parents tend to worry about, and by worrying we’re wasting that mental energy which could better be used to remember this sweet—albeit loud and messy—stage of life we’re in. So don’t worry so much. Your kids will grow up, sleep on their own, give up the binkie, and maybe be the smelly kid. They’ll grow up to love you, though, and that’s what matters most.
© 2015 Toni Hammer, as first published on Scary Mommy