Ahhh, motherhood. Sweet, sweet motherhood. Behind the lack of sleep and momnesia, there’s so much beauty within everyday moments and memories. It’s no secret our littles grow way too fast and suddenly turn into 2 and 3-year-olds who seem to be going on 13...whether it’s getting through a new growth spurt, a new bedtime routine, beginning potty training, enrolling in preschool, or the little cherub who decided it’s a good idea to phase out of naps at 2 ½…we get it. The list of questions on howdoisurvivethis grow. We’ve been there. We feel for you. We support you. And the daily or weekly glass of wine or workout that gets you through the ups and downs. With that, here’s our round-up of how you know you’re a mama to a toddler, and the firecracker that they are.
1. You soon learn that Legos are your worst nightmare, and you fear stepping on one more than you fear stepping on a bee.
2. You’re lucky if you (ever) get anywhere on time, which is basically a half hour late according to the mom clock.
3. You traded designer handbags for grab-and-go-rough-and-tough durable bags back in the infant days, and make sure those mini suitcases are filled with wipes and snacks – at ALL times. Because Lord help you if you head out for errands and forget snacks for the hangry monster that will appear out of nowhere; even if they ate all their breakfast!
4. You basically do not own any white or nice item of clothing, because what’s the point? The risk of every and all kinds of stains will find their way right to you – smears of any kind have become a dangerous look to any wardrobe these days.
5. Speaking of stains – forget only packing a change of clothes for your mini. You probably keep a spare set of clothing (and if you don’t, you should) in your car since toddlers are basically little drunk people who are a liability to any outfit.
6. When you get in someone’s car who doesn’t have kids, you’re literally shocked at how clean it is. “Is this brand new? It looks so clean and smells so nice.” “No, Mama, it’s like four years old…..” Wait, what? Cars can look this clean when they’re not fresh off the lot? Mind. Blown.
7. You might think you’re the boss, but you’re definitely not. Your toddler is the king or queen of your castle, and won’t let you forget it.
8. When your friends without kids spend the day with you, they’re home asleep by 5pm or pouring a glass of wine beforehand, wondering how in the world you manage the chaos all day. Oh, those sweet little things and how innocent they are pre-parenting.
9. Is it bad to want noise-silencing headphones or dream of quiet, uninterrupted bathroom breaks, showers, or meals? No, most definitely not. What is silence? That’s a thing?
10. The toddler tornado is SO real. Or, also known as a category 5 hurricane that blows through with gusts up to 100mph, with no predictable weather pattern. You feel it. Your house feels it. And your partner or family never fails to walk in the door during the eye of the storm and ask, “What have you been doing all day and why is the house so messy?!” The. Nerve.
11. You sing Hallelujah and say a prayer for your former favorite TV shows to Rest In Peace. Perhaps you'll remember to DVR them and manage to get through a series within a year. But they've most likely been replaced with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Princess Sophia, Blaze, or some other annoyingly lovable, quotable show on Disney Jr. or Nick Jr.
12. Your sanity and appearance will be questioned daily, and probably like 16293 times within a 12-hour span. But your heart has never been so full (or your hands). Good thing under-eye concealer and eye-brightening shadows can help mask three years of sleep deprivation.
13. Speaking of sleep…are there people who truly sleep for 8-10 hours uninterrupted and in peace without flailing limbs knocking them in the face or body parts throughout the night? Because let’s be real, you probably haven’t slept in or so solidly since college. The toddler who originally falls asleep so sweet and angelic, magically seems to turn into an octopus-like creature with 8 arms in the middle of the night. All of which end up on you or smacking you.
14. No small item is safe. They’re either trying to eat it or throw it at your face. You become a ninja overnight and have all-star catching abilities.
15. Is there such thing as a car ride where shoes stay on? As if you weren’t running late already, now you get to wrestle the little cat in your backseat and try to put their shoes back on (for the tenth time of the day).
16. You have to reheat your tea or coffee at least 5 times throughout the day, because heaven forbid you get to finish a cup in one sitting. Do they make caffeine IVs yet? And you don’t even remember what eating a warm meal is like since you have to chop your mini’s meal up in little chunks prior to even considering sitting down in front of your plate.
17. You immediately panic when your kids are present, not napping, and there is silence. They very well may be coloring the walls, “painting” the dog, setting a new makeup trend by using all of yours, re-organizing your cabinets (that you just sorted), or jumping into the piles of your freshly washed and folded laundry. They say silence is golden, but that goes out the window in toddlerland.
18. Little white lies sneak up on your tongue….that food you don’t want to share? “Sorry, buddy, it’s soooo spicy.” “Wayyyy too hot.” “You’re allergic.” #shameless
19. You listened to your pediatrician and kept your little angel away from electronics until they were two years old. But now that they throw the most insane tantrums in the middle of grocery aisle number 8? “Hey, want to watch a show?” You have to stay home from work because they had to stay home from school? Cartoon marathon so you can get through emails. No judgment. Just understanding that sometimes a few minutes of peace are worth any cartoon in the world.
20. You realize how weird and downright wacky some bedtime stories are. What the heck were some of these authors on?! Of course, most are beautiful and full of warm and fuzzies, but some are more bizarre than you ever remember hearing when you were little. and there's no chance you're getting past bedtime before reading at least 5-10 books since toddlers all seem like they just downed a cup of coffee right before bedtime.
21. Things that would have completely and utterly disgusted you pre-parenthood have become your norm. They’re still awful, of course, but the thought of getting peed on or boogers flicked on you when you were in your 20s versus surviving infanthood and now toddlerhood, does the word gross even have meaning anymore?
22. Your house is no longer properly feng shuied or decorated with tasteful items on your coffee table. Magazines get shredded, vases get broken, and picture frames get chucked across the room. Because of that, there isn’t one thing that’s left under 3’ shelves. Except dirty hand prints. and you immediately regret going over to friend's houses who don't have kids, because your little monster, ehem, angel, probably just detroyed all their most valuable, prescious things.
23. You once dreaded going to the park in fear of awkwardly socializing with other moms, or being surrounded by little monsters you don’t know. But now, if you don’t make it to the park or a strenuous activity, you’re stuck with what feels like a rabid dog in a cage the rest of the day.
24. You question who on earth invented the mini potty-training toilets. Why do they come in ten pieces? Why are they so hard to clean? Why do boys pee on every inch of the bathroom EXCEPT in the potty? Why do toddlers take poops as big as grown men? We’ll never know….oh the bathroom mysteries.
25. Happy hour is no longer at 5pm involving drinks with girlfriends. It’s more like happy ten minutes; the interval between when your kids are finally asleep and before you pass out by 9pm.
26. You follow a healthy lifestyle. Wine is made from fermented grapes, so it’s basically a fruit, and you're fully convinced it most definitely counts as a daily fruit serving.
27. You turn into superwoman when you’re running errands. Remember the days you used to poke in Target for an hour and actually enjoy yourself? Now you have the superpower of getting in and out within 20 minutes. BUT, that being said, you also sneak away to Target when you’re kidless and happily enjoy trying on clothes, getting a caramel latte, and buying $100 worth of things you don’t actually need.
28. People actually shut the door when they need to use the bathroom? Peeping Toms are frowned upon? Cue Justin Bieber’s, What Do you Mean?
29. Speaking of Justin Bieber, when did he turn into an adult? Does that mean we’re old now? Wasn’t he our age? I’m so confused. And you’re confused who any modern pop star is. Because they’re like 12. And we’re like….shhh.
30. You have to buy wrinkle cream, under-eye lifting serums, and dye your gray hair. Hair starts to grow in weird places, skin begins to sag, and when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, you realize you’re slowly resembling your mom. Here’s to hoping she has good genes!
31. Your phone used to have like 20,000 photos of your newborn napping peacefully, accomplishing all their "firsts" and special milestones, crawling down the hallway, etc. Now, you're lucky if you snap one photo a week of your active toddler, since you're too busy chasing after them and making sure your phone isn't being flushed down a toilet.