Moms are usually advised to get a good bra when they’re nursing to protect against leakage or we can say toddler, provide support and prevent sagging, but many women don’t realize how important it is to get a decent bra when their kids enter the toddler years! The reason has nothing to do with nursing, but everything to do with PROTECTION! Think “padding,” moms, and the more the better! I can’t begin to count the number of times my toddler twins’ pointy little elbows and knees have sent me into spasms of agony when they’ve stabbed my very tender pre-menstrual breasts. And I’m sure my toddler isn’t the first to play the game, “Bruise the Mommy.” In fact, if it wouldn’t make me a social outcast outside the soccer field, I’d invest in a good set of leg, arm, chin and mouth guards, too. (As I write this, I am recovering from the fat lip I received when Caleb’s hard head connected with my mouth.) These days, my shorts and dresses are reserved for in-house use only after bony toddler limbs have made a network of bruises up and down my legs. Of course, I love it when they want to crawl on my lap for a big hug, but at what age will they learn the art of climbing gently? So, mommies of toddler, invest in the best padded bra you can find! The bonus is, you’ll have the best “silhouette” of your life!
Toddler is So Noisy!
If you’re sensitive to loud noises, you should never have toddler. My husband and I were remarking tonight, for about the thousandth time, how it’s never quiet in our house except when the toddler is sleeping! Our almost-three-year-old twins, especially, just make constant noise! Whining, crying, screeching, yelling, pounding…it never ends! It does get tough at times. Sometimes we long for a little silence. I can’t remember the last time I sat and quietly read a book. What a pleasure that would be! I’ve been thinking about doing some radio shows to talk about the books I’ve written, but I honestly can’t figure out how I could do it without listeners hearing the toddler in the background! Sure, I could closet myself in the garage, but then I couldn’t hear if the toddler start fighting or get hurt. And, as most parents know, as soon as the phone rings, toddler instantly up the volume on their demands, as if they’re jealous of the attention we’re giving to someone else. I know that someday these rooms will fall silent, and I’ll probably miss the sounds of a full house. It will feel lonely around here without the echoes of children’s voices. But those days are a long way off yet, so in the meantime I’ll keep taking my long showers in peace and savoring bedtimes!
Mothers of the World
When I watch the evening news or read newspaper articles about the war and poverty in the world, I can’t help but view them through the eyes of a mother. Somewhere out there are mothers just like me who are scared because their sons are fighting a war. Or they’re worried that they won’t have enough food to nourish their toddler. Or they can’t afford medical treatment for a sick toddler who is wasting away before their eyes. No matter what language they speak, what color they are or where they live, mothers all over the earth have the same hopes and worries for their toddler.
Even during times of happiness and prosperity, we all share the same experiences. How many mothers at this very moment are watching proudly as their little one takes his first step? How many children are holding their mother’s hand as they walk down the road to school? How many mothers are combing their daughter’s hair or tying their little boy’s shoes? These loving acts we perform with our toddler are universal. As human beings, we may not agree with each other’s politics, religion or personal preferences, but we all share that special love that only a mother has for her child.
Even though I have never been to China or India, Somalia or Norway, I still feel connected to the mothers who live there because I already know so much about the way they feel. And somehow I know that if I were to meet any one of them, there would be an immediate knowing—an instant acceptance—because our hearts are the same. Our primary wish in life is that our children are safe, healthy and raised in peace.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if only mothers could lead the world? Surely our great capacity to love would ensure that no child ever goes hungry, fights a war, or becomes jobless or homeless. We would see each other not as strangers in foreign lands, but as sisters unified by common goals and a fierce love for our children. Together, united as mothers, we could change the world for the better.
How do I start disciplining my toddler?
Calmly lead him to “the time-out place” (a chair or a corner to start) and say, “You are on a time-out for X minutes so you can get calm again.” (Do not worry about making an 8-month-old or young toddler stay put. In the beginning, you just want them to understand that ignoring rules will lead to a moment of isolation.
What is abnormal toddler behavior?
Defiance (e.g. refusing to follow your requests) fussiness (e.g. refusal to eat certain foods or wear certain clothes) hurting other people (e.g. biting, kicking) excessive anger when the child doesn't get their own way.
Getting Kids to Help Out Around the House
I often wonder if pioneer women had trouble getting their children to do chores. After all, surely children of old had more responsibilities than today’s children. Farm animals had to be cared for; water needed hauling; wood awaited chopping; crops had to be harvested. Today’s children can’t even begin to comprehend the work performed by pioneer children. So if their workload is lighter in today’s times, why do children give us such a hard time about doing it?
I don’t really know the answer, but I do know it’s normal behavior. I remember giving my own parents fits when I stalled and procrastinated about doing my chores. Thursday night was housecleaning night, and I would do anything to get out of it—make other plans, plead illness, express a sudden interest in homework. I swore I’d never put my own children through such an ordeal. But when I grew up, of course, I discovered that housework couldn’t be put aside. It needed participation by all members of the family if it was going to get done.
Sometimes it’s easier to do the chores myself rather than listen to the kids complain or do the job poorly. But I know this isn’t good for them in the long run. I’ve tried chore charts, allowance, special treats—anything to motivate the children to help out. These methods usually help for a short period of time, but then the complaining begins anew.
I have faith that, one day, God will show my children the same thing that He showed me when I grew up and had a house of my own: Housecleaning might not be fun, but it is necessary for every family’s health and well-being.
Learn to Trust Your Mother’s Intuition
The more people have studied the different methods of bringing up children, the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all.–Dr. Benjamin Spock, 1946
First-time mommies usually have a thousand questions about what is right when caring for their infants. When do they start solid foods? How long should they be sleeping? When will they start crawling? New mothers may read every book and magazine they can find that tells them the “right” time for reaching each milestone. Even experienced mommies might seek the latest advice about raising their new children.
Other mommies are more than eager to give advice, too. “I started my baby on solid foods at 3 months.” Or “You have to use diaper cream on their delicate little bottoms,” they’ll say. Even worse, some moms play the competition game. “My Sarah was walking at 9 months,” one says, as she glares at your little one still sitting on the floor at 11 months. “My Justin was speaking in complete sentences when he was 1 year old,” another proclaims, while your little one is still babbling “da-da” and “boo-boo.” It’s enough to make any mother feel insecure.
But you’ve been given a wonderful gift called mother’s instinct — the ability to know what’s best for your child — if you know when to heed the call. When my oldest son was a baby, the pediatrician told me that the latest research said that under no circumstances were babies supposed to start cereal until they were 6 months old. My son was born at a hefty 9 lb., 13 oz., and was already the size of most 6-month-olds at 3 months. He wasn’t sleeping, and he was begging for food between feedings. Although I trusted my doctor and knew he had my child’s best interests at heart, I realized that nobody knew my son better than I did.
Finally, I put my guilty feelings aside and started gradually giving him some rice cereal. The change was miraculous. My son was much happier because I listened to my instincts and gave him what he needed. I’ve learned to have faith in my own abilities as a mother and not let others make me feel unworthy or incapable. Yes, I still listen to advice from others — including my doctor and friends — but then I apply it to my particular child and listen to my heart. A mother’s instinct is a powerful tool.