I posted this on our family blog, so my apologies to those who have already seen it. I wanted to make sure to share with readers of this blog as well.
10 Lessons I've Learned During My Second Year of Motherhood
1. A mess is not the end of the world. A spilled drink can be cleaned up, stains will fade, stuff is replaceable, books will eventually end up back on their shelves, and people who unexpectedly stop by your house usually know they are doing so at their own risk. A mess is just a mess.
2. Toddlers have energy. Just go with it. No matter how often or persistently you try to get them to be quiet, settle down, hold still, or stay close; they’ll do what they want. And what they want usually has nothing to do with suppressing their natural energy and desire to get downright crazy. Let them be who they are and, when at all possible, let it all go and get crazy with them!
3. There are fail-proof solutions to un-bore a bored toddler. A pile of neatly folded laundry, bubbles, a sandbox, anything valuable in your purse. Find them. Use them.
4. Schedules get hectic. Responsibilities pile up. Priorities weigh down your day. But they only seem important in that moment. Don’t be afraid to let the busy life pass you by. Instead, hold your baby. Teach her something new. Snuggle. Forget about the pressures of the outside world and think instead of the joy you feel when you are simply “Mommy”.
5. Anytime is bath time. There are no limits to how many baths a child can take in a day. If it makes them happy, fill up that tub!
6. Explore the world with your baby. You’ll be amazed at what she can show you that you haven’t been willing to see through your own eyes.
7. Relationships will be built throughout your child’s life. Start building strong relationships early. Let her think the world of her grandparents and spend as much time with them as possible. Help her make little toddler friends. Let her get to know every aunt and uncle and cousin she has. They will always be her family.
8. You never stop setting an example. Baby see, baby do. Baby hear, baby say. Watch yourself. Don’t only try to not do things that you don’t want them to do, but make sure to do the good things as well. Say please and thank you. Be nice. Be loving. It will melt your heart when you see your child be that kind of copy-cat.
9. Everything deserves praise. First steps, first song sung, first time sharing; of course you will praise them. But the other seemingly tiny accomplishments deserve cheer and commendation as well. Even if it is just stepping away from the toilet and handing the cell phone back to Daddy.
10. There are days when you feel like a failure. When you know you haven't tried your best to be a good mom. And even when you have tried, you still haven't done much right. Those are the hardest days. But there is one person who doesn't know it. Your child has the most unique and unconditional kind of love for you. She doesn't know your weaknesses from your strengths. She doesn't know your bad days from good. She knows your face. She knows your touch. She knows your voice. She knows you are her mother. She forgives you for the moments when you just don't have time to hold her, for the times you lose your cool, and for the days when you can't seem to get out of your rut. At the end of the day, you are still her everything. In her eyes, the eyes that matter, you have done everything right.
Click here to read my 10 Lessons Learned During My First Year of Motherhood.