mom and toddler


February 25, 2019

there is something that has been weighing on me lately. and that is pretty much the weight of motherhood. guys… it’s hard. it’s a lot harder than I could have ever imagined. i’m struggling with all of the emotions that come with being a mom in todays day and age. and well.. i’m struggling almost as much as i am right now trying to put my feelings into words.

other than the relationship I have with God the most important relationships in my life are those that i am building with my husband and son. and lately i’ve just felt like an absolute 100% failure. and it hurts. we are entering into this new phase of ottos childhood and it involves tantrums and independence and i feel sometimes left on the sidelines with my head in my hands feeling guilty that i’m looking forward to work. and once i get to work not being able to wait until I can pick him up and try harder to be more patient and understanding only to feel like a failure again.

i want to punch in the face every article telling me to not fold the laundry or do the dishes but to hold on to my son a bit longer because they don’t stay little for long. well guess what today show I KNOW THAT. I don’t need your article to remind me how fast time is going and that I can’t stop it. I don’t need your reminder telling me that my son is going to continue to grow. thanks. also do you know what would happen if i just neglected to do any adult chores because i chose to snuggle the entire time instead? let’s be real here.

and while we are being real, the only time otto wants to snuggle with me lately is usually when i’m sitting on the toilet. yea that is gross but it’s reality and at this time.. i guess i’ll take it.

the toddler stuff has been really hard lately. otto wants his independence so much which is incredible as he is starting to eat more and more and stand up on his own. but it also comes with the frustration in communication barriers and protecting him from danger like sticking his fingers in electric sockets and pulling out my food processor from the cabinet. i’m reading books, listening to podcasts trying to navigate how to do all this and do it the right way.

both the depressing and blessing of it all is though there is no real right way. it’s depressing because i was really hoping for some manual or instruction but just like the “raising an infant” one that doesn’t exist… sadly, neither does the “raising a toddler” version. however it’s pretty cool that otto has never been a toddler before either. so we are in this newness together.

i look back on a day last week where otto and i had a really frustrating day. he had learned the word “no” last week as well as “me” so when he wants something he shouts “ME ME ME” which is really cute until you’re just trying to have a quick lunch with your grandma and he wants all the things like butter knives. and every alternative you try to offer, “NO NO NO, ME ME ME” as he points to the knife. we had kind of a rough therapy session as well as a roughly short nap. which led to a few half tears from me in the car. you know the half tears, the kind that well up but don’t fall out of your eye.

and just then at the shop before heading home he starts to yell mamamamamama and i look over and he stands up for the first time and is just so proud of himself and continues to laugh and stand and fall with me for a bit. and my heart you guys.. just melts.

and then cut to a sled ride around the yard which he is having a blast until he sticks his hand into the snow and starts to cry because it’s cold. then goes into meltdown mode because i take him inside because it’s so cold. and we start this patience half tear process again.

this age has been such a blessing. i can’t even handle sometimes how otto knows how to do certain things without ever being shown. like put on joes watch or put his toys away. it blows my mind how observant he is and how much he really just wants to do what joe and i are doing. during these tantrums i just try to remind myself how frustrating it would be if i could not articulate what it is that i wanted. easier said than done sometimes.

where am i going with all this. i guess nowhere really. i just wanted to get it out there. writing is very therapeutic to me and maybe someone else out there is feeling this intense feelings of not being good enough. not only in motherhood but in work, friendships etc.

maybe we will never be perfect and chances are likely because who really is perfect? but i think the important thing is we all just keep trying to be better. keep trying to learn and make improvements. sure i’m going to make mistakes and i’m trying to be more forgiving of those mistakes and make less of them day to day. A for effort right?

outfit details
jacket free people sold out similar here
jeans jbrand
shoes tory burch sold out similar here
t-shirt free people sold out similar here 
belt gucci

belt can also be seen in this post. 

photos by my talented friend Ashley

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  1. Maria says:

    Girl. Every single thing you said I have felt. It’s so bloody hard. I’ve never been so thankful for my hubby as I am now. He is often my sounding board and reminds me it’s the kids, not me. 😉 we were put on earth as their mothers to raise them… that also includes teaching them right from wrong and when independence is awesome and when it’s not (playing in the toilet)
    I hear you. We all hear you. Love your blood and you’re an awesome mom, friend, wife, sister, daughter! I am SURE. ♥️♥️

  2. Angie says:

    Hugs to you, my friend. Each new stage of parenting brings its tears and joys. Thank you for documenting and sharing yours in such a real way. ♥ Sending you some good motherhood juju to help you through!

  3. Thank you so much. there is so much that is so beautiful but some weeks…MAN it’s so dang hard!

  4. Rachelle says:

    Kudos to you for saying what we all feel every day. As another working mother I can tell you that a wise friend once told me that work-life balance is a total joke. There is no such thing as “balance.” Because that implies that we somehow divide ourself up to give equal amounts to our career, our spouse, our kids, our friends, me-time, etc. Instead, I try to look at it like giving 100% of myself to wherever I am. When I’m at work I’m totally focused on work knowing my kids are well cared for and loved by someone else when I’m not there and that’s ok. When I’m home with them I give them 100% of me and remind myself that emails don’t disappear overnight. And some days I suck at that, but thank goodness God gives me grace and lets me start over the next day. You’ve got this girl!

  5. Kelly says:

    Girl, remember that God chose you to be his mom. Trust your gut and know that you will have wins and losses in parenting. You will figure out exactly what he needs to be his best. So fun to watch him grow…thank you for sharing him…and your life with us!

  6. Ashley Wierenga says:

    You’re a giving, kind, loving mom. Proud of the balance you achieve in being a dedicated mama and kick ass business woman. God gave you Otto and gave Otto you…there’s such beauty in that even on the toughest days.

  7. Briana says:

    This is it! You managed to perfectly describe what we ALL feel. It’s nice to see the honest truth written in front of you. Thanks, Momma!

  8. Whitney says:

    A year and a half ago I went from being a work at home mom to going back into the world, and opening a brick and mortar shop. My kids are older and I thought they’d be fine. I was very wrong. My 12 yr old son sat only lap and bawled last week because he thinks if I jump into a new and exciting business opportunity that’s been offered he will never see me again. I feel selfish, gross and nasty. But “what happens if I never do any adult chores again”? Keep talking. I need to hear what you have to say.

  9. Morgan says:

    Mama, I have been there. Still am. No words of wisdom, or tricks for doing it all…just know that you’re not alone.

  10. Diane says:

    Laugh a lot, cry a little . . . Remember how far you have come and how strong and loving you are. One day at a time . . . You got this . . . Be good to you too!

  11. Celia says:

    This sounds like you are doing everything right! The only thing I would recommend is to give yourself more forgiveness & patience!!! I hate to tell you as a mother of 3 semi-grown(3 in college) children that you have these same problems as they grow, only the kids are larger!! I just wish I did not take myself so seriously along the way and realize just like you are that a good mom is love even if she can’t wait to get to work! So much trial & error and so many blessings all at the same time! Be good to yourself and your husband and Otto will feel your love!!

  12. Darleene Moore says:

    You know you are doing the best you can do. Mom’s life can be a challenge and now that your son is beginning to do all the things, you have to step up and try and really put your house in order. by that I am only suggesting that have some one help you organize each room where you know your son can play and explore where ever he can reach, touch, pull it off or fall on edges. You are probably doing all this already. My daughter gave me two precious granddaughters they now are 13 and 11 there wasn’t a week went by that I didn’t make it a point to go down to her house and help her clean, shop, organize, play with the girls while she took a nap. just anything that would help make her day easier. then one day I got a letter asking me to step back and quit trying to run their lives and just be her Mom and a grandmother to the girls. That day I cried so hard and thought what have I done wrong. And to this day my heart breaks because she didn’t need my help. Mothers always knows what is best for their child and you will learn as you go and believe me when I say, don’t be afraid to ask for help I would have given anything to have what I offered my daughter when I was raising my two. Abby I am no expert on any thing but my heart goes out to young mothers struggling to do it all. There are going to be days that it all just goes smoothly and days when you want to pull your hair out, just step back take a breath, and going to the bathroom by yourself, the day your son was born those days are over. So snuggle with him any way you can because they grow up so fast. Now that I am retired I can be there for my two granddaughters when they call and say “hey memaw can you take me shopping” or “i’m hungry for biscuit and gravey”, those are what I live for. Well I have said to much and I hope you won’t block me because I also look forward to seeing what you and Otto have accomplished or what you suggest on style, and cooking, and can’t wait to see you and Otto in the garden this year. I’m always here if you need to let it out. Thanks for listening

  13. Kirsten Juenke says:

    Oh sweet girl, so very well written. I remember asking the pediatrician if a 4 month old could have a tantrum. He said “yep, and in my experience, while it’s gonna be rough on you, it means she knows her mind and won’t be pushed around”. I liked that. I never bought the whole “she’s a spirited child “ theory, though. And yes, your job is to save their lives several times a day without them ever realizing it or appreciating it. Even as teenagers. My 19 yo baby is at college in NY and we’re in Seattle – this weekend we just flew to watch her play softball in Denver. We were so happy to see each other! They did get 2 games in, in 50 degree weather before it plummeted to negative 2 and snowed buckets – and I was SO proud to see my girl get lots of playtime at a D1 sport as a freshman which apparently rarely happens! And the next morning she snapped at me like her sassy 14 yo self and I went in the bathroom and cried. And when we flew home last night she texted me “I miss you mama”. So. Deeeep breath. Do the laundry. Take timeouts for yourself when you need them, even if it’s hiding in the closet or locking that bathroom door (well, maybe wait until he’s older). Grab the snuggles when they come. And my best advice is read to your baby every night at bedtime. You. Are. Doing. An. Excellent. Job.

  14. Jenna says:

    My daughter is about to turn one and that fact alone has got me feeling all the things. She is also learning her independence with walking and getting into trouble and throwing fits when I take stuff away. It can really make you feel like a crappy parent, especially when it happens in public. But luckily, what other people think is none of my business and I just have to know I am doing my best (as much as I can)! I’m right there with you. Thanks for sharing your feelings so I don’t feel alone either.

Abigail Albers       Author

Abby is a wife and mother, antique shopper, entrepreneur, gardener, sheep lady, sequin enthusiast and your Midwest Martha Stewart Wannabe.. Follow her on instagram @adventuresinabbyland.

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