Amelia is 18 months old, so already a toddler and I am more scared than ever of what is going to come. Since now she hasn’t been the wildest kid, but mood swings and tantrums have made their presence in the past months. I am with her 24/7, all my days are dedicated to raising this child and it truly is the most rewarding job in the world, I wouldn’t change it for anything. The moments I get to live with her, watching her character changing from a baby to a toddler make me feel so privileged. I know that most mums have to return to their jobs a few months after giving birth, I am so grateful I had the chance to experience this whole new world.
However, not all days are good and the hard part is that I cannot take a break if I feel I need to. Dimitri leaves for work early in the morning and gets back after 8 pm, so there is nobody to keep her even for half an hour. She has been so attached to me, playing, eating, sleeping I am there. Even on nap time most of the times she will wake up 2 to 3 times to make sure I am close. It is the sweetest thing and she is my baby girl, I couldn’t be more lucky, but sometimes I really need a break. I know there are mums out there that feel the same so I have a few tips I use myself in an everyday basic.
Nagging. Toddlers may be nagging for their socks, for their toy not standing on a ball, or for any other reason. You may have all the good intentions to offer your hugs and understanding but at some point you start to get frustrated too. If I see her in a bad day all I do is to take her outside. We go for a walk. To me the answer to most issues is to just go out. As soon as we head to the door her face softens and she is smiling again. I show her the little bugs or we cut an olive from the tree and she is the happiest baby. The world is full of exciting things for kids to explore, so you don’t have to go far, the playground or simply the street out of your house is the perfect place for a toddler to forget all his worries.
Not eating. Your kid may be a champ at eating or a picky eater, but the truth is that most toddlers will have days or longer periods that will resist eating. I know how hard this is for a parent, you can’t just put him to bed with an empty stomach. It took me a long time to accept it, but eventually I made up my mind and I offer her healthy options and new tastes to try. I don’t push her, if she is hungry she will eat if not she won’t. Aren’t we doing the same? We can’t eat if we are not hungry either, can we? Toddlers are going through different phases with teething, growth spurts and many other things that have an impact in their eating and other aspects in their lifes. As long as the pediatrician says there is no reason to worry about, then don’t worry.
Tantrums. All toddlers at some point will have a tantrum. Some of them more often then the others. They cannot express what they want or how they feel in a situation so they start crying and shouting. Sometimes people may think that a kid who acts like that is a spoiled one, but this is not truth. It is just the way toddlers are. They get overwhelmed easily and we have to provide a safe environment for them at that moment. When my daughter goes through it I let her express herself and I am somewhere close to her so that she can see me. After the tornado I hug her and tell her that I understand why she felt like that and I probably ask questions so that she can totally let go of what got her upset.
When I am tired and have reached my limits, I tell her that I am tired and I need a moment. So, I go in an other room to calm down for a few seconds and then I get back. It is not about how to handle the toddler, is about yourself too. We are humans and my personal opinion is that I don’t find it wrong that the kids sees as in a vulnerable way. This is how we teach them empathy.
An other tip is to make fun on a difficult situation. Do you remember when you were a child how much you enjoyed to have fun and to lough with your parents? I’ve taken this advice from the book ‘The Danish Way of Parenting’, which is a great book by the way. One day in the playground, Amelia wanted to play with some older girls but they didn’t want her, because she is just a baby. She stayed there disappointed, watching them go, then her daddy told her a funny Greek song about why she shouldn’t care of those girls not wanting to play with her. Amelia started dancing with the song and everything was ok! So don’t be afraid to turn an awkward moment into a funny one. They will also learn not to take hard moments too serious.
Tell me how do you deal with those situation? I am a new mom and any advice is welcomed.