When you have a baby you realise just how quickly time goes, I don’t know why all of a sudden you take note of how quick time is passing. Maybe it’s because you see them going from newborns who are so dependent on you to all of a sudden having a baby who is trying to hold their own bottle or spoon to then crawling, walking and talking.
Our babies grow up so quickly and yet they’re still our babies, they still need us to help them to know right from wrong and to know where dangers may lie. They need us to help with so many things that we forget that all of these new milestones that they are reaching doesn’t mean they aren’t still young and dependent.
Introducing another baby in to our family added a whole other dimension to this “growing up” tale. Because all of a sudden we were constantly telling our toddler that she was a ‘big girl’. Whether that was to get rid of her dummy “only babies have dummies” we would tell her, or when we would ask her to get a nappy or wipes for us because we were dealing with a major poop explosion and big girls could help. This even went as far as telling her so often that she needed to wait or be patient because mummy was feeding the baby.
It’s only been lately, now that I’m coming out of the fog of having a newborn/infant that I’ve realised just how detrimental those words may have been to our young toddler. Asking anyone to wait and be patient when they desperately want something is hard enough, but asking a two year old is a different thing entirely.
I’m not saying our toddlers don’t need to learn these traits, or that it’s not helpful for them in many ways. I’m simply trying to point out that the frustration that comes from our toddlers not listening, not waiting, not being quiet while the baby sleeps is straight out not fair. Well at least, not the way I have been reacting.
I’ve forgotten the fact that my sweet girl has only been in this world for two years. The world and myself are treating her like a baby, like she’s not old enough to understand or to do certain things; yet I am quick to tell her she’s a big girl when I need her to act like one.
Recently my toddler Savannah was sick and running temperatures all night; all she wanted was her mum and when I looked at her I could tell she just did not understand why she was feeling the way she was, it was in that moment that I realised how small and vulnerable she still was.
That was my light bulb moment, my ‘oh sh*t’ moment.
My ‘you’re being to hard on your toddler’ moment.
I realised I was expecting way too much from her, and in return when she wasn’t doing said things I was getting frustrated. Not understanding, what a walking contradiction I was/am.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ve flipped a switch; but I’m finding myself being more aware of the fact and apologizing more often to her.
So here is my open letter to you my darling girl;
I’m sorry mummy is so busy now that we have a new baby in the house, I’m sorry mummy can’t play play dough the second you ask, I’m sorry I ask you to be quite when Sadie is sleeping. I’m sorry I ask you to get me things and I’m sorry I tell you to hurry.
I will always have high expectations for you, simply because I know how brilliant and clever you truly you are and I know how you love helping others.
But I promise to try and remember that although you are learning and growing as a little girl, you are still just that.. my little girl.
I will never take opportunities away from you that have the chance to help you grow, but I promise I will work on my own reactions when things don’t go to plan.
I promise to try and remember that you only graced this earth two and half years ago and you are learning just like the rest of us.
Mummy is sorry that it has taken her the last six months to realise that you are my toddler, and although you are my ‘little helper’ you do not have to be, you do not have to stop playing and being a kid.
Although you love your sister, it was Mummy and Daddy who decided to have another baby, not you.
Never do I want to be someone who forces you to grow up quicker than you need to. I love you sweet girl, I love your stubbornness, I love your kindness, I love everything about you and I promise to make more of an effort to acknowledge all of the amazing things you can do and will do… eventually.
Love you Always,
Head over to our social media pages or leave a comment below, I would love to hear your stories on realising you may have been a little to tough or maybe even the opposite – treating your children like a babies for longer then you needed..
let us know.
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