The first time mom learning curve is always changing, at times I find it to be unsurmountable and so steep, and others, just a small blimp on the radar. I still vividly remember the first days home with my daughter and the simple daily tasks of breastfeeding, changing diapers and first baths were so foreign and unfamiliar; the learning curve felt like a straight hike up a very tall mountain. Now at other times, once my daughter hit the three month mark for example and could hold her head up, the curve started to level out a bit. I would never say I had the privilege of coasting as a new parent, but there were definitely easier times.
Over the past few months I’ve felt pretty confident and thankfully avoided any steep inclines on the learning curve. Well, the joy ride is over. I am currently on an epic hike up Mount Everest folks, quite possibility the steepest learning curve I’ve encountered thus far. Yes, even steeper than bringing home a newborn for the first time. Welcome to toddlerhood, Anna.
Toddlers, or I should say my toddler is kind of like an erratic, adorable, irrational, sweet, sassy, and scarily intelligent boss who doesn’t speak the local language. Rules, what rules? Climbing up stone steps, climbing down stone steps, spitting milk, throwing food from the highchair, all in a days work.
All joking aside, I am finding toddlerhood to be especially challenging because I’m dealing with a real person, she’s no longer an infant and I have the responsibility to parent her. There is a huge difference between caring for a baby and teaching a young child right from wrong; both are challenging, just very different. What to discipline her over and how to do it are daily challenges in my house; the lack of verbal communication being the most difficult factor to overcome.
Right now I’m in the thick of the hike, climbing up, knowing I will eventually make my way back down. Some days as I chase my daughter through the park and see older children sitting peacefully with a book, I can’t help but long for easier days ahead. But then, as I watch her climb the park steps for the first time and she looks back at me with the biggest smile on her face, I am thankful to be right where I am along this journey. In my assessment, motherhood is about hanging tough when the curve steeps upward and knowing everything, even the most challenging moments are fleeting.