5 Reasons Why Moms Should Act Like Toddlers

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As the mom of a toddler, I know they have a lot of *ahem* challenges. Toddlers can be strong-willed, defiant, and unreasonable. They are known to throw themselves down in the middle of the toy aisle at Target and lose their mind. (Ask me how I know.)

But they are also smart, sweet, and honest. They have tons of fun. They love life.

In fact, there are a lot of reasons that moms could stand to be a lot more like the toddlers we love.

Here are a few ways:

 

Toddlers know they always look good.

Moms could really use a dose of our kids’ confidence. We squeeze ourselves into Spanx and spend an hour teasing our hair and applying makeup just the right way – in hopes we could look just a little better than we normally do. Then, we stare at our reflection in the mirror and don’t always like what we see.

 

My 3-year-old isn’t that hard on himself. When he was rocking his Captain America costume last weekend, this was a real-life conversation in our household:

Henry: “You see my costume?”

Me: “Yes! You look awesome.”

Henry: “I know … I do look awesome.” (Checking himself out in the mirror approvingly.)

The truth is – this conversation happens a few times every week. He doesn’t question his looks – he was made this way and he knows he looks good. Why would anyone think differently?

So the next time you are going out with your husband or the girls, try to look at yourself the way your child would. Because I’ll bet you look darn good!

(And I should mention, that when I put on my red wig as part of my own Halloween costume, my son couldn’t stop telling me how great I looked. For once, I decided to believe him.)

Toddlers really don’t care what people think of them.

Screaming in the candy aisle at Target? Laughing uncontrollably at the newest Minion movie? Dancing in the Texas Roadhouse lobby? These are all things my toddler has done.

 

And you know what, he really doesn’t care what you think. He also doesn’t care what I think, by the way. If you don’t like what you see, keep on moving on.

You give him “the look.” You can sigh loudly at his behavior. But I’ll tell you a secret – it really doesn’t matter.

Because as a toddler, he doesn’t have the time or energy to worry about what you think. And maybe, moms should try that out. Because it doesn’t always help us to care about what our friends, enemies, or strangers think about us.

And most of the time, worrying about what other people think doesn’t make any difference, anyhow.

Perhaps we should stop short of the public temper tantrums. But if you go there, I won’t judge.

Toddlers nurture their creativity.

Why do adults stop doing all the fun crafty things we loved as kids?

 

It seems that as we get older, we are encouraged to stop nurturing our creative side. By the time we hit middle school, we already find ourselves “specializing” – you can choose study hall, art, or music. And by high school and college, if you aren’t an “artist,” you never find yourself painting or creating art at all.

Now am an accountant, a teacher, and a mom. And you can’t remember the last time you did something creative. Maybe someone told you you aren’t very artistic, and you chose to believe it.

But our toddlers – know that being artistic isn’t about being the best artist. It’s about painting a huge sheet of paper in reds and oranges. Or about gluing leaves to a paper plate. And studies tell us that art can help your kids be nicer and even smarter.

Maybe the same can be said for moms. We could all be a little nicer and smarter, right? And art can also be relaxing and therapeutic – which I know we all need.

So find your own coloring book like I did, it’s a great way to make my own art while my son colors away. Or try another artsy way to relax and create.

Toddlers dream big.

When you ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up, you may hear a lot of answers. He’s told me he wants to be Ironman, an airplane or a ninja. He also once told me that he doesn’t need to grow up. (Smart boy.)

 

What do these answers have in common? They are big dreams. And to an adult, they may seem unrealistic.

But moms often sell themselves short. There’s no reason we can’t dream big dreams for ourselves and our families. And there’s absolutely no reason we can’t make those dreams come true.

Channel your inner toddler when you think about what you want to be when you grow up. And then go get it, girl.

Toddlers love deeply and unabashedly.

One of my favorite things about toddlers – they are still young enough that they love to love you.

 

My son will hold my hand tightly almost anywhere. He nuzzles into my husband and I. He loves to snuggle. He says “I love you,” early and often.

His affection is such a wonderful gift to those around him.

As moms, how are we loving those around us? It may not be through hugs and snuggles – but I think we become hardened in life. And we begin to wall off our love so we don’t get hurt.

May we all be a little more like toddlers – it may bring a little more love into our world.


A version of this story was published on Nov. 11, 2015, by author Kim Woodward; it has since been updated.

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