Dear mother of a toddler,

This first published at MOBsociety, but I'm putting it here too because I know some of you won't click over.

This morning my 9 year old son made oatmeal for all of us for breakfast. He even made me some and was thrilled to be able to do it.

That was after he got himself dressed, made his bed and cleaned the bathroom, which are his jobs every morning.

Later today he held his baby brother while I made lunch, played with his younger sisters and read them a story while I worked, and wiped the table after lunch.

No, he isn't perfect. I had to remind him to do his jobs, twice. He hangs his head and gets a surly look on his face when I tell him to get back to school work when he is distracted, and he is very loud, and somewhat obnoxious in his eagerness to tell me the minute details of EVERY.SINGLE.THING.

It's not that I don't still feel overwhelmed, like I did when they were smaller, I just feel overwhelmed by different things, in different ways.

I still worry that I'm getting it wrong, this mothering a boy thing. I'm still learning how to be a mom, now of a 9 year old rather than a baby.

But I wanted to tell you that it won't always be the way it is now. Seasons change, kids grow, and you will find it happening faster than you imagine possible.

Those chubby wrists and knees will get hard and bony and legs will lengthen and muscle will grow and that little boy will be so tall. Still he will need you to love him, just in different ways.

So I want to tell you not to be in a hurry right now. Soon enough, and in the right time, that baby of yours will make you breakfast and help with the chores. Soon he won't be needing to sit on you every second. Soon you may even miss it and wish that he would.

Soon life will change again, and you will have different things to feel overwhelmed about, and the things that overwhelm you now will be a distant nostalgic memory.

I was going to say it gets better, but that's not true. It is good now, having small ones. It will still be good later, when they get bigger and can help. I hope you are able to enjoy all the good both now and later and be patient. It will go by quickly.



  1. I appreciated this very much - SO needed to hear it today :) Especially this: the things that overwhelm you now will be a distant nostalgic memory.

    There's some comfort there, and knowing that it doesn't get better is just as comforting, somehow; we have time to grow into this nonsense called motherhood :)

  2. My aching mama's heart...! I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and hug my 5yo when he was 3...or 2...or 1. It is so hard to realize you can never get that back. :( I've also really been missing my second son as a 2yo recently (he's three). Two years old are just so precious, aren't they? I have an 8 week old right now and you can bet I am just SOAKING that little guy in.

    Thanks for this post. It made me cry, but it is so good to contemplate these things. To remember to love them NOW and not wish away the time when things are tough.

    On a different note, I'd be interested in hearing more about your kids and chores. I've been trying to incorporate more structure into our lives and the idea of your 9yo cleaning the bathroom every morning sounds intriguing. How do you assign tasks? Do they rotate? How many are daily or weekly? etc.


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