Well just like that Adelaide is TWO. I know it sounds so cliche, but I honestly can’t believe it — it seems like just yesterday we were talking about her first birthday. If you’re a parent, you know that the unsolicited advice is never ending, but one piece that seems to be recurring is “the days may be long, but the years are short.” And now that my daughter’s second birthday has come and gone, I have never been rocked by words so much in my life. Because although I’m not sure where year two went, I have spent some time not only thinking about it, but also “planning” for year three.

four things I learned in the second year.

year two parenting

unconditional love.

Again, this may sound cliche but the kind of unconditional love I’m talking about isn’t quite what you think. I’m talking about the unconditional love Adelaide has for us. Even as I type this, my eyes get watery because kids have this way of making everything right in our worlds. It doesn’t matter if I lose my patience with her for not moving at my speed or if I turn off her show earlier than she wanted, Adelaide always forgives and forgets … and is always willing to share some love and a hug with us. It’s these small moments that make you realize that this is how we should all see the world — with unconditional love for each other. It’s these small moments that turn into our biggest memories. So while Walt and I both have only unconditional love for our daughter, it is her unconditional love that we learn from each and every day.

patience and prayer.

I must admit, patience is a virtue that I do not possess. Yet to my own surprise, I am more patient with Adelaide than I could have ever imagined. But it is something I cannot often achieve on my own — enter the power of prayer. Prayer for the little things and the big things. And it is in these chats with God that I achieve more patience than I could ever have on my on. Patience doesn’t just mean not getting frustrated when she dumps her toys out for the millionth time or when she’s not quite ready to leave the playground when I am, but patience is also in being in the moment — not worried about every single milestone or what our next move is. This part of patience was my biggest parenting lesson this past year.

don’t take anything too seriously.

Year two has not only been a busy one for us, but at times emotionally trying. And there were days that I found myself overscheduling us to just keep moving. It didn’t take long to realize that too many overscheduled days make for a very grumpy toddler. So we have our fair share of stay-in-your-pjs-till-noon days. And I’ve got to be honest, these days saved me in the wake of our miscarriage. These are the days that you can see your child learning and growing and laughing. These are the days in year two that I look back on and smile … the days that Walt and I still talk about … the days that if I was good at keeping up with her memory book would be recorded as the big days.

we’ve got a lot to learn.

I’m sure there are some of you reading this post thinking “just wait until Adelaide is fill in the blank age”. And you’re not wrong. If year two taught me anything about parenting, it’s that I have a lot to learn. But maybe this is the deal with parenting — we’re all just learning as we go. Because no parenting book or blog can tell you exactly how your kid is going to react to their suggestions; all we can do is learn from our kids what works and doesn’t work for them. And though I am nowhere near an expert in parenting, I imagine this whole parenting gig is a constant learning curve with each passing year.

what I hope to remember in year three.

year two parenting

twos aren’t terrible.

Terrible Twos — we’ve all heard it. But I’m a firm believer that the twos are only terrible because we as parents don’t have the patience that our learning toddlers need. Now this is coming from someone who is only just approaching the “Terrible Twos” but I also have a very headstrong daughter who has very real opinions. And I have come to realize that when we have a conversation about her wants {or things she definitely does not want} we actually end up with a much more productive outcome. So as we start our stint in the “Terrible Twos” I hope that I remember she’s learning how to behave in this world, and that the best way for her to learn is from the behavior we model for her and towards her.

years are short.

Yes, I’m already the person that is preaching the advice that I’ve been given on so many occasions. But year two taught me that life passes in a flash and I need to slow down more often and soak it all in. Especially with Baby Boy coming in August, I want to soak up as much QT with my girl as I can. Life doesn’t have to be rushed, and most things can absolutely wait.

it’s hard to mess up.

In your kids’ eyes, you are everything. As I said before, Adelaide loves us unconditionally, even if we do turn off Sesame Street before she was ready. I hope that in the next year {and years} I can remember that even when I do mess up, she’ll move on pretty quickly. Mom Guilt is so real and can get the best of us if we let it. So this next year, I’m going to focus on letting it go — because Adelaide definitely forgives and forgets quickly and for that I am so grateful.

year two parenting

I do not profess to know all about parenting — and likely never will. But I have been proud of the amount of growth year two has brought us. We’re not as hard on ourselves, we aren’t trying to get it just right, and most importantly, we’re more aware of the little moments. So while Adelaide’s second birthday has hit me HARD, I’m also proud of where we are. Proud to watch my sweet, kind and smart child grow and learn every single day. So here’s to you Year Three, let’s do this!

xo, LC

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