When “Just Getting Through” While Raising Toddlers is Perfectly Okay


You want to know what makes raising toddlers easier? 

When you can relax a bit, take a step back, and really see what’s going on around your child and his or her own behavior. 

Oh, and while you’re at it, jump off of that guilt and blame game train because that ain’t helping nobody.


Just yesterday I had an experience with my two-year-old that would have thrown me off my rails at certain points of my motherhood journey.

But not this time. I’ll explain why
in a second.

The kids, husband, and I took a day trip to Montgomery to visit my brother-in-law. We had a great time, but naturally we weren’t following our typical schedule. This resulted in both kids NOT getting a nap.

Our four-year-old handled it just fine because he’s on the cusp of fading out his afternoon naps. Our two-year-old on the other hand, well, that’s a different story. 

The amount of whining, crying, and “mommy, mommy, mommy” that occurred that afternoon was unreal. I’ve never seen anything like that out of her. It was enough to drive you absolutely mad. 

How did I handle the afternoon and evening? Honestly, it was about survival. 

Any nap was out of the question because it was too late in the day, so it was a matter of dealing with the whining and crying and getting through it the best we could until bedtime. We found a few moments of peace but that evening was about getting through, and that’s okay; we accepted that. We did put her down for bed earlier because she was beyond ready.  

Not every moment has to be perfect. Not every day has to be Instagram worthy. Sometimes it is about getting through, getting by, and surviving. 

Do I feel guilty that the evening was a mess? No.

Do I blame myself that she didn’t get the nap she needed? No. 

It was the situation that we were in. We made the choice to go on a short trip to visit family and sometimes stuff like this happens. 

Parenting is not about being perfect. It’s about being real. And what can be more real than a two-year-old who just can’t handle? I know you know what that looks like. 

When you can step back, when you can step outside of the situation for a second and get a birds-eye-view or an outsider’s perspective, what’s going on becomes so much more clearer and, a lot of times, the solutions become so much more evident. 

In this situation it was very easy for me to see that our afternoon and evening was chaotic and so unideal because of one simple factor: tiredness. 

The solution? Get through, get her to bed on time, and begin a new day tomorrow. 

When I say raising toddlers doesn’t have to be that hard, I mean it. 

Sure, I could have gotten really frustrated at myself or at her. I could have easily lost my cool at all of the crying and whining. I could have fallen in the pit of utter dread. But I didn’t because it was just for a moment. 

These moments come, and these moments go. It doesn’t mean tomorrow will be like that, or that next week will be like that, or that next year will be like that. It’s a moment. 

So let’s do each other a favor. Let’s stop making raising toddlers more difficult than it needs to be. Take a breath, step back, see what’s going on, and then do the next right thing. 

If the next thing is surviving and just getting through, then so be it. It sounds like a perfectly good plan to me.