Curious about the same day from a toddler's point of view? Read their inner monologue here.
If there’s one thing toddler moms can count on in their day, it’s variety. Chasing after (arguably) the busiest little people on the plant is ever-changing, always challenging and never boring. And although we’re not sure there’s such a thing as a typical day for a toddler parent, there are definite universals we can all relate to. Here’s one mom’s take on the realities of life as a toddler mom.
4:13 a.m. I’m not sure what woke me up, but since I can’t get back to sleep, I may as well start making the day’s mental to-do list…
5:40 a.m. After making the list and checking it more times than Santa has reindeer, I finally fall back asleep.
5:48 a.m. I wake up to my name being called on repeat. My partner and I lock eyes and start the daily game of chicken. Who’s going to back down and get the kiddo out of bed? Me? My spouse? The competition is fierce.
5:52 a.m. Apparently it’s me. We’ll see who wins tomorrow’s game.
5:53 a.m. I head into my toddler’s room to adoring cheers, smiles and squeals. Not a bad way to start the day, even if it is before sunrise.
6:00 a.m. On to solving the eternal morning riddle that plagues parents daily—which comes first, the morning diaper change or the cup of coffee?
6:01 a.m. It only takes a few sniffs for me to make up my mind. My toddler senses my decision, Zen master style, then takes off running down the hall.
6:15 a.m. I finally catch up with the speed racer and pull out an Elmo diaper from the caddy. Who would have guessed that such an innocent action would set off a Rube Goldberg chain of events that ends with diapers all over the floor and my kid holding a Big Bird diaper triumphantly over her head? A toddler mom. That’s who.
6:16 a.m. I dream about having a speaker system like they have at the grocery store. One where I can holler, “Clean up on aisle three!” and someone will run in to quickly put away the diapers while I finish changing the baby. No such luck. Instead, I break into the Clean Up Song. My toddler picks up one diaper before she’s off and running again. So much for everybody doing their share.
6:25 a.m. We head downstairs for breakfast and find my partner scrambling eggs for everyone.
6:26 a.m. #Socialmediabreak #Imonascroll.
6:30 a.m. It only takes us three tries to figure out that our sweet kiddo wants chicken apple sausage—not eggs, not yogurt with fruit—for breakfast. Coincidentally, my husband is having eggs for breakfast and I’m having yogurt with fruit.
7:20 a.m. While I hop in the shower, my husband gets our two-year-old dressed for the day. She’s settled on a bathing suit, winter hat, gloves and the shoes from her Halloween costume. I know better than to try and convince her to put on pants, but maybe I should start re-thinking all those expensive matching outfits I buy her. Either way, I’m posting a pic.
7:21 a.m. #Socialmediabreak #Imonascroll.
8:20 a.m. We head to the grocery store after my partner heads to work. I deftly try to bypass the car carts, but my kiddo spots them. Thinking this is an easy parenting win, I ask her which car color she wants—red, blue or pink?
8:25 a.m. After more than a few minutes, she decides on green. I should have known better.
8:26 a.m. I calmly let my crying cutie know they don’t have a green cart, honey, but there is a red one she can choose. Red is amazing. It’s the color of Elmo. I speak fluent toddler.
8:31 a.m. Or at least I thought I did. After five minutes of failed attempts, I pull the emergency sucker out of my diaper bag, hand it over and strap her into the red car cart. I’m not above bribery.
8:45 a.m. Things are running smoothly until my daughter spies a Paw Patrol box in the snack aisle that she must have. What’s in there? Who cares! If it means a quick and easy shopping trip, she can have two.
9:30 a.m. At home my tot can’t wait to help with the groceries. I rearrange the contents of the bags so at least one is light enough for her to carry. Then I make like the Flash and whisk the rest of the bags in at lightning speed while she muscles her bag into the kitchen.
10:10 a.m. Snack time means breaking out the new Paw Patrol treats. I set down the open bag at her booster.
10:11 a.m. #Socialmediabreak #Imonascroll.
10:12 a.m. By the sound of it, my daughter is unhappy with her selection. Time to pull out timeless wisdom for the ages—Daniel Tiger. We sing a song and count to four together. Daniel bats 1,000 in our house.
10:30 a.m. I need to get a bit of work done, so I set out Play-Doh and crayons at the craft table and pull out my computer.
10:43 a.m. It’s eerily quiet in the house, and I’m reminded of Hamlet. To check or not to check? That is the question that all toddler parents ask themselves at least three times a day.
10:44 a.m. While I’m Googling how to get crayon off cabinets and dreaming about my grocery store cleanup helper, I remember we have a playdate in the neighborhood soon. Google suggests soap and water, and I silently give thanks for the person who invented washable crayons.
11:15 a.m. I’m not sure who enjoys playdates more—my toddler or me. Adult conversation is a luxury. A playmate for my kiddo is too.
11:30 a.m. The playdate is off to a smooth start, so my friend and I settle into a gripping conversation that sounds a bit like, “That's when they realize the solution to climate chan—honey, if you’d like a turn with the toy, ask nicely and wait patiently—what was I saying again?”
11:33 a.m. “After years of painstaking research, they figured out that D.B. Cooper—honey, if you’d like a turn with the toy, ask nicely and wait patiently—now where were we?”
11:36 a.m. “World peace can only be achieved if—honey, if you’d like a turn with the toy, ask nicely and wait patiently—I need a good idea for dinner. What are you making?” I haven't had a complete thought since my second trimester. It goes on like this until the kids sit down for lunch.
12:15 p.m. For lunch the kids have quesadilla, grapes and goldfish crackers. Coincidentally, so do I.
12:45 p.m. Nap time is on the horizon. I give the two-minute warning and brace myself for impact.
12:47 p.m. All’s going well until the moment I touch her and she collapses like a marionette with cut strings. Houston, we have a problem. She’s gone boneless. Wrangling a child who’s gone boneless is like trying to gather Oobleck in your hands. It spills out everywhere. But somehow I manage to get her strapped into the stroller and she falls asleep on the way home.
1:15 p.m. Time to grapple with Parenting Dilemma #103—transfer the sleeping or let her sleep as is? I can’t chance the transfer today—too much to do—so I roll the stroller into the hallway and start in on the dishwasher, laundry and uninterrupted work time.
3:15 p.m. I hear my name being called on repeat. My people need me.
3:30 p.m. I’m almost done with work, so when my tot asks to watch her favorite show on the tablet, I reluctantly say ok. Let’s just say my relationship with CoComelon is complicated.
4:00 p.m. #Socialmediabreak #Imonascroll.
4:10 p.m. The witching hour is nigh… I sit down for playtime with my kiddo.
5:00 p.m. She’s busy playing with her school bus when my husband gets home. Boy, have I missed him.
5:01 p.m. #Socialmediabreak #Imonascroll.
5:05 p.m. While we’re busy making dinner, I get the feeling someone is hangry. Our sweet girl is jumping on the couch and banging on her piano. Then she scooters through the kitchen for a finale. Maybe a snack wouldn’t hurt…
5:30 p.m. At dinner, our kiddo manages to eat about three bites before she’s full. Who knew Pirate's Booty was so filling? A toddler mom. That's who.
6:05 p.m. Since I did the morning wake-up, my husband takes the bathtime/bedtime routine while I clean up dinner.
6:24 p.m. #Socialmediabreak #Imonascroll.
7:30 p.m. She's finally tucked into bed, and my partner in crime and I try to steal a few moments to ourselves—without much success...
7:32 p.m. Someone needs a cup of water. That's a hard pass.
7:35 p.m. We forgot to turn on the nightlight. Where's the monster spray?
7:38 p.m. Someone needs a snack. That three-bite dinner comes back to haunt us.
7:41 p.m. Someone wants a night-night song, so I head in to put the matter to rest. She asks for her favorite song—Baby Shark. A lullaby for the ages.
7:53 p.m. She drifts off to sleep somewhere around "safe at last..."