It doesn’t matter how many kids you’ve watched. You don’t really know the madness until you begin raising your own toddler.
It’s funny how these little humans are created. They spend the first year of their lives captivating you. Every little thing that they do makes your heart do flops, and you’re not all that upset at their crying because newborns are supposed to cry. Even on two hours of sleep, you find so much joy in seeing their toothless smiles. Babies, for the most part, are pretty perfect.
But oh. my. goodness. It’s as if a switch flips the second they turn 1.
The angelic smiles turn into ear piercing screams. The cute utterance of "ma ma" becomes "ma," "mum," "mommyyyy" and my toddler's most commonly and overused "MAAAAAA!" My husband and I try very hard to laugh our way through toddlerhood. It is easy, but we also realize that our budding toddler is steadily growing, learning and testing her boundaries. And nothing makes me laugh more than when friends ask, “So ... when are you guys planning to have another one?”
Really? You’re asking me about another child after I just told you that I wasn’t sure if I was going to survive toddlerhood or not? It's so not happening right now. And that's why I have 7 reasons for why I think toddlerhood is a great form of birth control.
1. Temper tantrums can kill the mood.
I am used to temper tantrums. After all, I work with adults. But let me tell you ... a toddler temper tantrum is seriously the craziest thing because they usually never make sense and come without warning. Lately my 1.5-year-old has been doing this epic back arch thing that makes it impossible for me to pick her up during a tantrum. These few seconds are exhausting, but they are always what I need after looking at a newborn and getting a pang of baby fever.
2. They still manage to take up a bunch of your time.
In less than a year my toddler has learned to walk, talk, feed herself and entertain herself. And guess what? She is STILL needy? How crazy is that? I was okay with not getting a chance to sleep in when she was baby but guess what? I still can't sleep in.
3. Because their sleep schedules are wonky, so are ours.
Remember that time your baby or toddler slept beautifully with no problems? I don't remember because it doesn't happen. Okay, that's a lie. Sometimes it happens. But just to make sure that she keeps us on our toes, my daughter will go through a random sleep regression. It's as if she forgot how to sleep, and when it's time to go down, she doesn't. She wants to stay up. She will fight us over this. It's the nightly version of temper tantrum. When she finally goes down, I feel like I need to go down, too — thus delaying or canceling any plans for sexy time.
4. They manage to destroy your house in 2.4 seconds.
I stopped apologizing to friends coming to my messy house. My former "clean freak" days are over. What cracks me up about these toddlers is how FAST they are at destroying your home. It's like they have super powers. While it takes me at least an hour to clean up the dining room, this kid has managed to re-junk it up in a matter of seconds. Seriously? Why do I even try?
5. They talk a ton.
I remember when she first started babbling. I thought it was the cuuuuutest thing ever. I would record videos of my sweet little baby gurgling and yearned for the day when she would say, "mama." Well, she learned how to say mama. She also learned how to say a slew of other "not so appropriate" words that I didn't teach her.
6. They will get up and actually destroy sexy time.
Couple time is an important time and an instrumental time for procreating. However, once these kids start walking and reaching door knobs, oh boy ... things get tricky. I try not to complain about this too much because, hello! It's birth control! Also, see No. 3 again for reference.
7. Activities with one baby seem impossible with two.
Recently my husband and I took our first flight to together as a family of three. It wasn't insanely difficult, but even the thought of doing it with more than one young child seemed ... terrifying.
How crazy is that? Sometimes the mere thought of doing things with more kids is enough to snap us back into enjoying our lives with our one child for now. Don't get me wrong. We are definitely excited about adding more little ones to our family, but it likely won't happen while our oldest is a toddler. Yeah ... no.