Everyone says it gets easier. Everyone is lying. Life with a toddler is just as challenging as life with a newborn, albeit in an entirely different way.
While the exhaustion from the newborn sleep deprivation can make you feel physically sick, toddlers are a whirling ball of energy that leave you just as knackered – even if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets eight hours straight sleep a night.
More than that though, life with a toddler requires neverending patience and a sunny disposition that is often stretched to breaking point – especially when your tot’s put your phone down the toilet or smeared Marmite up a freshly painted white wall.
Toddlers are hilarious and cute and affectionate. But they’re also fiercely independent with clear ideas of what they want. That’s OK when it’s something they can do safely and easily, but more often than not the number one desire of a toddler is to put their own life in jeopardy, and they just can’t understand why you’re trying to spoil the fun.
As a mum to a feisty toddler I’m constantly trying to perfect the balance between letting my two year old explore her blossoming independence, and reigning it in when it all goes pear-shaped. Yes, she can walk home from school and “help” to push the buggy. No, she can’t walk barefoot while attempting to push the buggy into the path of oncoming cars. It’s a tricky balance.
You can’t reason with a toddler. In their barely developed new human brain they are still the centre of the world and we, their mere minions, exist only to carry out the rule of their dictatorship. Everyone knows the number one purpose of a toddler is to rule the universe – pity the fools who can’t see that.
There is a reason all toddlers are obsessed with Peppa Pig. It’s not the colourful graphics, catchy theme tune or jolly characters. It’s the fact Peppa and George are in charge and their rule is rarely questioned. You think Mummy and Daddy Pig are steering the boat? Think again. Mummy and Daddy Pig exist only to do Peppa and George’s bidding, which is as it should be in the world of a toddler dictatorship. Of course Peppa and George are very clever and let Mummy and Daddy Pig think they’re in charge, but we all know the score. Watch it and weep.
Which leads me onto my final point. Want to know the secret to a harmonious and happy life with a toddler? One word: SURRENDER.
Give up those silly notions of parental control and responsibility. Take the path of Mummy and Daddy Pig and accept your fate willingly. And know that when your toddlers are grown up with toddlers of their own, they too will share in the daily challenges of life under a toddler dictatorship.
If you need any more convincing of the reality of life with a toddler, watch our latest Day in the Life vlog. The struggle is real.