I wrote this on Instagram but felt like maybe there were young moms here who needed to hear it as well.

I’m not sure how many people follow both accounts, would love to know if you want to share! (Trying to revamp some things around here and wanting to know who is coming from where and what more you’d like to see her.)

But I digress, today I just want to send out a little encouragement for young mothers in the trenches:

I remember those days as a young mama that I thought would never end.

(This picture has made the rounds on the internet in so many different varieties,
but it just so speaks to young motherhood, don’t you think?!)

It wasn’t just the crying and tantrums, it was the fighting and sassiness and things like finding heaps of Tide detergent dumped in the dryer🤪.

And messes everywhere.

I remember one time when my mom came to visit. We lived in Washington DC and I had two toddlers clinging to my legs and a baby on my hip (and I’m sure I was covered in spit-up too because that baby had reflux like nobody’s business).

I was surely at my wits end, wondering how I could ever manage to tame my small circus.

I will always remember my mom’s wise words: toddlers don’t have self-control. They aren’t born with it. That stuff takes a while developmentally. And she assured me they would grow into obedience and submission some day HA! (She didn’t really say the submission part😉)

For some reason that thought had transformative power for me. I could suddenly have a little more compassion and patience for the mischief and chaos swirling around me. Those children of mine weren’t trying to be naughty, they were just trying to figure out life. (As was I, obviously!)

And guess what? My mother was right! Those kids of mine did eventually learn to want to behave. Sure, there were all kinds of ups and downs and bumps and bruises along the way, and in many ways we’re still “in the trenches” (albeit kind of different ones now).

But I’ll never forget those wise words my mother shared with me all those years ago.

Patience in the process as that prefrontal cortex continues to develop.

(My sisters and I talk about this and all kinds of other things to help kids WANT to behave in the podcast last week if anyone wants to take a listen!)

So I’m here to cheer on you young mothers out there trying to tame your own circuses.

It may take a little, so keep practicing patience, but you’ve got this!

Those kids do too.

And, if you ever need a little pick-me-up after a long day of trying to wrestle kids, be sure to go watch them as they sleep before you turn in yourself.

There’s something transformative about that, too❤️

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  1. I follow your IG and your blog. I am always looking forward to your blog posts and love the mix of things that you write about.

  2. I’m not on IG but love following your blog. Our two sons are now 17 and Juniors in high school (home schooled). I wish I had found your blog when they were little:).

  3. I’ve been visiting your blog for years, but don’t use Instagram. Grateful to see a loving perspective on motherhood. Your crew is a few years ahead of mine—ours are between the ages of 9 and 17–so it’s nice to peek ahead a bit!

  4. I love reading your blog! I get on Instagram occasionally but not often. My kids are a little bit behind yours in age and I also appreciate seeing what you’re going through and how you’re handling it a few years before I get to as well.

  5. I follow your blog but stopped using IG altogether. Thanks so much for your encouragement! I really needed to hear that about toddlers. I had quite a day with my 3 year old. I love your mom’s wise words that it’s normal development of a toddler to not know how to have self control but that with time and consistency and guidance from us they will eventually get it. Perspective really helps with this parenting gig, trying to remind myself to zoom out to the big picture when I’m caught in those moments of frustration. Trying to remember that with my teen too. Thanks again!

  6. This is great wisdom and I’d say it also applies to teenagers. It seems easy to expect our kids to know how to do things or how to behave, but in reality, it’s just a lot of learning and it doesn’t come easily. Thanks for passing on these gems. I’ve followed your blog for years and I’ve learned a lot from you’

  7. I felt prompted to get of IG 5 years ago and I am so grateful. I love your blog. I hope you keep posting here

  8. I’m a young mother in the trenches! Thank you sharing and for your general thoughtfulness! I got rid of Instagram several years ago and don’t use it anymore, but I follow your blog and love it! Thanks!

  9. Hi shawni,

    I’m not yet a parent but I nanny 2 girls (4 & 6) and I’m wondering HOW in the world you can stop their fighting and whining! They’ve got to get to school so there’s not endless time to try the fighting bench idea, but I’d rather learn to nip it in the bud than deal with the fall out while we’re all rushing out the door. No amount of stickers or stars or prizes has helped and I’d be ever so grateful to hear from you (or all of you on the podcast!) about what I can do to help this.
    Thank you!

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