Photo edited from CC.
Toddler P. was about 7 or 8 months old when I started the small group. We started off with only three of us total, but soon grew to 7 moms in attendance (each bringing their babies as well). Immediately we noticed a change within ourselves after the first meeting. We read books on motherhood and our faith, we talked about our struggles, and most importantly we prayed. I began to feel a weight lifting from my shoulders. There were other moms out there struggling with the same feelings as I was, the same situations as I was... the battle over eating EVERY meal, the battle over naps and sleep, the battle over "no you can't touch that... yes you can touch that."
But there is also frustration for her of dealing with new emotions, the devastation of feeling she can't do something she truly really wants to, and the longing to be independent but also making sure mommy and daddy are within reach.
This is an exciting age, but a tough age, and so I've struggled with my own new emotions. Pure exhaustion from chasing her around, excitement at her learning new things, even more love as each day goes by, anxiety for the future, anxiety for the present... the list goes on.
So today I've realized I have to go back to where I was when Toddler P. was 7 months old. I have to realize I am not alone in my struggles, I am not alone in my feelings... I can do this. Not only can I do this, but I can do it with joy and not overreact when Toddler P. throws a temper tantrum. I can do this, and you can too! With God's help and grace we can get through today calmly and with joy!
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