I learned of my second pregnancy right around my son’s 2nd birthday. It was then that I became motivated to mold him into the perfect toddler. I was fixated on getting him on a schedule that would work for me and the new baby. Before I knew it, he was using the potty, eating balanced meals, and taking daily naps for 2+ hours! On top of that, we locked down a strict 7:30 bedtime which routinely occurred night after night without a fight. I was the perfect mama, right? I sure thought so… I bragged to everyone who would listen about our impressive new schedule. Sure, I was proud of Jackson, but I was even more proud of myself. I was on top of my mommy game and couldn’t have been more prepared to add a newborn into the mix.
I know what you’re thinking, this is too good to be true – this woman is delusional if she thinks this schedule is going to stick. Oh, you couldn’t be more right. About 2 months ago, everything changed. Jackson stopped using the potty cold turkey – I could no longer even bribe him with a prize or candy. The balanced meals I served 3 times a day became a 24-hour buffet of snacks that he enjoyed at his leisure. Nap time completely vanished from our days. And worst of all, he stopped sleeping in his bed altogether, his 7:30 bedtime became a laughing matter. This mama, who at one time policed the household – allowing only educational TV and organic snacks, was now spending her nights sharing Cheez-Its and watching SpongeBob until 1am.
At first I thought this change was due to the flu bug hitting our house. Then after a couple of weeks with no progress, I began to think that this was Jackson’s way of rebelling the impending arrival of his sister. I didn’t talk to anyone, other than my husband and mom, about the regression. I was embarrassed and ashamed; I thought talking about it would make it even more real. But after finally talking with friends with toddlers, I realized that Jackson’s regression in, well everything, was completely normal. I wasn’t alone. After weeks of feeling like a complete and utter failure of a mother, I felt normal.
It was easy to be the angry and frustrated mommy when I first saw all my hard work beingflushed down the toilet. But I got to a point where I realized that toddler regression is okay. I’m at peace with where we’re at. How? Because I know my son is capable of using the potty; I know my son is capable of sleeping in his own bed; I know my son is capable of eating vegetables. I am confident that he’s not going to go off to college wearing Pull-Ups, eating a diet of only fruit snacks and Cheez-Its. Yes, it’s not going to be easy to have two babies in diapers and sporadic sleep schedules, but I can handle it. They’re only little once, so why do we push our toddlers to grow up so fast? Let them regress a little – let them be babies. I’m confident that one day they’ll get sick of pooping in their Pull-Ups and we, as mamas, will miss those days.