The Twos aren't Terrible

The Twos aren't Terrible

As my boys continue to grow, there is this one little thing that bothers me . . . a lot. It's this thing called "the terrible twos". You know what I'm talking about. In my opinion, you really can't have the title of mom and not have been warned at some point or another about the terrible twos. Sooner or later, someone will smirk, laugh, or moan and warn you that when your sweet baby turns two, all of something or another is going to break loose and your child will turn into a Tasmanian devil crossed with a screaming hot mess. It'll be terrible they say.

Well, I want to challenge us, dear momma friend, let's embrace a new expectation. Let's encourage the mom sitting in front of us with a 1.5 year old that the best days are yet to come. Because you know what? They've been wrong. The twos aren't terrible.

I really, really, really hate the notion that the 2s, or the 10s, or the teens are somehow this awful mess of terrible. No. It doesn't have to be that way. Because in part, what we'll find in any age category begins with our expectations. If you expect the twos {or the teens} to be terrible, you are going to find them terrible. But if you expect the realistic--that some days will be difficult, but most will be so much fun--that is what you'll find.

Gidget is turning 3 next month and as I've been reflecting on our journey through the twos, here's what I've found: the twos were amazing, beautiful, and so much fun! Terrible? I think not.

Were there difficult days? Oh yeah. Can I emphasize that again? Yes.

Did we have to scoop him off the floor at Home Depot in the middle of a temper tantrum? Yep.

Did he get into and ruin some of my favorite things? Sadly, he did.

Has he been escorted out of church balling over something he couldn't do? Uh-huh.

Were there times he was incredibly frustrating to deal with as a mom? Yes, bless his heart ;-)

And you know what? There were days I wanted to quit and throw in the towel on this motherhood thing. But I had those days when I was pregnant, definitely during labor, and when he was a newborn, when he was 1 . . . and I'll have those days when he is 3, and 10, 15, 20 . . .

But you know what else I found in the twos?

His joy in learning something new.

His ability to express himself {and it's often hilarious}.

His ability to give affection.

His blossoming independence and the emergence of his personality.

I was given the honor of watching him emerge as his own little person. And that was wonderful because you know what? That is what I want. I'm not raising a clone of me. I'm not raising a baby, a toddler, or a child. I'm raising a future man. And I want him to know who he is and how to set appropriate boundaries. I don't want to remain the everything in his life--he needs to separate from me {future daughter-in-law, you can thank me now, I'm trying my best to keep the smotherin' out of my motherin' ;-) }. The twos are good, and healthy, and necessary--and they are part of this process of raising future adults.

All the tantrums, and battles, all the  "NO!"s and "I donna want to!"s, those are all helping him develop who he is as a human being who is separate from me. He is learning to set his boundaries--and this is so important to who he will become as an adult. Yes, there are times he has to do things he doesn't want to do and we've hashed it out together--it was hard sometimes--but it was also an honor to be able to take his hand and help him navigate this journey.

The twos aren't terrible, dear momma friend. The twos are normal, needed {come now, do we really want them to stay in the dependent, connected baby stage forever?!}, challenging, and amazing. Is everyday a walk in the park? Nope, definitely not--but we take those days as they come and enjoy the journey. Same as we did during pregnancy, labor, the newborn stage, and the infant stage.

So let's set a new expectation, dear friend, because the twos aren't terrible. The twos are healthy and necessary--independence is what we are working towards! Yes, it's a little messy, challenging and difficult in the process--but it is also amazing, beautiful, and a whole lot of fun. When I look back on this year of two, I don't see terrible--I see lots of smiles and giggles. I see a little boy who is a few steps closer to adulthood, and that is what I want after all.  Isn't that what we are all working towards as mothers?

I'm challenging all of us to embrace the twos. To enjoy the fun times, buckle down and work through the challenging times, and banish the notion that the twos are a terrible thing. Because, the twos aren't terrible, the twos are a blossoming of independence and personality. We've been given the honor of guiding them through the process of blossoming, and it's a little messy at times {as gardening tends to be}, but it's worth it . . . and blossoming is a beautiful, amazing thing.

How are you embracing the twos? Share on Twitter or Instagram using #embracethetwos !

{Post linked at Serving Joyfully, Mom's Morning Coffee, A Little R & R, The Deliberate Mom, A Mama's Story