Life as a Normal Person vs. Life as a Toddler Mom

Remember those days when you didn’t have a kid?  Ah, I think about them sometimes.  Most daily activities could be completed within a reasonable amount of time and without five cups of coffee and a massive heaping of patience.  We never appreciated it though, did we?  I know I didn’t.  And if you’re anything like me, you have a ton of childfree friends who don’t really get it.  Since I am such a friendly and helpful person, I’ve put together this guide to daily life with a toddler for you to send to those friends or post on your Facebook.  Not to complain, okay?  Just to give them a little taste of what our lives are like.  It’s either that, or send them our kids in the mail, you know, and postage is getting rather pricey these days.

So here it is: step-by-step guide to daily life with a toddler (with handy side-by-side comparisons to daily life as a normal person):

Getting ready for work as a normal person:

1. Get out of bed.

2. Shower.

3. Get dressed, put on makeup, do hair.

4. Eat breakfast.

5. Leave for work.

Getting ready for work as a toddler mom:

1. Get dragged out of bed by toddler at least an hour before alarm goes off.

2. Make toddler breakfast.  Make toddler another breakfast because they refuse to eat the first one.

3. Get out toys for toddler to play with while you shower.  Get in shower.  Shower as fast as possible while toddler holds curtain open and screams for attention.

4. Get dressed.  Attempt to put on makeup but toddler is throwing fit because she wants to put on makeup too.  Toss toddler box of Q-tips to play with and tell her it’s makeup.  Watch toddler empty entire box of Q-tips onto floor.  Sigh heavily.  Dance a jig while singing Old MacDonald in desperate attempt to entertain toddler while swiping on mascara.

5. Give up completely on doing hair at all, ever again.

6. Run out of house with four bags over your shoulder and toddler on your hip, running 20 minutes late.  Get to daycare and realize that toddler has no shoes on and you’ve forgotten your own breakfast.

7. Resolve to get up earlier tomorrow.  Miss exit for work because you are exhausted.

Cooking dinner as a normal person:

1. Get out ingredients.

2. Chop ingredients.

3. Cook dinner.

Cooking dinner as a toddler mom:

1. Get out ingredients.

2. Realize you don’t have at least four things you need to make what you were planning.  Drag toddler out to grocery store to pick up missing ingredients. Get home and realize you’ve still forgotten at least two ingredients, think eff it, and start cooking anyway.

3. Start chopping ingredients, but toddler starts screaming for attention.  Put down food, pick up toddler, and put on DVD to entertain toddler while you cook.  Toddler throws screaming fit because she is hungry.  Give toddler snack to keep her happy.  Continue cooking, pausing every 5 minutes to refresh toddler’s snack.

4. Finally finish cooking but realize you are no longer hungry because it has taken over an hour to make dinner, and neither is your toddler, because by this time, she has eaten the equivalent of 14 snacks.

5. Put dinner into fridge for next night.

6. Completely forget about that dinner until two weeks later.  Throw dinner out.

I know all you toddler moms will back me up on this one.  Any activities to add to the list?

(Oh, and if all else fails with those unsympathetic childfree friends, just send your kid with them for an hour or two.  One of my friends thought she wanted to have a baby, and then she spent one hour with my daughter at a playground… and decided she’d rather just get a dog.  Never fails.  Good luck.)

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  1. by Corinne O'Sullivan

    On November 6, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    Loved this! I have only a 9 month old at the moment, but I know this lifestyle is just around the corner. It’s already starting to head that way.

    Thanks for the laughs! (And the fear!) :)

  2. by Jeann

    On November 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    I have a toddler and she doesn’t scream and throw fits every second tht she’s not getting attention from me although she does make taking showers insanely hectic.. but I do always find tht what I went to the store for in the first Is the on thing I have forgotten to get. Also when I’m making dinner I diffently don’t give my kids snacks while I’m cooking, they can wait for dinner to be ready. On tht note life with toddlers is definitely more complicated than life without.. butso totally worth it

  3. by Sherry

    On November 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Is it horrible that I actually sighed a bit of relief to read this post??? I stay at home with my 1 and 3 yr old boys (which is a job in itself, right?) and I could have written that entire post myself. All day long I tell myself I’m not alone, there are thousands of other mom’s rolling their eyes at their kids to just GIVE ME ONE MEASLY SECOND to do something! PLEASE! Umpf…I totally give up and look forward to 8pm every single night so I can have some peace and quiet.

    So thanks for the reminder that I’m not the only one who has just barely enough time to scrub my arm pits in the shower before one of the kids takes my curling iron and smacks his brother in the head with it… :)

  4. by Sherry

    On November 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    P.S. Oh yeah, and I totally give them snacks while I cook dinner. I consider it their appetizer. Makes me feel better at least. :)

  5. by Les

    On November 7, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I have a 21 month old, and this is exactly how I feel when I try to do anything! Nice to be reminded that I am not alone! :)

  6. by Andrea

    On November 7, 2011 at 10:44 am

    my 18 month old loves unpacking the one and only cupboard in the kitchen that isn’t child proof. He does this while I cook dinner so that when I turn around I usually trip over something! Life with a toddler is definitely interesting and mostly lots of fun. Mostly.

  7. by Deb

    On November 7, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    OMG I couldn’t stop laughing. This is so true. I would add something like, husband gets pissed off that food isn’t done yet. Then won’t come to the table because he’s watching tv or fell asleep. Meanwhile toddler is screaming because she hates to wait and hates the highchair.

  8. by Jen

    On November 7, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I woke up this morning with a 2.5 year old’s torso going across my neck. I don’t remember him coming in my bed- maybe that was the nyquil. I don’t know…but all I know is I woke up with difficulty breathing but I still moved him so that I didn’t wake him! I’d rather pass out from lack of oxygen than wake him up!

  9. by Richelle

    On November 8, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    You speak the truth!

    It drives me INSANE when my childless friends complain about having to make supper b/c it’s “too much work.” WHAT?? I just roll my eyes. Pure skill is cooking supper while you’re entertaining a side show….


  10. by Michelle

    On November 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    So true this post is!

    My 17-month old climbed out of her crib for the 1st time last night which has added another level of stress for me. My childless co-workers thought it was “cute” when I told them! Argh!

  11. by Margot

    On November 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Both of these examples are so true for me, especially the getting ready in the morning. I also miss going to the bathroom by myself without a toddler trying to steal toilet paper and talking about going to the potty while I am going to the potty. Oh, and the days when I used to call it a toilet or bathroom rather than potty.

  12. by Robynn

    On November 13, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    but you will miss this!!! My children are no longer toddlers and I would give anything to go back to the days where a simple song and dance were entertainment. Where their sweet smiles were so full of innocence. I do remember it was not always easy, but let me tell you, things just become more complicated the older they become. I miss my babies.

  13. by Robynn

    On November 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    P.S They still dont let me pee in peace!!

  14. by Mindy

    On November 14, 2011 at 2:22 am

    As the mom of a toddler I can completely relate. However, I would like to know how posting this on facebook does not completely contradict your annoying parental posts of facebook. You know the one from about a week ago.

  15. by Beth

    On November 15, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I totally agree, I’m a mother of two girls 27 and 8 months old. All these and the toilet that Margot mentioned.

  16. by Michaela

    On December 2, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    So glad I’m not alone… thanks for posting!

  17. by Gen

    On December 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    One other thing that happens in my house when I’m getting for work is that I get my toddler dressed, then have to chase him around and get him dressed AGAIN when he takes off all his clothes and hides from me, laughing! Then I also have to put on his shoes, coat, hat, gloves, etc. before going outside.

  18. by Ebony

    On December 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    I go through these things day in and day out lol I have a 3yr old and I’m 20 weeks pregnant, talk about exhausted between working an 8-5 coming home preparing dinner, attempting to “clean up” it feels impossible. The screaming fits in the morning because he doesnt want to wear anything with sleaves mind you I live in cold connecticut. oh and the joy of him climbing in bed at 3 in the morning and waking up in a fresh puddle of pee pee lol…life is good ladies!

  19. by KWILDES

    On December 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Love everything about this and totally feel the same way. Thanks for making me laugh!

  20. by Rose

    On May 15, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I wear my toddler on my back to cook and do dishes. He’s tall enough that he can see around me to see what I’m doing, and I tell him he’s helping me. It works about 75% of the time. I highly recommend investing in a toddler or pre-school sized backpack carrier.