Every parent’s journey is unique. But at the same time, we all share common experiences with our fellow Mums and Dads. Indeed, one of the great pleasures of parenting is catching up over a coffee (or a video chat as the current circumstances dictate) and trading war stories about the challenges, frustrations and things that make you laugh that come with raising our little ones. Yet, no matter how often our friends and family might reassure us or give us sympathetic nods. We often find ourselves reflecting on our parental experiences and wondering “is this normal?”. Indeed, it’s easy to become obsessed with establishing a baseline for our parental experiences and comparing ourselves (rarely favourably) to other parents within our friendship circles. And while this can be crippling to your self-esteem (and create additional stresses in your life that you could really do without). There’s certainly comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, and that the experiences you’re going through are common to others.
There’s also comfort in knowing what the future may hold. Let’s take a look at a few things that every parent can expect in their first 2 years. From the weird to the wonderful to the terrifying…
You’ll become an interior design maestra!
Many women who are expecting and new Mums alike are affected by the phenomenon known as “nesting instinct”. It makes us take a take a whole new level of interest in interior design combined with a burst of energy that makes us want to get everything just right for the baby’s arrival. in many cases, this persists long after the birth of a child, so that by the time they get to toddling, you’ll already have a clear idea of what’s absolutely essential for a toddler’s room. You’ll become an authority on how to design a child’s room. Just remember to have fun with decorating your toddler’s room and not to get too stressed (or skint) trying to make everything perfect.
There will be tantrums. Oh yes!
As kids reach their second year they start to experience a broader spectrum of emotions outside of need and fear. But they won’t have the psychological infrastructure to deal with them. The result? Tantrums. Loud, threshing and horribly embarrassing tantrums. Right when and where you want them least. Just remember (hard though it may be) that these are perfectly normal and by no means a reflection on your parental abilities.
They’ll find your use of the toilet fascinating
Toddlers will often let you know when they are ready for toilet training. One of the signs of this is that they’ll become weirdly fascinated by watching you on the toilet. While this is always awkward and may seem a little creepy to some parents, it’s actually a really healthy interest and a potentially teachable experience when it comes to potty training.
You’ll start to see the person they’ll become emerge
Finally, one of the most wonderful parts of the first 2 years is watching your child’s personality start to emerge. Watching them start to form more complex thoughts, have opinions and preferences and lay the foundations of the person they’ll become for the rest of their lives.
It’s a really beautiful and fascinating thing to see, and one of the most rewarding parts of your parental journey.
How did you find the first two years of your parenting journey?