Being a Parent of a 2 Year Old.


Before I became a mom I was sure I would love the infant stage the best. I never understood how parents could say they weren’t “infant stage” people. What’s not to love I thought? They sleep and cuddle most of the time, right? As a parent, I have loved every stage with Rowan but I can honestly saw now… I am not an infant person. It was not my favorite. I wonder what it will be like with the second though? I think I was somewhat tainted by that overwhelming feeling of “holy crap!” by being a new mom with Rowan. It was hard to be in the moment back then. We had no close friends with babies and I was alone most of the time with Rowan while Kev was at work. Anyway, I have said this with every stage but man, oh man 2 is the best age. (I am a little afraid of what 3 will bring. I have heard horror stories. Ha!)

It is also the age that makes me want to cry, pull my hair out, and scream in frustration some days but at the same time I want to freeze time. I want her to be this age forever. I feel like she is 2 going on 13. She talks so dang much. She understands and can do way more than I give her credit for. She has the funniest sense of humor and is just so loving, out going and brave I can’t even stand it. Rowan is 1 in a million. Yes. Yes. I know I am her Mom and of course I would say that but it really is true.

I have really gotten to love our little daily routine for 2 years old. We spend lots of time with close friends at parks, playgroups and gymnastics. This has been such a huge blessing to me. A void I think I was missing for 2 years. Having friends with kids that are going through similar things is such a huge encouragement. Parenting can feel very lonely sometimes if you let it. Seeing Rowan make best friends warms my heart.

I am a very proud Mom and I am super proud of Kev and I. We have made many mistakes for sure but I think sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves as parents. We should pat our selves on the back every once in a while. It’s no joke raising kids. It is by far the hardest job there is and I think we all need a big jump high five most days for making it through.

I have been thinking a lot lately about motherhood and the kind of Mom I want to be and continue to be. It is crazy to think that I will be a Mom of 2 in just 11 weeks. Here are a few things that have been on my heart lately…

1. I want to be spontaneous and easy going with enough structure that will give them the security they need.
2. I want to be able to instill in them a passion for life.
3. i want to teach them to have good manners and be polite.
4. I want to play outside with them a lot.
5. I want them to hear more music than tv.
6. I don’t want them to remember me on my phone/computer all the time.
7. I want to pick up and go places with them on a whim.
8. I don’t always want to worry about schedules or making messes.
9. I want our house to be filled with laughter and love.
10. I want to create situations where they can use their imaginations as much as possible.
11. I want to lead by example. I want to be a good role model for them.
12. I want them to know there is no limit to what they can accomplish.
13. I want them to know God’s love for them.
14. I want them to teach them to be kind to others and have a generous heart.
15. I want our family to always be adventurous and value the importance of seeing new things.
16. I want to teach them to value and respect each other as siblings and us as parents.
17. I want them to know they can dream big and we will be there no matter what to support them.
I could go on and on…

What things are important to you to teach your kids?
What has been your favorite age?

  1. That’s a great list. It’s nice to write intentions down and see them in black/white. I want to them them all those things, and #5 is especially important to me right now. The other day, my 4-year-old son told me that “we don’t have music in our house.” And I was like, Uhh, yes we do!! Both my husband and I are avid music listeners, but some of our tastes are too grown up for our children (three ages 5 and under), so I guess maybe I edited music a little too much in our house 🙂 I’ve pulled out some Norah Jones, Jack Johnson, Elton John, Jewel, things like that that I don’t really have to think about before I put in the cd player. I’m thinking about getting some sort of music playing apparatus-thingy for the boys’ room but haven’t quite figured out what would be age-appropriate. I wouldn’t trust them with cds, but I’m also not sure what’s out there. So, yeah…

    My favorite age so far has been anything after 3. If 2 is “terrible,” then 3 is “terribly trying.” At 2, they realize that they can want and ask for things. At 3, they realize that you get in the way of those things. 3 is a much harder negotiation of power than 2, in my opinion. …Uh, not to worry you or anything! haha.. 🙂 This is all my opinion/personal experience, so Rowan might be different.

  2. I have 3 kids ages 6, 5 & 2. My favorite age is from 2 to 3. They learn so much and become not so little babies anymore. Right now I am trying to teach my kids about being respectful, to obey their mom and dad and the love of God. Those are the three most important things in our house right now.

  3. Linda L •

    My son is 10 and while I LOVED the infant stage, I can’t say I really enjoyed the toddler/preschool part. Potty training, trying to understand what he was trying to say (and mostly getting it wrong), and the little kid shows/books/games were just not fun for me. Although I kind of miss Clifford the Big Red Dog. Once he turned 5 and started playing sports – that was and is my wheelhouse. Now we’re reading Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, he’s beating me at ping pong and basketball, we’ve run a 5K together, and watching him pitch in little league games is the best fun ever – elementary school years have been my favorite.

  4. I’m with you on all counts – 2 is awesome! My girl’s 2.5 now and it’s so fun to be able to interact with her! Infant age is hard – I’m pregnant now too (due in March) and dreading some of those infant things – but it helps to look back at photos of Bridget when she was a baby to remember that once they hit 2 mos., they start to be quite fun too, with smiles etc. And there are nice things about babies – they happily eat what they’re given and they are immobile so no need to chase them! 😉

  5. Linda L •

    Oh, and the answer to your other question: I teach him that being a nice, kind person is the most important thing.

  6. I have loved every stage, and it seems that every stage is better than the previous one, although, as I said, i’ve loved every one.

    If it can be any help, for us, 3 years-old have been wonderful (3 1/2, even better). Our son is incredible with all his questions and thoughts. I can’t help but marvel at his intelligence and I’m pretty sure must parents must feel the same. At 3 1/2, he is truly funny, he makes jokes and he’s so spontaneous. But, he can be serious as well, meaning we can have great discussions on a lot of subjects and since he’s so curious, I’m learning (or relearning, as it seems that I had forgottent lots of things on volcanoes, for example) lots of things. It is a pleasure!

  7. I love the stories you share. I feel as though you provide great, real-world perspective. I read your blog often, and always get excited when I’ve been away for a few days and find several new posts published.

    I do, however, have one little, tiny complaint. Grammar. I know you’ve addressed this in past posts, saying you don’t proofread or really care that there are mistakes in your entries. I just feel like you should take pride in your site! Re-read your posts before you click “publish”. I’m not the grammar police, but I do get frustrated when I see silly typos or blatantly incorrect sentences. (For example, it’s “Being the parent of a two-year-old”
    or “Being a parent to a two-year-old”)

    Anyway, I’m the type of person always looking for constructive criticism, and while I’ve refrained from posting this comment on many previous posts, I decided to go ahead and share my thoughts with you today. I hope this isn’t mean. You’re really lovely and I don’t want to hurt your feelings.

  8. Amazing post! Nora is 3 months older than Rowan and I feel exactly the same as you! So nice to read. I give this a big… AMen! 🙂

  9. I am not a parent, but when I was a camp counselor my favorite group to teach was always the 7-8 year olds. They were old enough to be independently thinking and smarter learners (and not just learning by repetition, as with toddlers), but still young enough to be enthusiastic and full of energy. They were always so much fun to teach.

  10. I really love reading this post. Thank you for writing it. I don’t have any kids (yet) but I’m so excited to feel as much excitement as you feel about your family.

  11. Jude is only a few weeks younger than Rowan, I think, and I agree with you. I am not at all an infant person and Jude at 24 months now is my favorite age, yet! I love seeing him process things himself and he’s telling stories and he’s so free with his affection. The baby stage is precious, but it’s so dang hard to be on very little sleep and to often not know why baby is upset. I feel like I finally found my most comfortable rhythm as a parent when Jude could hug and say thank you and please and could sign or ask for some of the things he needed. Now that he’s saying, “I love you”, I’m turning into a sentimental mushball.

    I love your list. Number six (not being on the phone or computer all the time) is a big one for me. I had this dream once that Jude was in school and drew a picture of his family and the doodle of me is clutching my phone. It was an eye opener, for sure.

  12. Love it! Where is that precious bike from?!

  13. I have two girls too… and I can honestly say that I enjoyed baby #2’s infancy much more then with my first. I guess the confidence of being a seasoned mom, second guessing myself much less, and knowing (not just hearing) that it flies by so fast. Although it’s really hard at first with a toddler and a newborn, it just gets better and better… now they play together and it’s so much fun!

  14. Oh my, the first year of my son’s life was so hard! I always said I wasn’t a baby person. It was just so overwhelming for me. We were living in Colorado, no family nearby, no friends with kids, my husband working all the time, the baby never sleeping, difficulties nursing, etc. We moved back home to be near family and friends. It’s been getting better. My son is 14 months old now and I’m just amazed with him (sleep is still a struggle haha). And we’re expecting #2 in March. To be honest, I’m terrified! But I’m hoping it’ll be just a little easier this time and I an enjoy it more…I’m also hoping this baby will be a good sleeper. 😉

  15. I know I don’t know you personally, but I can tell just by the way you speak about your family and Rowan that you are a great mom and Rowan is really blessed to be being raise by you and Kev, I wish you just as much happiness with the second!

    xo Jennifer

  16. I totally relate to that, parenting can be lonely. My husband & I are relatively young. We have a two year old boy named Mason & are expecting our second bundle of joy at the end of April. We both love being parents, but it is hard if you don’t have friends with kids. Especially for a Mama who stays at home.
    Why can’t it be as easy to make friends now as it was when we were kids. “Hey my name is Kay, wanna play with me?” Hah

    Your little family is adorable!

  17. I feel the same way about my almost two year old. It’s so amazing to see them so independent and feisty. It can be hard but it’s pretty spectacular.


  18. Love these tips for parenting. I am not a parent, but from a child’s perspective because I am still 17, one of the things growing up is that having parents who hold themselves accountable for their actions is really, really helpful. When all the rules apply to them as well, it helps the child to abide by them as well.
    Can’t wait to hear what you name your new wee one- love Rowan’s name!

  19. This is such an inspiring post. I could echo so much of what you wrote. My baby girl just turned one….and I can say with certainty that the infant stage was not my favorite either. I struggled with balance in a big way and while I still haven’t figure that out entirely….it’s definitely getting easier. I am loving watching her grow and developing more of a personality. So much to look forward to!

  20. I LOVED the 2-3 range with my twins as well… such an amazing age of discovery and new personality and wonder… but without all the sass and attitude that comes quickly after (they’re 4 now and boy do they have opinions!). My youngest is 14 months and I’m just soaking it all in – trying to enjoy each moment with her and remember how quickly this time passes. It’s amazing to see how much they learn and grow each day!
    As for teaching my main goals are kindness and compassion for others, a love for art and exploration and a preference for actively engaging the world instead of passively consuming it – we are a very low tv/low internet house (or try to be when the kids are up at least!) and I hope they learn to love entertaining themselves instead of relying on the world to entertain them.

  21. Love this post! I’m so with you, this age is the BEST. The fact that they can converse more just makes their little personalities shine that much brighter! I will say, though, that we had a day full of temper tantrums yesterday. On little sleep with the newborn… it was rough! Even on a full night’s sleep I probably would’ve been on the verge of tears.

    I want my kids to be accepting and loving and not judgmental, to find joy in every day things… and to know that it is ok to be sad and let out our emotions! I want them to believe in themselves and pursue their interests and dreams wholeheartedly. I just want them to be happy and know that we are here to support and love them no matter what.

  22. Love your list, Jen! Such a good idea to set goals for yourself even in parenting! My favorite stage so far is 12. I know that might seem odd but it’s an age where they’re still young enough to have an eyes-wide-open view of the world but old enough to have really cool conversations. This morning on the way to school it was best bands of all time followed up by a 2 minute explanation of who Hitler is. (it’s all we had time for) its just so cool to see them grow and learn about the world at all stages 🙂 thanks for this!

  23. Absolutely lovely post!

  24. Jen –
    Your list truly tugged on my heartstrings. I’m far, far away from motherhood, but it is women like you that inspire me to not be afraid of my own future. I am sure that sweet Rowan and her little sibling will be fabulous tweens, mature teens, and even more fantastic human beings. Much love for your family, thanks for sharing.

  25. Love that you just posted this. My husband and I both feel the same way. We feel as though we were robbed of the baby stage. Sofia Marie was Colic and we played a very serious game when she was first born until about 8 months. Sammy and I would take 12 hour shifts where he would stay up and tend to her while I slept and played house wife. Then we would switch and he would sleep and play husband around the house. She cried 24 hours, rarely ate and never ever wanted to be put down. Sleeping was another fun time where if we could actually get her down, she might sleep a few minutes. IT WAS TOUGH.

    I am forever grateful for people like yourself who share their stories and make it known that life isn’t always peachy after a baby. We thought for the longest time we were not cut out as parents because of the times we had gone through. But each and everytime I read a post like this – I am reminded that every baby is different, needs, wants and desires are individual.

    Having said all that – Sofia Marie is now 1 year and we wouldn’t have it any other way. A brilliant child, always loving and smiles more than one could ever. Just amazing. Being a parent is not easy but it is oh so rewarding.


  26. I personally love this toddler stage. Naja is 15 months now, and she is talking, walking, running, playing, kissing, hugging, throwing tantrums – pretty much the whole gamut. I always knew I’d love this age, I’ve always loved playing with kids though. I love thei free will – their imagination, and fearless attitude. I definitely wasn’t a lover of the infant stages, but I get why some people really love it. I mean, it is super sweet to have your baby just lay on your chest. Oh the memories 🙂

  27. Beautiful post! I cried reading every word because I know how you feel. I think every mother out there does. I have twin girls, their 9 moths, and I want to enjoy every second I have with them.

  28. I am so loving this article! I feel like I wrote it, accept I’m about a year behind you. I’m a single Mama, and I feel like I’ve been in a baby-coma for over a year. I don’t have many (and my many..I mean I have one. One friend with a child) friends who have kids, so it can feel real lonely at times- despite me doing my best to keep us out and about. Dude, I’m not the only one who feels like way sometimes? PHEW. I’m almost normal 😉 My daughter (Rowe…so when you say Rowan I really do feel like this is me writing!) is the best, weirdest little-person thing ever and I wouldn’t change a second, but you gave me a little faith for the year ahead.

  29. I have to completely agree with you on the infant vs 2 year old stages. I have both at the moment and while I love the cuddly squishyness of the baby, I really really love how amazing my 2.5 year old is. The things she says and does is just amazing though she does also drive me way more crazy then the baby does.

  30. melinda •

    The really cool thing is that kids just get better and more enjoyable the older they are. I expected the toddler stage to be the best because that’s when they’re at their cutest but my kids are now 5 and 8 and it has never been better. In fact it is so good that we have decided my husband will get the vasectomy reversed that he had done after our youngest was born. I’m not a huge fan of baby or toddler stage but those years of feeling tired and frustrated are a small price to pay for the people they become.

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Hi, I'm Jen!

Welcome to my personal lifestyle blog. It features topics such as motherhood, family life, fashion, cooking, and all sorts of adventures. I hope you enjoy what you find!

Jen Loves Kev