What 3-Year-Olds Think They Can Do Vs. What They Actually Do

I can spot a 3-year-old from a mile away.

The blatant defiance. The haughty confidence. The absolute adorableness, despite those two horrendous flaws. The look of pure stress and frustration on a parent’s face. The tactful negotiations that ensue over even the smallest situations like, “Who’s going to press the elevator button?”

Clearly, the PR campaign for the Terrible Twos was false and simply serving as a distraction and deterrent from you realizing that the Threes are a hell of a lot worse, for there is no one more infuriating, stubborn, or adorable than a 3-year-old. The cojones these children have and their pure drive is almost inspiring — and definitely crazy.

Here are just five things 3-year-olds think they can do versus what they can actually do:

Drive a Car vs. Cut Off Your Toe With a Little Tikes Vehicle

When my daughter was 3, she told me vehemently, “I’m going to get in the car and drive to where I wanna go!”

I laughed (which she did not like) and said, “You go ahead and try,” knowing reaching the pedals wasn’t even a remote possibility. Of course, I didn’t give her the keys.

Read More: What 3-Year-Olds Think They Can Do Vs. What They Actually Do

Good Luck!

Laura

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Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Motherhood is hard enough but it’s even more so when you don’t have family support. It used to be that the family “village” was always there for you when you had children, but times have changed. For me, my parents are much older, so they’re not available to me. If anything, they need me to check in on them. Many of my friends are also in this same boat — older parents that simply can’t be as helpful as they’d like to be. For others, some of their families are far away, absent or plain old dysfunctional.

There is no doubt that without those helpful family hands, having a baby and young children can feel like a huge hurdle. I’m talking to you, working mom with a sick baby and no PTO days left. I’m talking to you, mom with PPD and two kids under 2.

Here are some of the challenges that come about when your family village just can’t — or won’t — be there:

Dreaded Sick Days

Let’s face it — not many college-aged kids or really, anyone, wants to watch a sick kid. But when your kid is in day care or school and germ season hits, the sick days roll in and they don’t stop.

But you don’t have any more paid time off. If you’re lucky, you can work from home and no one in the office will gossip about you. If you’re not lucky, you’ll lose pay or have the whole office gossiping about you being out, again.

Read More: Being a Mom With No Family Support Is the Hardest Thing Ever

Hang Tough,

Laura

Saying Goodbye to The Parents We Knew As We Watch Them Age

When we were little, we couldn’t fathom our parents aging. We imagined them living forever, just as they were at that time. We couldn’t imagine them getting older or sick, retiring or even for some parents, remarrying. We envisioned them as timeless and in many ways, invincible.

But that isn’t life. As we age, so do our parents. No one is more powerful than time; it slips through our hands faster than we can consider the moment. And in many ways, watching our parents age is tough and heartbreaking. But in other ways, there are many things that are enjoyable about “growing up” with our parents.

When I became a mother, I could finally grasp what my mother had gone through with my three sisters and me. I could finally understand her working mom guilt. Her cranky moments and desires to float away behind a book without a kid to bug her from its captivating narrative. Her undying support of my love of the arts, whether I was in a play, a show, colorguard, band, dance or what have you. All the hours she spent driving to competitions hours away, listening to teenagers and music she probably despised … I can relate as I sit on a floor playing dolls with my daughter. As I drive her from soccer or to dance, watching her become a little being right in front of my eyes.

Read More: Saying Goodbye to The Parents We Knew As We Watch Them Age

Circle of Life,

Laura

4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Our children are bystanders in the divorce process. Theyoverave no control in the matter and can often just sit or stand by and watch as their families change, drastically. Depending on the age of the child and the child’s individual personality, some kids will roll with divorce more easily than others. Not to mention, a child will fare better and come out happy despite divorce if the two parents are both active parents who for the most part, get along. This doesn’t mean you and your former spouse have to be “BFF’s,” but that the more you get along, the easier it is in general.

Keeping this in mind that our children are bystanders and the “audience” of the whole divorce debacle, how can we minimize the negative impacts a divorce can bring? Because our kids aren’t part of a passive audience: the divorce changes their lives in many ways.

Whether you’re separating, newly divorced or an old seasoned “pro” at divorce, keep in mind these 4 perspectives when parenting children after divorce.

Read More: 4 Perspectives to Embrace When Supporting Your Kids After Divorce

Support Them,

Laura

 

5 Things To Never Say Sorry For As A Single Mom

When I ran into parents around town as school was wrapping up, everyone popped the same question:

What is your daughter doing this summer?

I pretty much shrugged my shoulders and said, “Camp Mom.”

When my daughter asked why we can’t go on vacation or why she can’t go to camp like the majority of her classmates, she knew the answer before I responded.

I don’t have the money.

I freelance and have my own business, but I always have a full-time role in addition. However, I along with many other people recently got laid off due to a company liquidation. That means that so far, my summer has been spent interviewing, working on freelance projects and acting as the official cruise director for “Camp Mom.”

Read More: 5 Things To Never Say Sorry For As A Single Mom

Stop Apologizing,

Laura

6 Things I Want My Daughter to Remember About Me, Even After I’m Gone

We always want our children to think the best of us — just as much as they want us to think the best of them. Have you ever sat down and thought about what exactly you want your kids to remember most about you when it’s all said and done? The reality is this — so much of how we are can become how our children are. They absorb so much of us, from our behaviors and habits to our likes and dislikes, even when we don’t realize they’re watching and listening.

As a single mom raising an only child, I really feel the weight of all I do. Worrying about caring for her and having the entire financial burden on my shoulders sometimes makes me think I’m going to break, but I don’t. I keep carrying on and doing my thing. And that’s just one of the things I want her to remember about me: that I never give up, no matter how hard life gets. I take the punches like a big girl, and I dish it right back, fighting and appreciating the little things in life.

Here are the six big things I want my daughter to always remember about me.

Read More: 6 Things I Want My Daughter to Remember About Me, Even After I’m Gone

Love Is Never-Ending,

Laura

8 Ways to Shut Down Questions About When Baby No. 2 Is Coming

Don’t you love how people are utterly offended and horrified by the fact that your kid is an only child? I mean, what could possibly be worse than not having a sibling?

Because having siblings is always easy. Your brother is never publicly intoxicated and your sister is completely normal, sane and never yanked your hair like she was pulling weeds, right? Siblings always get along, too! I mean everyone knows that!

Yeah, what sort of demon leaves his or her child to be a lone soul in the world without a sibling around to kick that kid’s ass?

Apparently, having an only child makes other parents consider us parents of only kids, slackers. It’s like we’re all competing in this major parenting Olympics and if you only have one kid, you’re cheating at life and therefore, getting by way too damn easy.

Read More: 8 Ways to Shut Down Questions About When Baby No. 2 Is Coming

None of Their Beeswax,

Laura

7 Reasons You Should Give Zero F*cks If Your Kid Isn’t Potty Trained Yet

So your kid isn’t potty trained yet? To hell with you! What kind of mother are you anyway?

Kidding.

Really, everyone learns to use the bathroom in his or her own time and we all know there are some adults that still “miss” the toilet, so is this really a tragedy? Does it really matter if your kid pees in a pull-up or in the super special Star Wars undies you bought for them? The answer to all these is a resounding NO.

Here are just seven reasons you should care less if your kid still isn’t potty-trained:

1. They Won’t Wear a Diaper to the Prom

Eventually, your child will get it. He won’t be begging you to change his diaper or wipe his butt as he rides off with a girl who looks older than you and like she might have an R-rated Instagram account.

2. Underwear Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Really. Have you ever had your kid complain about a wedgie? Diapers are comfy, cushy and soft. Underwear rides up butts. You’ll just love when your kid pulls at their undies in public and another human laughs at your child—or worse—your kid insists these are the “worst underwear” ever.

Yes, that is an ACTUAL thing that children do to their parents in order to torture them. My daughter constantly tells me her undies are too tight or too loose. Meanwhile, they look perfectly fine to me. Argh!

Read More: 7 Reasons You Should Give Zero F*cks If Your Kid Isn’t Potty Trained Yet

Chillax,

Laura

11 Awesome Things From Our Childhood That Our Kids Will Never Get To Do

Every generation of kids thinks they have it better/worse/easier or harder than the previous, but in my opinion, it’s not that easy to compare a whole generation of time and being to another. However, there are some awesome things that I got to do as a kid that my daughter will most likely never experience, and quite frankly, that stinks—for her!

1. Making Prank Calls

I’m not sorry in admitting I loved prank calling people. I was damn good at it, and it continued all the way up through college.

But with smartphone technology, sure you can block a number, but it’s much easier to get caught. And besides, kids today can tweet, Snapchat and Facebook each other a bunch of nonsense under fake profiles.

Still, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of live prank calling.

2. Playing MASH

Our kids will never know how awesome it is to discover your entire future on a piece of paper.

Mansion. Apartment. Shack. House.

Single. Married. Divorce.

How many kids you had.

Read More: 11 Awesome Things From Our Childhood That Our Kids Will Never Get To Do

I Was Promised a Mansion,

Laura

7 Things I Want to Say to Strangers During My Child’s Public Meltdown

Kids will meltdown and it will always happens at the worst moment, like when they’re meeting someone very important to you, or in public among a large crowd. I’m pretty certain that children time these tantrums appropriately to humiliate us to the largest possible degree.

And truthfully, it’s not your family or friends that care about their behavior so much—it’s total strangers who love to judge you for for every imperfect moment your child has to prove you’re a big fat failure as a mother.

Here are some things I would love to say to strangers as they burn holes into my soul, wishing me into dirt, for all of the bad things my kid has done in public:

1. “She’s just like her [insert other family member name here]”

When my daughter is having a “moment,” I would love to blame it on another family member, simply to relieve myself of those nasty beady stranger eyes, and also to jolt some nonsense into that nosy stranger!

Like, “Oh yeah lady, well she gets this awful habit from her INSERT FAMILY MEMBER NAME HERE—but definitely not me,” and then go on to pick my nose right in front of her.

Charming, right?

2. “If you think you can do a better job, here, she’s yours.”

When strangers be looking at you and your kid like you’re both spawns of Satan, I would love to tell them to try to beat my parenting game.

Read More:7 Things I Want to Say to Strangers During My Child’s Public Meltdown

Everyone is an Expert,

Laura