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

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

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

7 Things I Would Like to Do With Shopkins

Do the possibilities end?

NO!

Lucky you, they never end. Season upon season upon season, these little hard plastic things that come with those little plastic bags never end. And much to your demise, those little Shopkins faces are so cute that your kids can’t get enough of them… ever.

Thanks to the clever manufacturer, there are so many things your kids can do with their Shopkins—none of which would go on my personal to-do list with Shopkins!

Here are some things I’d like to do with those little plastic toys from hell myself:

1. Throw them in a trash bag and leave them on my ex’s porch.

Want revenge? Why does it have to be hurtful? Why does it have to be a fist to the gut? Can’t it just be a bag full of Shopkins for someone else to collect, step on, poke oneself with, and find in sinks, toilets and bathtubs?

2. Make a trail with them and lead a kid to the ending.

Step 1: Take all your kid’s Shopkins.

Read More: 7 Things I Would Like to Do With Shopkins

Tampon Tara?

Laura

8 Things Every Sleep-Deprived New Mom Needs to Keep in Mind Through the Chaos

When the baby is crying (again), your nipples are cracked and bleeding, and you want to hide in a corner and cry, you can’t seem to think past the baby phase and into the future. Right now, you’re in the thick of the lovely, yet stressful newborn chaos, and in most cases, you probably don’t feel it to be lovely at all — you can’t see beyond your fatigue.

Your heavy-lidded eyes are too stuck in the throes of sleep exhaustion to remind yourself that this too shall pass and will be over in a blink of an eye. When it’s your first baby, you don’t have the past experience to remind you of that.

So when you’re utterly exhausted and wishing your baby could just sleep through the night, here are eight things to remember in the middle of this newborn blur — straight from a mom who is done having babies.

1. You Must Know That This Too Shall Pass — All Too Quickly.

Right now, it seems like your baby will never sleep through the night and that you will never get the hang of it, but that’s not true. In a blink of an eye, your “up all night, sleep all day” baby will begetting on the bus to kindergarten.

Read More: 8 Things Every Sleep-Deprived New Mom Needs to Keep in Mind Through the Chaos

Babies Don’t Keep,

Laura

8 Reasons Positive Discipline Is Still Discipline

Positive discipline is essentially when you focus on your child’s behaviors and choices as good or bad and reward the good behaviors. There is no such thing as a “bad” kid when it comes to positive discipline, and a lot of schools and parents are taking on this way of rearing, raising, and helping kids grow.

But still, there are the naysayers — especially parents of the previous generation — who say that perhaps we are all “too soft” on our kids with this positive parenting nonsense. To the older generation, this is us going too easy on our kids.

“Back in my day, kids behaved the right way!”
“A good spanking got you and your siblings to behave!”

Although each generation of parents tends to have its own unique method of parenting, for some reason the previous generations seem to believe that children can’t learn to behave unless they are frightened to death or scared. And perhaps for some kids, the scare tactic approach works. For me it didn’t, and for many other kids it doesn’t work (in my opinion). I truly think that for positive parenting skeptics, they ought to open their minds to the idea that perhaps children can learn to make great choices without being afraid. That rewarding good choices and focusing on the positives of each individual child can result in a healthy, strong adult.

Need more evidence? Read through for eight reasons positive disciplining is still disciplining.

1. Focusing on the Bad Brings on the Bad; Doing the Opposite Brings on the Good!

Think about it logically. When you focus on something bad that happens to you, the rest of the day seems worse. Do you really think it’s any different in regard to behavior? If you focus on all of the bad things your kid does, I can guarantee you your child will do more bad things. Why? Well, he or she will grow to assume that he or she is only capable of doing bad things and therefore is not a worthy person.

Read More: 8 Reasons Positive Discipline Is Still Discipline

Fear Does Not Equal Respect,

Laura