Parenting Young Kids: You’re In the Thick of It

We have two kids under three. My husband and I both realize that with two young kids, we’re in the thick of this parenting journey. One kid is a vivacious, sassy and independent toddler who doesn’t nap and needs constant stimulation. The other is a clingy yet curious 11-month-old who needs constant supervision and snuggles.

Life is definitely hard right now. Between the two kids, us both working full time, and caring for the house and dog, we’re spent. We barely tread water most days. I honestly and truly don’t know how parents of more than two kids do it. You guys seriously deserve a standing ovation, and maybe a cookie … or twelve.Parenting Young Kids You're In the Thick of ItI’m told it gets easier, that in just a few years we’ll be in a whole new season. I’m dreaming of a magical day when the kids will play together and supposedly they’ll entertain themselves.  The best part? They won’t require constant monitoring and refereeing.  Those days are really coming, aren’t they?

Still, there are daily reminders that reinforce that we’re not there yet– that we’re still in the thick of it.

  • Going out to dinner with friends means we have a 2 hour limit when we bring the kids. Boredom hits and we turn into ringmasters of our 4-person circus. It’s not pretty.
  • After work social gathering? Not for us. Kids need to be picked up, fed and in bed by 7:30 PM. I’d love to meet up for a drink, but it’s just not worth it.
  • Romantic steak dinners turn into a bartering trade deal – and ultimately ends up with us giving up our perfectly seared steak in exchange for mushy hot dogs.

Each stage of parenting surely has its pain points.

We’re not yet dealing with juggling sports schedules, navigating puberty, or healing a broken heart. But we are suffocating under daycare costs, sacrificing our social lives,  nonexistent personal boundaries, and arguing on the daily with a mini dictator about putting on pants.

When you’re in the thick of it, remember, you’re so blinded by the overwhelming exhaustion that you can’t understand that this is a crucial time in development. They’re defying you simply to test boundaries. They complain because they trust you implicitly. They’re discovering, learning, and experimenting, and your guidance and reactions are what shape them into well-rounded adults.

Time goes by so quickly, so we’re trying to slow down and enjoy this season, even if there are trying times. We know we’re going to miss this and that it’s all temporary. But, I have learned it’s still ok to admit it’s hard, because it is.

Fellow mamas in this stage, I see you. May your (cold) coffee be stronger than your kids’ attitude! We’ll get through this eventually.


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Kailee is a natural-minded mom with a passion for writing, experimenting in the kitchen, being outside, and traveling the world. She’s a Content Manager by day and supermom & wife by night to two beautiful little girls and husband of 7 years. She has lived in Cedar Rapids most of her life and digs the big city yet small town feel. You can catch her scoping out local dives & cafes, and biking the Cedar Valley Trail on the weekends. She lives on good coffee, good wine, and good conversation.