Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

It happened again. For, like, the millionth time this week, if that’s even possible.

You had been up since 6:30 and we didn’t have anywhere to be until 9:15. That’s almost three hours of prep time. An endless amount of minutes to shower, get us both dressed, eat breakfast, and head out the door.

This may go over your head, but that’s plenty of time to complete the usual routine.

Yet, my brain once again underestimated the amount of minutes these daily tasks take. So we spent the first part of the morning playing with toys, eating a leisurely breakfast on a blanket in the living room, watching our favorite show, and gliding through our morning. Your sweet little giggles drew me in and I wanted to do nothing more than sit and watch you explore and play.

A glance at the clock let me know it was time to get serious, time to really rev up our pace and get ready to head out the door.

But that glance came far too late, and I once again found myself impatiently scrambling with you, shoving your little arms into sleeves and pulling socks onto your wiggling feet.

As I strapped you, now thoroughly flustered, into your car seat, I caught myself saying under my breath, “You’ve made us late once again!”

But as soon as the words came out, I wanted to shovel them back into my sassy little mouth.

Because the truth is, it’s not your fault that we’re late. Toddlers, like you, tend to take the blame for perpetual mama tardiness, but this blame is being placed where it doesn’t belong.

You have no concept of time, are unable to read a clock, and don’t even have a clue that we have somewhere we need to be. Sure, every once in a while you do something really unexpected (like smearing peanut butter all over the kitchen floor) that delays our departure, but the majority of our lateness is my fault.

As much as I sometimes don’t want to be, I’m the adult. I’m the one with the logical, problem-solving brain. I’m the one who knows I need to always factor in at least a 20 minute buffer when deciding how long it will take us to get ready.

It’s me who knows that the more I try to rush, the more resistance I will receive from you. By now I’m fully aware that you’re going to want to put your shoes on yourself, even though it takes an extra ten minutes. We’ve gone through the whole leaving-the-house routine enough times for me to realize that whenever it’s time to go somewhere, something will come up that will delay our exit from our comfy home.

And yet almost every single day, I repeat my same mistake and try to quickly push you through the motions of the morning. Then you dawdle and I become impatient, which is no surprise. And once we start that drive down our familiar neighborhood road and out onto the main highway, I internally chastise myself for again losing my patience as I struggled to get both of us out the door.

And quite frankly, you don’t deserve any of this mama drama. So here’s my promise to you:

Today, I choose to take accountability and stop blaming you for my lack of time management skills. And when we stroll into playgroup late, or show up at the doctor 20 minutes past our appointment time, or quietly shuffle down the chapel aisle trying to find an open pew halfway through the service, I will no longer whisper to the adults around me about how you’ve once again made us late. Because how unfair is that to you?

I won’t place a burden upon your shoulders that you never deserved to take. Instead of blame-shifting in order to avoid judgement due to my own insecurities, I will say, unashamed, “We’re late again, thanks to me!”

And then I will try harder tomorrow. Because my dear sweet toddler, life isn’t meant to be a chaotic rush to get out the door, day after day.

And it was never your fault.

You may also like:

So God Made a Toddler

The Secret No One Told Me About the Toddler Years is How Much I Could Absolutely Love Them

I’m Just a Toddler and I’m Still Learning

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Ellie Messler

Ellie is a wife, mother, writer, and outdoor enthusiast. After the birth of her first child, she left a career in Human Resources in order to fully immerse herself in motherhood. She loves cycling, spending time outside with her family, walking her dog, and eating her all time favorite food - cold cereal. Throughout her days at home, she finds herself continually recording voice memos about motherhood on her phone. In the evenings after bedtime, she winds down by compiling her memos into inspirational writings about life, parenthood, struggle, and success that she hopes will resonate with you. Her blog, Bright Blue Stone, began shortly after she spent a summer working as a wilderness therapy backpacking guide, and she knew she wanted a place to record all that she had learned out in nature and in life.

From Baby to Boy

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler boy asleep with legs tucked under his belly

The sweet snuggles and sighs are slowly making way for more crawling climbing and exploring each day. And just when I think my baby is gone, you snuggle into my chest, convincing me I’m wrong. I watch as you excitedly chase after your sis and giggle as you share with me your slobbery kiss. RELATED: They Tell You To Hold the Baby, But No One Warns You How Fast He Grows Daytime hours bring playful adventures as I watch my baby leave, but then a sleeping bum curled in the air makes me believe that these cherished baby moments haven’t...

Keep Reading

Having Two Under Two Was the Best Decision I Ever Made

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler and newborn lying next to each other on a bed

My baby was 14 months old when I found out I was pregnant with baby number two. He had just learned how to walk, still requiring me to walk behind him holding both of his hands above his head so he wouldn’t topple over. In other words, my baby was still very much a baby, and I couldn’t believe I’d be adding another baby to the mix. Excited, but mostly terrified, I researched and read more articles than I can count on what it’s like to be a parent of two under two. These articles more often than not use...

Keep Reading

I Miss the Fingerprints on the Glass

In: Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler with dirty hands at door

The absence of fingerprints is loud. I know, I know. We’ve heard it a million times before from seniors and articles plastered across the internet, “One day you’ll miss those fingerprints and wish you had little ones to clean up after.” And those people are probably right, but as many times as you hear it as a young mom, you are so thick in motherhood that you can’t possibly fathom what those words truly mean. However, I got a little glimpse of it this past week when my husband was out of town. See, we have a beautiful storm door...

Keep Reading

Baby Boy, There’s So Much I Want You To Know

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Mom kissing little boy toddler on cheek

To the little boy who made me a mom,  I feel like it was just yesterday when I saw those two lines on the pregnancy test.  When the kicks and the excitement of hearing your heartbeat was like no other feeling. When my water broke and your daddy and I had a panic attack thinking, “This is really happening. We are parents.”  When I held you in my arms for the first time.  When Daddy and I were wondering how in the world we were going to be able to do this at home on our own.  RELATED: New Parents...

Keep Reading

3 Things Toddlers Teach Us if We Slow Down and Notice

In: Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler and mother hold dandelion flower

The saying goes, “Learn from your elders.” I’ve heard it said throughout my childhood and into my adult life. There is a lot to learn from people who are older than you, especially from their mistakes. However, I’ve come to realize that I can learn a great deal about living in the present from my gutsy toddler. Being a parent allows—more like forces—you to live in the moment. Toddlers are temperamental, tenacious, tender-hearted, and if they are anything like my daughter, they are also incredibly talkative. Their mood swings hit you in the face, sometimes quite literally with the unwanted...

Keep Reading

Kids Need Grace and So Do Their Moms

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Woman touching child's forehead

We were having a hard morning. Our house was overrun with toys, I hadn’t had a chance to get dressed, and my stress level was increasing by the minute. To top it all off, my 3-year-old was having a meltdown anytime I spoke to her. Even looking in her general direction was a grave mistake. It was one of those days that as a parent, you know you’re really in for it. I was quickly losing my patience. My frustration began to ooze out of me. I snapped orders, stomped around, and my attitude quite clearly was not pleasant to...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Want to Spend Today Worrying How Much I’ll Miss Him Tomorrow

In: Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler boy kissing mom on cheek, color photo

Dear toddler, Everyone tells me the days are long, but the years are short. They tell me I’ll turn around twice and you’ll suddenly be grown. They tell me I will look back and miss this season of life so fiercely that I’d give nearly anything to revisit one of these typical toddler days with you. And I believe them. I believe them because I already miss the past versions of you. I look back at photos and videos of your very first year and feel my heart squeeze tight while I let out a sentimental sigh. I remember how...

Keep Reading

Today I Said Goodbye To the Only Version of You I’ve Ever Known

In: Baby, Motherhood, Toddler
Toddler holding mom's hand walking, color photo

It is my first time saying goodbye. Today brought conflicting emotions to the surface like a rising tide as it inevitably crashes to shore. I felt immense joy as giddy laughter bubbled forth from the feat my child conquered today. You walked across the house on your not-so-wobbly legs, strutting around, with the confidence of the toddler you’ve become. This also brings upon a sense of fear and anxiety that is unavoidable when change occurs as rapidly as day shifts to night. Today, I had to say goodbye to the first version of you I’ve ever known. The version that...

Keep Reading

It Felt Like the Terrible Twos Made Me a Terrible Mother

In: Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
Mother crying on floor with young son next to her

In the beginning, motherhood was a magical journey full of excitement and wonder. Every new milestone brought me joy and amazement: First ultrasound. First kicks in the belly. First time to hear her cry. First time to hold her. First time to breastfeed her. First time to see her smile. First time to listen to her say “Mama.” First tooth to come out. First time to walk. From the beginning of my pregnancy until her first year of life outside the belly, I’ve been through many milestones almost every week. Even though I felt tired and hadn’t slept more than...

Keep Reading

I’ve Got Toddlers and Teens and I’m Exhausted In Every Way

In: Motherhood, Teen, Toddler
Teen girl and toddler boy, color photo

I have four kids, so I have felt many levels of exhaustion over the past 13 years since becoming a mother. Let me tell you this—there is no exhaustion quite like being a mother to a toddler and a young teenager. Being tired isn’t just physical anymore; it’s emotional too. One minute I’m sprinting after my son, the toddler, who is bee-lining toward the street to get his loose ball. The next minute, I’m listening and guiding my middle school daughter as she processes the current school or friend drama happening in her life. It’s a new level of exhaustion...

Keep Reading