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Dear Mama with a One Year Old


Hi there,

Here’s a cup of coffee my friend, because you certainly need it. I see you chasing after your little one and remember it well. You’re so in love with this little person but still oh. so. tired. Wasn’t the sleeplessness supposed to end sometime around 6-8 months?!?

Can I tell you a secret? I have a lot of Mom friends with one year olds these days and nobody is sleeping through the night. At least not every night. Teething, sleep regressions, separation anxiety, a bit of a cold, the wind just happened to be blowing from the north. . . who seriously knows.

Then there’s napping. Nobody is napping either. Sure, one nap may be okay, but you’re also right in the stretch where they go from two naps to one. This is a horrible time. You are neither here nor there and EVERYBODY ends up tired and cranky.

Sometime between the one and two year old mark is also when developmental delays start becoming more obvious. If this is your family, it’s so stressful and you’re constantly wondering if you should get help or it your baby will just grow out of it. Please trust your gut on this one. There’s no shame in having a child with developmental delays and early intervention is so crucial. Yes, there will be a lot of times where you feel like a terrible parent, but you’re really not, so push for the help you need. For every annoying person who tells you that you’re overreacting, there is an equally supportive one out there who is cheering you on.

Just when you’re the most tired and the most stressed is also the age when suddenly no one really wants to babysit for you anymore. You no longer have a cute and cuddly baby that naps all the time. Oh no. Your sweet one year old minion is a non-stop destructive (but really adorable!!) machine. And if your one year old was like my one year old, they’re constantly running away into traffic. . . or water. . . or in the middle of church down the aisle. . . or in crowded malls.

Then there’s the tantrums. Sometime between 18-24 months your child will discover them and they will be fierce. This might be the age you’ll have to leave your full cart of groceries in the store because your child is tantruming so hard. Some people will likely give you dirty looks because they’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a child that age.  Their child was certainly more well behaved, ate all their food, and potty-trained to boot by 18 months.  I’m sure.

It’s okay. You’ve got this. I’m not going to blather on with some bit about how you’ll miss this age when it’s gone, because maybe you will, maybe you won’t. But I will promise that you and your baby will get through. It will get better. Me and all your mom-friends will be cheering you on.


Me and my now-four-year-old.

Yes, I put socks on him as mittens. I bought four pairs of mittens this winter and somehow we have lost every. single. one. of them.  Photo credit: Naomi Zurevinski

P.S.- Single lady friends? You are equally awesome.  Friends who come to visit around nap schedule bringing food, coffee and moral support are seriously gold. We love you.

Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!