Dear New Neighbors, I Promise Am A GREAT Mother.

I am just going to come out and say it, moving with a toddler SUCKS!  Doing renovations with a toddler REALLY sucks.  I feel like I am near tears pretty much all of the time, however, I am a mom, so I just keep smiling and trying my best...

I absolutely love my new house, and my neighbors, and my neighborhood for that matter, BUT, I feel like such an asshat mother right now. On our first day of major renovations, FTD and I had a priority list and were focused, we also had Ollie at our feet desperate for attention, and probably a little reassurance that everything was going to be OK in this new big house. So, what did FTD and I do? Our best. We tried to take turns looking after Ollie and playing with him in between projects. Still, it was a balancing act that left us both exhausted.

Being that Ollie is a very inquisitive kid, who has been locked up in a condo with no backyard all winter long, he is desperate to go outside and explore his new yard--front and back. I try to keep him close, but truth be told, that is near impossible, unless I CONSTANTLY reprimand him and chase him; something I have no desire to constantly do! I firmly believe that if I let him explore his new surroundings the newness will wear off and he will be content staying close to me.

To the outsider looking in, I am sure it looks like I am some super lazy/indifferent mother.  Well I'm not! Since being in that house, I have had to reprimand him more times than I want to admit, but in lieu of doing it in the front yard where everyone can see, I take him inside and talk to him. I am not a mom who is a spanker. I do implement time-outs on occasion, but I have found with my kid, he understands when I talk to him.  He's smart, he understands.  Does he always listen, no... but he is a TODDLER!!!  He is in constant test mode, so sometimes we have to have the same conversation a few times. Still, I do not think spanking or locking him in a room will do a better job of driving in my message.

Speaking of test mode, he is also desperate for attention. With all FTD and I are trying to do at the new house, I'm sure he is feeling left out. He is acting out more than normal, and not listening like he knows he should. I am trying to be patient, and remind myself that this too shall pass.  It just sucks to have it unfold in front of my neighbors. My new neighbors no less.  Ollie runs across yards and refuses to listen sometimes, so I have to chase after him, to which he thinks is a fabulous game. I on the other hand, want to cry.

This is him running across our front porch.
Seriously, the kid NEVER stops! 

I Just feel so lost lately with what to do.  I feel so torn between house projects and letting ollie runaround and play. I feel like I look like a terrible mother who lets her kid run wild and misbehave. I swear I am not.  I am just a first-time mother of a busy toddler, trying to figure it all out.

FTD and I have always let Ollie explore and learn. That's our parenting style. We talk to him like he is a grown-up and teach him consequences, and not through spankings. We try not to only say, NO! and nothing else.  If we say No, we explain why.  I don't want to shelter my kid in a room and control his every move.  I know kids like that, they eventually grow up and go wild.  I would rather my child be wild now and learn consequences at a young age, then do it in his teens.

Parenting is so freaking hard.  I try to find the humor in it as much as possible, and remind myself that the hard stages will pass... most likely for new ones, but none-the-less, they pass. My kid will soon stop running across the neighbors yard, and hopefully the neighbors will see that he is a good kid, and won't run out into the road. Hopefully, I will stop being so sensitive and caring what other people think. I know I am a good mom, and even though I make mistakes, I am still a very good and loving mom.

Oh how I miss the easy days...

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit