When my toddler tests my patience—I learn to love even deeper

Toys were strewn. A tantrum was thrown. And nap time was resisted. I wondered—how much patience can a person have? 

When my toddler tests my patience—I learn to love even deeper

The sun wasn’t even completely up. Why was my toddler? I cringed as I walked toward his room. If this was how our day was starting, I had serious concerns about the rest of it.

I wondered, How much patience can a person have? This may be it.

Then I opened the door to see his adorable bed head and sweet smile. And my limit expanded yet again.

For breakfast, he wanted—no, insisted—on gummies. Yogurt was tossed. Toast was fed to the dog. I was sure my tears were going to be cried over his spilt milk.

I wondered, How much patience can a person have? This may be it.


Then he got down from his chair and wiped up the mess with such a sense of satisfaction. And my limit expanded yet again.

He took his time getting in the car, naturally oblivious to the fact we were running late. There were rocks to be found. Rocks he couldn’t bear to leave behind. Rocks he lost in the carseat just before I hit the end of the street. Tears began.

I wondered, How much patience can a person have? This may be it.

Then I handed him a stuffed animal out of desperation and he contentedly pretended to feed it for the rest of the ride—with sweet murmurings of “yum-yum” coming from the backseat. And my limit expanded yet again.

Home again, toys were strewn. A tantrum was thrown. A battle waged over what to eat. (At least that’s consistent.) And nap time was resisted.

I wondered, How much patience can a person have? This may be it.

Then I pulled up the monitor screen to see him finally fast asleep with a book to his side like the passionate little reader he is. And my limit expanded yet again.

With at least one of us fully rested, we trekked down to the park where he wanted this swing. No, that swing. No, that swing currently occupied by another kid. Distracted again, he wanted snacks. Just not the ones we brought.

I wondered, How much patience can a person have? This may be it.

Then he decided to attempt the ladder that always seemed to best him. Except this time he made it to the top and looked back at me with such an expression of pride. And my limit expanded yet again.

We were all happy when daddy got home from work. At least until I tried to sneak away for a few moments and heard cries for “mama” coming from the backyard, despite by husband’s best attempts at helping our little guy overcome his recent regression with separation anxiety.

I wondered, How much patience can a person have? This may be it.

Then I gave it a few minutes (while hidden away in a soundproof corner of the house) before looking out back to see my boys tending the garden with my son eagerly following his daddy’s lead. And my limit expanded yet again.

We ended the day with the routine we all love: a nice bath, session of chase into the bedroom and family story-time. Snuggled up in his pajamas with his beloved blankie in hand, my son collapsed his whole body into mine as I lifted him into the crib.

I breathed in his sweet scent and tried to tell him how much he meant to me. I laid him down, kissed his head and told him goodnight.

Then I lingered at the door. My exhaustion was replaced by something even more powerful: exhilaration with the thought of how lucky I am to live this life with this child. As with every night in the past 22 months, it seemed my heart was about to burst.

I wondered, How much love can a person have? This may be it.

Then, from the darkness, I heard him respond "nigh-nigh."

And my limit expanded yet again.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.

Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin

Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

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