A Toddler’s Grace

By Kate Kole

If my neighbors happened to look out their window that sunny December morning, they likely caught sight of me crying while picking up dog poop in our backyard.

It was approximately 11:47 a.m. and it had already been a day. Or rather, it had been four days. Four long days since I announced that we were ditching the diapers and starting the dreaded experience of potty training.

“Are you sure you want to start now?” My husband asked hesitantly before heading into his home office.

“There’s no good time,” I replied. It’s like the idea of starting Whole30. Once you consider birthdays and holidays and plain old Mondays, the stars just never completely align.

First, our son was too young. Then, I was pregnant again. Then, we had a newborn. If we were waiting for the perfect opportunity to potty train, our children would be in diapers for the foreseeable future, if not the next 18 years. 

I’d read the blogs, listened to the podcasts, stocked up on the essentials, and texted the moms that came before me. With two full bags of m&ms in the pantry (mini for #1 and regular for #2, in case you were wondering) ready or not, I was committed.

96 hours later, I did not feel committed.

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Giving Up Blessing Sandwiches

Giving Up Blessing Sandwiches

By Kate Kole

Soon after our son was born, I developed a somewhat standard response to check-in questions. “Hard and best.” That’s how I described my transition into motherhood. Because it felt impossible to mention one without the other. The sleep deprivation without the joy, the loneliness without the fulfillment, the loss of one identity without the discovery of another.

Eventually, I graduated to the blessing sandwich.

You know, the “I’m grateful I get to stay home with him. Sure, sometimes it’s isolating. But I feel really fortunate to have this time together.” Or the, “He’s a really happy baby. Still not sleeping through the night. But all the smiles during the day make up for it.”

One good thing. One hard thing. One good thing again. Continue reading