What I learnt from Raising a Toddler

Have you ever missed something good because you were worrying about the fine print – you missed a competition or a deal because you were so interested in decoding the fine print (not that I am saying that we should ignore the fine print) but not everything in life needs a detailed analysis.

Take a toddler for a minute. They act the way that they feel. If they are unhappy you know it. They are not ‘experienced’ enough to learn how to lie and mask their feelings. They like you or they don’t. Have you ever heard your toddler be brutally honest with you or ask someone a question that is not polite.


I remember my cousin reprimanding my niece because she asked a lady with a glass eye “what happened to her eye”. After listening she merely said but mummy I just wanted to know because I wanted to help her….

Amazing as to the heartfelt emotions that toddlers bring out. I think that they teach us how cynical we have become as adults.

When last were you as an adult able to just be you????

I’ve sat and thought about how much Kitana has changed in the past year. Every day is filled with surprises, new words and at least 1 tantrum. There’s never a boring day with a toddler!

I did expect this phase to be difficult but now I realize that raising a toddler is hard work. For me, it’s harder than taking care of a newborn. It finally hit me, REAL parenting begins.

Even though this phase is challenging for me, I’m enjoying getting to know my daughter and her personality.

My biggest regret at the moment is recording Barbie in pink shoes…OH Barbie! How I wish you weren’t so perfect. Here I am, trying to explain to a 2-year old that Barbie doesn’t dress in a tutu every day. My daughter thinks that a tutu and perfect styled bun will turn her into a princess.

Even though toddlers are a handful, they definitely teach us adults something. I feel like I’m learning so much from my daughter and because of her, I’m starting to appreciate life and what it throws at me.

What I learnt from Raising a Toddler

1. Fashion starts at an early age.

2. Your best friend can be a 2-year old. We spend so much time together that we are finally starting to understand each other.

3. Shopping means buying a new pair of shoes.

4. Eye liner and lipstick is a must in your handbag.

5. Pretty panties makes you feel good about yourself. In fact a toddler feels fully dressed when she has her Barbie panties on. Being “sexy” even when you don’t know the meaning of the word starts young. How often do we as mother’s just wear what we have to – we forget how to be sexy and even forget that being a mum doesn’t mean that we should stop being a wife…..Pretty panties also makes potty training easier.

6. Get used to drama. There’s tears of happiness and sadness.

7. Choose your battles, you won’t win them all especially with a woman irrespective of her age.

8. It doesn’t hurt to smile at a stranger. In fact it’s really nice to say Hi :).


9. Life is meant for laughing and affection. Big hugs can change the way you feel and Kisses can make everything better.

10. You never have to be alone… even when you PEE.

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m an entrepreneur and a sucker for good adventures. I was listed in Forbes Africa 30 under 30 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Heather
    2015-02-27 / 16:35

    I think toddlers have this amazing need for order and to do things in just the right way (their way). But they also teach us joy too! Happiness in small things 🙂

  2. 2015-02-27 / 18:48

    Great post. It’s funny. We think we’re teaching our kids everything, but they teach us a lot as well.

  3. 2015-02-27 / 21:10

    I agree that fashion starts at the age of two and you should not be so rigid that you cannot let your toddler dress themselves. They are hilarious little creatures, aren’t they?!

  4. 2015-02-28 / 00:12

    How true is #1! I never envisioned myself of having a 2 year old fashionista on my hands. She’s also concerned about what character or design is on her undies. ~lol~

  5. 2015-02-28 / 01:38

    Toddlers sure are fun and I too have learned a lot from all of mine. Such a fun stage and learning experience at the same time!

  6. 2015-02-28 / 02:12

    This is my favorite stage of my kid’s life because she is full of happiness, joy, and laughter. And she always wanted to please! It is also the stage before she learned saying ‘No’. LOL!

  7. 2015-02-28 / 02:31

    Toddlers are so great, they just fill you with tons of joy; they teach you so much!

  8. 2015-02-28 / 02:46

    I like #10…lol! They always have to be in the bathroom with you. I don’t remember when that all ended… but it fades away and before you know it they are grown. Enjoy your lessons from your toddler.

  9. Kathy
    2015-02-28 / 06:25

    I love your post! I have two daughters of my own. One is four and the other will turn six soon. Toddlers are a lot of fun. I love playing dress up!

  10. 2015-02-28 / 06:57

    Ahh the toddler years. They teach us patience and love and happiness. It’s a time like no other.

  11. 2015-02-28 / 15:35

    Isn’t it amazing what we can learn from little ones? I sometimes miss the toddler years….

  12. 2015-02-28 / 17:46

    My youngest is almost 15 months so we’re at the beginning of the glorious toddler stage. But I’m still learning a lot from her.

  13. loveforlacquer
    2015-02-28 / 17:50

    I am loving the toddler years! They are full of so much joy and love – I can’t get enough

  14. 2015-02-28 / 19:07

    When my kids were little i learned to be patient. The time really does fly by so quickly. Enjoy every minute while they are little.

  15. 2015-02-28 / 19:57

    We do learn and get so much from our little ones. 🙂 Your pictures here are cute!

  16. 2015-03-01 / 01:56

    Kiddo came into my life when she was three. She is now 10. I learned early on that as an adult its ok if children are your best friends. Now I see why my mom and I have such a good relationship.

  17. 2015-03-01 / 04:06

    toddlers are so much work, but yet so much fun at the same time. i can’t believe i have a 12 year old and a 2 year old. crazy!

  18. mythirtyspot
    2015-03-01 / 07:11

    Your pics are so cute! love your daughter! These are some great tips!

  19. 2015-03-01 / 14:42

    Great post. I totally relate to most of these, especially the barging into the bathroom lol.

  20. 2015-03-01 / 20:26

    I’m glad I don’t have a toddler, but I did teach toddlers for 2 years! That was enough for me!

  21. 2015-03-01 / 20:39

    I can totally relate. As our children were growing I said to my best friend, it feels like were really becoming parents more and more. Having to make sure they know certain words or how to tie their shoes. Man how time flies.

  22. 2015-03-02 / 06:02

    Love these!! Especially #15, have been there, done that. haha Will definitely be sharing this post with my mommy friends.

  23. 2015-03-02 / 06:38

    Great insight about parenting a toddler – sounds like they teach us a lot…many things we don’t even realize until someone else mentions it. They are brutally honest, my nephew has said quite a few incredible statements that has had my jaw dropping.

  24. 2015-03-02 / 06:39

    God, I really do miss those toddler days sometimes. It’s such a fun age in so many ways and after six kids, I’ve realized it’s been too long…

  25. 2015-03-02 / 17:31

    My son is now 11yo but I sure miss those days. I still remember some of his antics that put a smile on my face and gave me pure joy. Now I am nostalgic.

  26. Eliz Frank
    2015-03-02 / 19:35

    Those toddler years can be challenging. One of the best parts is that they do outgrow it and kids are generally flexible.

  27. 2015-03-02 / 22:33

    The toddler years can be so rough from what I heard. I know I was nothing but a little baby devil at that stage.

  28. 2015-03-05 / 13:53

    and this is why I have high respect for moms – they think about everything when it comes to their little one 🙂

  29. 2015-06-01 / 16:52

    Raising two boys through their toddler years had it’s ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

  30. 2015-06-01 / 19:53

    I have a two-year-old who’s turning three soon (sob) and man, these toddler years. It’s exhausting and amazing.

  31. 2015-06-01 / 21:44

    Oh yes, the kids always come 1st!

  32. 2015-06-01 / 22:27

    I mis the toddler years so much. My son and I were the best of friends when he was younger.

  33. 2015-06-01 / 23:51

    Toddlers. I can’t even express. I’ve now raised 5 and my 6th is almost 2, so it’s been an experience for me. I can tell you though, its so different with each kid. Different experience, ride and ups and downs. It’s amazing.

  34. Bri
    2015-06-02 / 00:13

    Many people only speak of the difficulties of having a toddler, so this post is very refreshing. I look forward to playing dress up.

  35. 2015-06-02 / 00:39

    Life is totally meant for laughing. I am in the midst of toddler land right now and my best friends are definitely my little people at home

  36. 2015-06-02 / 01:40

    out of the mouth of babes is all I can say. They teach us as much as we teach them sometimes.

  37. Debbie Denny
    2015-06-02 / 03:26

    Such an awesome post. Such truths.

  38. 2015-06-02 / 03:29

    Love these! There is definitely a lot of drama, and it’s great if you can just embrace it!

  39. 2015-06-02 / 03:39

    What a great post. I agree there is so much to learn from. I have 5, one of them is a toddler and we are pregnant with our last as well so I will get to experience that toddler stage again. It is a fun stage.

  40. 2015-06-02 / 04:36

    These are great lessons to have learned. This brings back memories of my kids when they were young.

  41. 2015-06-02 / 04:54

    These couldn’t be any more true. You’d be surprised at how much one ends up learning from a toddler.

  42. Shauna
    2015-06-02 / 04:54

    Ha, ha, ha… all of these are so true. Sometimes that bit of mascara and lipstick is what a mom needs for a bit of a pick-me-up. LOL… Thanks for sharing.

  43. 2015-06-02 / 15:43

    The little ones really DO teach us a lot, don’t they. Great post. I love my 19 month old.

  44. 2015-06-02 / 17:17

    First off – Kitana is just so sweet – and I also felt the same as you when my son was a toddler – he was just so enjoyable – fortunately no really terrible 2’s issues – and I still have those loving memories –

  45. 2015-06-02 / 17:35

    You are right, one of the best things about young children is their judgment free curiousity.

  46. 2015-06-02 / 21:53

    I know for sure that Toddlers teach us a lot of patience and selflessness. They are so young , yet full of so much hope , life and promise

  47. 2015-06-02 / 21:56

    This is a great list. I learned how to choose my battles

  48. 2015-06-03 / 00:16

    Such a great list. Toddlers really do make us slow down and see the world from their viewpoint.

  49. 2015-06-03 / 00:24

    I have learned that it’s okay to get dirty. It’s okay to be fun and free. Sometimes, you have to be that person to say something. The world is a beautiful place if you only open your eyes. And finally I’ve learned that a smile and a hug really do makes things better no matter how upset you are.

  50. 2015-06-03 / 05:23

    My toddler has totally taught me not to sweat the small stuff. I’ve learned how to be patient because when you’re dealing with a toddler you just have to be.

  51. 2015-06-03 / 06:13

    My kids have taught me to laugh at the crazy. And to enjoy every moment because it goes so fast.

  52. 2015-06-03 / 14:37

    Lol, I can so relate to your fashion observations and that fashion starts with pretty panties. My 2-year-old can take forever to choose what panties to wear (even though it’s winter here and it’s not a complete outfit). And no, I’m not allowed to choose for her, even if we’re running late. Especially if we are running late 😉

  53. 2015-06-08 / 07:19

    How adorable! Yes, the thing I keep trying to remember is that when we are a toddler, life is about having fun and when we become adults sometimes we forget that part of life. So important to remember. Great post!

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