Moms with young kids sure act like they have a rough time getting through the day, but it’s certainly not because they don’t have any help. In fact, toddlers practically demand to help, and once they’ve started helping you can just sit back and take a rest because I DO IT MYSELF, NO NO NONONO I SAID I DO IT MYSELLLLLLLF!
See how enthusiastic they are?
For example, if you need to start your morning by getting a little work done, toddlers are happy to assist. There’s nothing they love more than decorating your boring papers with Crayola marker doodles or asking loudly for more juice while you’re on a client phone call so that the stupid adults you’re talking to instead of them will know exactly how important you are. You’re welcome!
When you’re finished trying to retrieve all the emails your toddler helpfully deleted, the house could probably use a little tidying up. Not to worry — while you’re still busy shaking Pop Tart crumbs out of your keyboard, your toddler is way ahead of you. Instead of wasting time actually cleaning, though, young children know you can get a similar uniform look by spreading the mess around evenly over every surface throughout your home.
Let’s not neglect the yard while we’re at it. Toddlers are fabulous gardening assistants, based on the fact that you don’t really need to weed flower gardens anymore once they’ve been trampled by tiny rain boots. Also, in a continued effort to keep the indoor mess under control, your toddler will probably bring some of it outside to bury in the mud. Have fun digging it up later by flashlight when your child refuses to go to sleep without the precious stuffed puppy she planted!
By now it’s time to hit the grocery store, which Mommy will act like is a huge hassle but really, it’s super simple with a 3-foot-tall preschooler as backup … for you to literally back up into and trip over in the cereal aisle. As a bonus, they’ll complete other critical tasks such as:
1. Filling the cart with whatever’s in arm’s reach while your back is turned.
2. Pointing out shoppers with eye patches and unattractive hairstyles so you’re sure not to miss them.
3. Testing the freshness of each loaf of bread by dropping it in the driveway and riding it like a horse while you struggle to close the minivan hatch.
At this point Mommy usually seems a little tense for some reason, so toddlers swoop in to save the day yet again with some recreational play therapy. They’re more than willing to make a mess so you’ll get the opportunity to do the thing you truly enjoy most – cleaning up after them. So selfless. They’re like little heroes, really.
Still on edge? Exercise is a great way to relieve stress (although god only knows why you’d be so high-strung when your toddler’s doing all the work), so why not take a quick jog? Naturally your tyke will be glad to help you out by providing some resistance training via a 782-pound stroller loaded down with every toy in the universe. Hey, they’ll even dispose of any tempting sweets you leave lying around.
It’s for your own good, Mom.
Back at home, it’s time to whip up a delicious dinner that’s full of disgusting vitamins no one wants to eat. Toddlers can help with that, too! Always efficient, your mini chef will spill half the food on the floor while cooking, leaving only half as much food for them to throw on the floor later during the meal. Genius!
If, like many moms, your dinner ends up being cold mac and cheese you eat with your fingers over the sink while doing dishes, it’s no big deal; your toddler will happily serve some tasty invisible scones at her tea party (yes, attendance is mandatory). She’ll even gladly start all over each time each time you completely ruin the game by confusing Mrs. Fuzzybottoms with Professor Furrypants. After all, she knows you’re really tired for some unknown reason.
So moms, there’s no need to ever feel overwhelmed again. If you’re drowning under a sea of responsibility or groggy from the mind-numbing repetitiveness of your daily to-do list, just ask a toddler for help!
Or don’t ask. They’ll do it either way.
These photos are part of the viral “Mom Life” series by photographer Anna Angenend, whose mission is “for parents to laugh along with me, know they’re not alone and most importantly, embrace the wonderful challenges of parenthood.” They are used here with her permission. You can follow her and see more of her work at Anna Angenend Photography and on Facebook.