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Having a baby has so many rewards, and so many challenges, all in one, each and every day. They smile at us and simply adore us (for the most part), they play endlessly (especially when its nap time), everything is exciting and new for them, and they are just so cute, cute, cute!

But how do we deal with the challenges? Those days when parenting seems unbearable? When we haven’t slept much and the house (and our lives) seem to be a mess and out of control? How can we still see that cute little face and innocence when they seem to be irritable and crying all day?

Relax…as my mother used to tell me: “it’s so hard being little”. And she had seven kids, all about 2-3 years apart except for the youngest two who are 11 months apart! So, I trust these words! Sometimes our parenting expectations get in the way of their tempter tantrums and crying fits. This is babies’ only form of communication, so why get all stressed out about it?

Of course, I know those days when you are just short on patience, for whatever reason, and the crying baby is just making everything seem impossible to cope with. With two children of my own, I can relate to these days all too well. We just have to remember that for the most part they are not doing it to manipulate us, as they are trying to reconcile their desires with their needs, and their very limited method of communication. They do not understand much of the world around them while desperately trying to interact with it, and they rely on us adults to help them figure it out. And guess what? Babies have tough days like we do too! They have meltdowns like we do, and they get frustrated too!

So the next time that the one-year old seems to be getting the best of you, pause and try to place yourself in their little shoes. With love and compassionate discipline, start teaching them new ways to communicate their needs and take some deep breaths……relax. Before you know it the temper tantrums will be replaced with teenage fits!!!