By Megan Farrelly Hughes

Megan's author pic

Sometimes (nearly every day around our house) kids can create some insane messes, all in the name of fun, that make you question what kind of person you are raising. Curious and creative genius who will one day run a Fortune 500? Or evil genius mastermind and future prison gang leader?


The toddler years in our house have been an adventure, to put it mildly. My kids climb, a lot. They have little to zero fear of all things that tend to make parents gasp and grab at our chests in sheer trepidation.

They are explorers and they are very, VERY determined little creatures. Rules? Consequences? More often than not, my kids will take their chances and risking getting caught rather than let the possibility of negative consequences dissuade them.

More often than I’d like to admit, I reach max patience capacity with them. On these occasions, I unwittingly allow their antics to transform me from “calm and patient mom” into a version of myself that my kids have named the “Momster”– part Mom, part monster. It’s not a version of myself that I’m proud of. But, I’m human and I can recognize my limits. I can give myself grace as I learn to temper the unruly parts of myself through the years. It’s a process.

toddler mayhem

On the occasions when I come into a room and discover something truly shocking, I’ve started taking photos of the crime scene. Sometimes I just walk in with the camera already rolling, knowing full well that the eerie calm that’s settled over the house, while I was putting the baby to sleep, can be nothing less than sinister. Nine out of 10 times, I’m right. I’ve got the photo evidence to prove it!

Why document my kids’ extra high stakes terrors of toddlerhood? Well, to be quite honest, I know that these moments are going to make me laugh later-sometimes much, much later. While they are wreaking mayhem on my clean floors and testing my tediously balanced sanity, I know that these crafty, curious, quick little babies of mine are growing their brains and figuring out the world around them. I loath the messes, but I love that they have the self-confidence to follow their instincts, to test, try, and explore their world. These kids allow their inner compasses to direct them. That is a quality that I love and admire about them.

toddler mayhem

These same qualities that drive them to concoct exasperating schemes and get their paws into anything and everything, will very likely be the qualities that help them develop into successful, productive, happy adults. So, I’ll strap in for the ride because it is definitely not for the faint of heart.

I love these 4 earth-side babies with a fierceness that has been born of loss, grief, and gratitude. Our journey to grow our family has been brutal. Years of infertility, miscarriages, and repeated stillbirth…the scars are nowhere near healed. But, those same soul-crushing experiences that cause me so much pain are also the very reason I am able to recognize the joy amidst their extra special brand of chaos. These four vibrant souls, chaotic messes and all, are blessings that I am forever grateful for.

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