The Toddler That Almost Broke Me

I love this boy more than anything. I would die for him, but some days I wasn’t sure if that was enough. There would be mornings I would wake up and simply think I just can’t today. Something about me isn’t right for him. I love him but I am just not sure I am the right person to be his mother.

It seemed as though he was trying to break me.

I could not turn my back for a second. He was constantly destroying something. He once somehow managed to open up the gate in the backyard, and I found him on the sidewalk 2 houses down. He’s been known to play in the toilet. I once walked into the bathroom, and he was shoving the hand towel down the sink drain while the water was running. He would wake up all hours of the night and for no good reason. He learned to climb out of his crib very early and refused to sleep anywhere else.

These were just some of the problems at home.

I dreaded going anywhere with him. At the park or a birthday party or the Chick-Fil-A play area, he would walk up to a random kid and hit or push them. It was awkward and I felt awful and would apologize. I loved the preschool he was attending but it got to a point where I would drop him off at 8 that morning, and by 10 I would have a call from them to come pick him up because they couldn’t control him.

I felt so defeated. I felt I had failed him.

I talked to his pediatrician. We had him tested. Nothing and no one seemed to have answers for me. I was embarrassed to talk to friends and family members about it because I was sure it was something I was doing wrong. I just wasn’t sure what to say honestly. Through all of this, I loved him so much and I felt sad that I couldn’t help him. He was so little and seemed so innocent but he was causing me so much distress.

While I was going through this, I knew at some point I needed to write about it. It’s not easy to say you feel like a failure parent. So I knew I couldn’t write it until I was on the other side; I just hoped there was another side. But I think maybe we have turned that corner. Things aren’t perfect and this boy tests me daily. But I love him so fiercely.

We found him a new preschool. He is thriving there. He is happy to go to school every morning and always happy when I pick him up. He’s now two and a half years old and is very clearly able to verbally communicate. I think probably more than anything else, him being able to talk helped tremendously.

He is now a big brother, a role I had deeply worried about him taking on, and he is just the sweetest. When we are out he plays so nicely with other children.

He can still create a pretty big mess, but that seems to more a symptom of play rather than his sole purpose.

It’s hard to believe not that long ago I was so worried about that boy, so sure I had already failed him completely. I was so desperate to help him, but so totally unsure of how to proceed.

He’s fully potty trained and ready to start PreK3 in the fall. He’s passionate about Spider-Man. He would eat cereal 3 meals a day if I’d let him (I’ve nearly given in on more than one occasion). He is so tender with his baby sister and wants to do everything his big brother can do (if you were to ask him, he would tell you he has a loose tooth). He makes us laugh every day.

He and I have both grown so much over the last year. I’m proud of where we both are and I wouldn’t change any of it.

Tara grew up all over south Louisiana and currently lives in Metairie with her husband Josh, and their 3 kids Dax, Dane and Delta. Tara is a buyer for a local food-service distribution company and Community Director for New Orleans Mom. During the week she can be found replying to emails, carpooling kids all around, giving out hugs and kisses, and looking forward to bedtime. Weekends are for family adventures, naps and cheering for LSU and the Saints. She loves trying new foods, travel, and she and her family love all things New Orleans, but especially Mardi Gras.


  1. Such beautiful, vulnerable writing. Not only is this brave to speak about, but this is a conversation that needs to happen amongst mommas everywhere. You’ve never failed as a mother, not from where I’m standing. You love unconditionally, you have the patience of a Saint (whether you realize if or not), and you are one of the strongest women I know. This resonates with moms across the board. Sending you love ❤️


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