Sweetie, you are NOT failing. You are just learning how to be a mom, like we all did at first. And you are doing it during such strange times. It is almost impossible to build a support system from scratch when all the usual pathways have been blocked and you’re just stuck at home with a not-yet-ambulatory toddler who has never been exposed to socialization opportunities.

When my firstborn was your daughter’s age, we practically lived at the public library for storytime (sometimes, multiple) and my biggest lifeline was a $75 annual pass to the local zoo.

By 3, and probably before that, my daughter could lead friends and family members on a full-out tour of the entire zoo. Starting from and ending at our house, which was clear across town. Including street names and directions. It was basically her life, and she memorized it.

I honestly dont know what I would have done without the goddamned zoo.

Now that the world is easing up a little on Covid restrictions, maybe you could google mommy groups in your area and contact any you find. One of your biggest issues is that you have by necessity become your child’s sole social connection. You need to address this. We are not meant to spend 24/7 entertaining our tiny children. NO MOTHER enjoys that, so please stop feeling guilty. Even if it is just the two of you almost all the time, your daughter desperately needs to learn to self-soothe and entertain herself for short periods of time. You HAVE to take breaks from her. I am not saying ignore or neglect her. But try at first some parallel activity. Give her a new toy (we loved those fisher price balls back in 2004, that each did different things the child had to figure out through manipulation, or the shape ball thing…challenging toys but not overly frustrating to work through…).

Anyway, show her the toy. Play it through with her a time or two. Then explain to her that mommy needs to wash the dishes so they are clean for dinner (or whatever). Set her up somewhere in the kitchen or dining room with her stuff, and get started on your stuff. Talk to her as you work, if she seems to want you to. But talk about what you are doing (explain on her level) and ask about what she is doing. Normalize you each doing your own important work, separate but still close together. Start there. It will help her start to see that you and she are not required to always occupy the same space. It will feed her independent spirit.

And stop beating yourself up. She’s ONE. If spending every waking moment trying to keep her engaged and happy FULFILLED you, i would worry about you.

We are adults. We NEED adult interaction. We need to make time to talk to other grown -ups or we will all of us lose our everloving minds.

You are totally normal, in a totally abnormal world. Your cognitive dissonance regarding this fact is proof that you are keeping your shit together as much as any of us have been able this past year.

Bravo. 😎👍

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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