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I’m only three

By April 21, 2019October 18th, 2020Motherhood3 min read
Ubuntu Baba Baby Carriers | South Africa

Toddlers are hard. Really hard. They talk about the terrible two’s but for me, those never really arrived. I had the terrible first month, and second month and basically first year. Because I just didn’t realize how much of a slap in the face motherhood really would be for me. Nobody really told me. Sure they said, “it’s going to be tough.” But that’s not saying what it’s really like.

Which is why I’m so outspoken about my experience and always willing to write / talk about it. Because if we really know how hard it’s going to be, then I think we can lower our expectations for that fairytale Instagram Mom life and actually appreciate it for what it is – really hard, but crazy beautiful.

My little guy is now 4 and a half, and he is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, made, touched, kissed… but holy hell can he challenge me. I try to stick to the rule that the louder his voice gets, the softer mine gets, to try and allow myself space to breath and keep my cool, but in all honesty I do lose my shit every now and then. I’m getting better, with practice, but once I’ve passed one speed bump and think, “yes, I’ve got this now…” something else appears that smashes me right down again.

Through all of this, I love my child dearly, of course. And I like to have reminders to bring me back to earth and make me realize if and when I’m being too harsh on him. I’m so passionate about raising a sensitive and gentle man, something that the world really needs, and I feel so guilty when I raise my voice at him, mainly because of my own stress with my own life, and not his fault at all.

A friend of mind shared this video on Instagram a few months ago and every time I watch it I land up crying an ugly cry, because it’s so freaking emotional and true. So don’t say I didn’t warn you and you may land up not sending your child to school tomorrow after you watch this, because it’s a real tearjerker, but also, a beautiful reminder that our children really do look at us as their whole worlds.

What a privilege that he, chose me.


Shannon McLaughlin

Shannon is the Founder of Ubuntu Baba baby carriers. She is passionate about helping new parents adjust to 'life with baby' through the art of babywearing and talking about the reality of motherhood in the 21st century.


  • Jana Ratz says:

    Wow! That video really hit home. I have a 10 month old boy and what a journey it has been. I love reading about your journey as it resonates with mine. The most difficult and amazing thing I have ever had to do. Your carrier, stage 1 and 2, saved or is still saving my life.

  • Heléne Brink says:

    How beautiful my friend – I love your journey and that you can express it so honestly that shares the love for other moms. Crazy beautiful truths!

  • Cara Lee McLaughlin says:

    Beautiful post! You are a kick ass mom, Leo is lucky to have you! x

  • Mihlali says:

    Oh my word! I have not even watched the video yet…. because my little guy needs his afternoon feed. He is turning a month old today and yesterday the 20th of February was his late sister’s birthday. This post touches my heart morethan you know. Might not be a perfect timing for the mom sending her little one to nursery school next week! But perfect timing for me! The first month is exactly as you describe for me. Many more hard times coming my way but I take grace in your openess about the incredible journey of motherhood. I am learning to take the good as it comes and the hard as it also comes. Some days are good and I look at him I see love.

    • Shannon McLaughlin says:

      Sending extra special love to you Mihlali, I know your story and can’t imagine how much more tough this journey must be for you. xxx

  • Tam says:

    My son turns one next months, and I’ve been working from home and his nana watches him, but I’m there, you know?
    Anyways, on Monday next week, he starts nursery school… something I am sooooo anxious and sad about… so now I’m sitting at my desk with the tears and nose running, because of this song 💔
    Thanks for sharing 😊😭

    • Shannon McLaughlin says:

      Oh dear, that wasn’t good timing 🙈 I know it’s such an emotional piece. Kills me everytime! Good luck for next week, that’s another post we need to write about, so hard sending them off for the first time, and usually even harder the second time. Sending strength! xxx

  • Love that you are so vocal about the real joys and incredible challenges of being a mom. I totally agree that it helps all of us to share the realities, so we can help each other and keep perspective of this crazy beautiful adventure.

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