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Treat Yourself Like a Toddler.

January 22, 2016

I am SO happy to welcome back Sheryl from How to Make a Life as she shares some of her thoughts about the importance of treating yourself like a toddler. Go ahead and laugh (because obviously it’s a funny notion) but I love the way she’s broken it down in this post. This really is something I believe in; you might also remember a post I wrote for Best Kept Self titled Parenting Yourself, which is very similar in belief. I absolutely love Sheryl’s “things to consider” shared below and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this idea of ‘treating yourself like a toddler.’

*The following post is a guest post, written by Sheryl from How to Make a Life, specifically for Ember Grey readers.

Treat Yourself Like a Toddler 500

photo credit: T. Halcomb

Hello Ember Grey readers, I’m Sheryl from How To Make A Life and I’m excited to be sharing Emily’s space today. For those who do not know me, I am a counselor who specializes in helping women cope with transitions in life. My blog is an extension of my practice where I share tips, suggestions and thoughts on how to make the life one wants.

Today I am happy to share with you my weekly series Try This At Home. This series runs each Tuesday and is adapted from suggestions and tips I receive from Gretchen Rubin’s podcast Happier. During each podcast, she provides an idea to hopefully help make life happier. Often these suggestions are simple and at other times they may take some time and consideration. As I have been trying many of these tips for over a year, my goal is to not only provide suggestions to readers but also give my opinion on if the tips worked.

The tip I would like to share with you today is Treat Yourself Like a Toddler.

Take a moment to think about your favorite toddler. Perhaps you have one right now or you can easily see one at the grocery store or the mall. There have been a few times in my life when I’ve witnessed a toddler breakdown and wished that I could do the same.

As adults, we plan for a toddler’s needs. We know when they need to eat, when they need to sleep and when something may be too much for them. If a toddler is sick, we do not hesitate to call the doctor. Sadly, as adults, we quickly stop thinking about our needs and often find ourselves grumpy, angry and easily annoyed with everything.

How many times in your adult life have you not eaten breakfast or any meal because you didn’t feel you had time? Do you regular push yourself past your bedtime because you feel you will accomplish more but then wake up the next morning exhausted and cranky?

Unfortunately, as adults we tend to stop focusing upon our needs. Particularly, women often view themselves as selfish if they take time. Sadly, not taking time can lead to many other problems on an emotional and physical level.

Here are some things I want you to consider:

  • If your toddler is sick, you don’t hesitate in going to the doctor. As an adult, we often push through thinking we know how to medicate and we don’t have time.
  • When your toddler becomes cranky and moody, you often go into another room and attempt to soothe them. As adults, we rarely remove ourselves from situations and often hold these emotions in.
  • Adults plan for toddler’s snacks and meals. Rarely does a parent leave the house without a variety of snacks and something to drink. Many adults do not think about their hungry needs throughout the day and may eat irregularly or not at all.
  • We encourage toddlers to have a bedtime routine. Adults often neglect any type of bedtime routine.
  • Parents find it important to schedule toddler playdates but adults can often go months without seeing their friends.

Some suggestions in regards to treating yourself like a toddler is to think of yourself in third person. For example, Sheryl isn’t feeling well today and needs to stay home. (I struggle in this area of my life as I have always pushed past not feeling well and felt my clients and others were needing me.)

Although I do struggle in the area of pushing myself when I don’t feel well, I will state I have established a healthy routine in many areas.

  • I make sure that I eat on a regular basis. Each day I make sure to have a variety of snacks (almonds, a piece of fruit or paleo bar) in addition to my lunch.
  • I’ve established a more regular bedtime routine. This also includes shutting off electronics at a certain time each night.
  • I have become better in knowing my limits and not forcing myself to do things I don’t have time for or simply don’t want to do. I’ve learned that saying no is as important as saying yes.

Take sometime today to think of yourself as a toddler. What do you need? Are you tired? Have you eaten like you should? Do you need some time for play?

Your inner toddler is as important as any other toddler in your life.

Are you able to treat yourself like a toddler?

Sheryl Signature (1)


If you liked this post, consider joining Sheryl each Tuesday at How to Make a Life for tips & suggestions to try at home. You can also find her here:

How to Make a Life blog | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bloglovin

*This post was a guest post, written by Sheryl from How to Make a Life blog as part of EG’s Go the Distance ad spot. This post contains fresh content and was written specifically for Ember Grey readers

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  • This makes so much sense, but as an adult it seems so foreign. When you point out that you would do these things for a toddler it just makes sense again… At my old job my boss was aspiring to be a life coach (which she is now) and I was having a really bad day that included job stress, wedding planning stress, post-college stress, etc. so she told me to take a mental health day. It was the first time anyone had told me to take a break because I wasn’t feeling well mentally. It was life changing advice!

    • Audrey, my whole goal is to help people see that it is ok to care for yourself. Our needs as adults are no different than our needs as toddlers – they are just in a different perspective. I’m thankful you had that boss.

    • Wow, good for your boss to encourage you to do that! We need more bosses who recognize the importance of a mental health day!!

  • I have no trouble treating myself as a toddler, or acting like one too. Always love hearing from Sheryl and her practical tips for making our lives better. I will say on this, on how adults, especially young mothers stop focusing on their own needs to meet the needs of the ones they are caring for…a mistake that shouldn’t be repeated. You have to take of you first, before you can take care of others. Moms, you have to get this one if no other. Great post Sheryl and thanks for sharing her with us Emily.

    • Thank you Michelle! Women have a tendency to care for everyone and forget their own needs. We need to remind and give each other permission that it’s ok to do so. I’m so glad you can still act like a toddler!!! XOXO

    • ha! You get the reminders first hand with your very own actual toddler grandbabies! I learn so much from you all here in blogland!

  • I’ve never thought of this before! What a concept! I am going to start treating myself like a toddler immediately!

  • love this. it’s so funny how we always talk about toddlers as “high-maintenance” (or maybe that’s just my toddler), but maybe we’re just not maintaining ourselves enough and it seems like too much by comparison!

    • You make such a good point. Perhaps toddlers are overwhelming at times because we are running on next to nothing in the energy department. We need food, rest and play just as much as they do.

    • haha! SO true!

  • I’m surprised I never really thought about this until now, but it’s so true. We need to allow ourselves to be toddlers to just get through life. Lord knows I get hangry, so having snacks is key for me – especially when I am watching what I eat. You wouldn’t believe how long a cheese stick can last you before you eat a meal. It’s amazing.

    • Kristyn, I’ve been there! Somewhere along the line we forget that we need to plan for our needs. When we are tired, hangry and overwhelmed, just like toddlers, we let the world know it – just not in a temper tantrum.

    • Oh, cheese is some kind of earthly blessing I am certain. Agreed!

  • This is perfection. I do all those things for my children because I want to avoid a meltdown – but never thought about my impending meltdowns! Thanks, Sheryl, it’s noted 🙂

    • Thanks Meagan! As adults we all deal with those meltdowns and it’s typically because we haven’t listened to what we are needing. Hope you are able to care for yourself this week along with those cuties that you have.

  • Brilliant thoughts! Absolutely, one hundred percent. I found myself nodded along all the while. This is definitely something that I have been working on more myself, but I would never have thought to phrase it as a metaphor for a toddler. Great post xx Thanks x

  • PunkyMoms

    Wow..haha so much truth there! I’ve got a toddler so yeah…

  • Adrian G

    Oh Lordy – if I were a toddler, someone would be calling child services on me! I make my toddler work two jobs for a total of about 12-16 hours per day, eat half my meals in my car, and stay up ridiculously late. I haven’t taken a sick day in literally years, but then again I rarely get sick, but I let a prescription go unrefilled for a month because I didn’t have time in my busy day for a doctor visit. I miss having a Mom, but now I guess I need to be my own Mom and do a better job of taking care of myself. #SITSSharefest

    • aw. Glad you had this reminder, Adrian! Wishing you a restful weekend!

    • Oh Adrian, I hope this post provides some inspiration for providing some self care to yourself. You deserve it. Just try to do one thing for yourself this week and see how it feels.

  • Adrian G

    I just had a thought – there’s another way you can treat yourself as a toddler and that is in being more disciplined with yourself. As in, No, you don’t need those expensive shoes, no you shouldn’t be eating that, no you need to stop procrastinating and get your tasks done before you can play Candy Crush – again.

  • How funny…you may start out reading this with a light hearted attitude and then realize that this is dead on. If only;y we did treat ourselves like toddlers…imagine how happy and content we would be. Healthy, well rested, nourished….what a great comparison. I love Sheryl!

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