Moms of The Toddler Tsunami – Are You Out There?

This isn’t an advice piece, nor am I seeking any. This is more of a, “I need to know I am not alone” type of piece. So, moms of the toddler tsunami, a.k.a., the toddler tantrum, are you out there? If you have ever experienced or are currently in the throes of the toddler tsunami, please give me a shout out. Tell me I am not the only one carrying a toddler out of a store kicking and screaming!?!?

Most of the time I feel like the only mama carrying their child out of a public place as she is thrashing her tiny body, while screaming at the top of her lungs, as hot tears and snot stream down her small, red face. This is the conversation I have with my husband almost every week. He is always quick to remind me that I am not the only one to experience this. While I know this is true, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. Every time we head to library story time, a park, or the children’s museum, my child is the only one I see throwing a full force toddler tsunami when we have to leave.DSC_0267

Then of course, we reach the car, and it doesn’t end there. It can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes to successful strap her into the car seat. By the end of the experience we are both exhausted. I am usually dripping with sweat through a combination of embarrassment and the heat. My child appears as if she could fall asleep immediately as I look at her red, tear-stained face. I always wonder how this is going to work when we decide to have more children. Honestly, I have even debated getting one of those leashes… But for now, it’s just her, so hopefully this current phase will move quickly. Although, it definitely feels never ending.

In truth, my daughter really is a wonderful child. She is always very sweet and loving. I would also describe her as very determined. These are all wonderful attributes, which I hope stay with her throughout her lifetime. Her determination can lead her to become a very successful person. Currently, it is also her determination in life that sparks her fiery tantrums.

When this phase first began I scoured the internet for information on how best to combat this. I have come to realize that you just have to ride it out. I have to admit my first instinct when these tantrums began was to yell in frustration. I have since leaned to be very calm and speak in my normal tone, ignore it when possible, and get creative with distractions.

So, if you see me carrying my beautiful, intelligent, and determined toddler out the door kicking and screaming – please give me a quick smile and a loving word of encouragement. Just tell me I am not alone. Tell me we are in this together.

Nikki Wildemuth
Nikki is new to the area. She graduated from the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Campus in 2009 with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education. She married her husband the same year. Nikki loved the creativity of teaching and continues to bring that same creativity as a stay at home mom. During the day you can find her chasing after her precocious toddler. By night she is a Pinterest junkie! She enjoys getting out and spending time with her family!


  1. With the 1st one it is really stressful. With the 2nd it’s easier to laugh it off. Usually. My 2nd is a boy. He’s big, he’s strong and he has more tantrums than his big sister ever did. You’re not alone. Your child is normal. It will pass. You will survive!

    • Sarah, thank you! I am glad to know I am not alone and that it will pass! It may seem like something so simple, but sometimes you just need to hear it from another person.


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