Daniel Tiger and his mom.
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An Ode to Daniel Tiger’s Mom

May 9, 2017

Today has been one of “those” days.

After a night of too little sleep, the day began with a crying baby and a grumpy three-year-old. The morning routine was a bit of a gong show, with more crying and more grumpiness. And by the time breakfast rolled around, I was desperately looking for the “reset” button.

Like most mornings, my preschooler happily nibbled away at his peanut butter toast while watching an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood (a favourite in our house). But while he was watching Daniel’s latest adventure, I was keeping a close eye on someone else: Daniel’s mom.

Daniel Tiger’s mom is the definition of #momgoals. She is a picture of parenting perfection. With her endless patience and soothing voice, she makes being a mom of two look easy. Let’s review:

Mom tiger calmly reading a book to the kids.

  • Making all the costumes for the school play? Done and done
  • Getting everyone out the door on time for Chime Time? No sweat
  • Making it through dinnertime with a preschooler, a baby, and no meltdowns? Like a boss
  • Pregnancy and childbirth? Easy breezy. (Excuse me while I stroll home from the hospital after having a baby, see below.) 

Everyone walking home from the hospital after having the baby.

No matter how many times she has to remind Daniel to “use your words,” Mom Tiger never loses her cool. She doesn’t growl at Daniel to put on his shoes, even though she’s asked him approximately five million times and he’s about to miss the trolley to school. Instead, she sings. Mom Tiger has a helpful song for every occasion, which comes in handy while navigating the roller coaster of emotions that is sure to be familiar to anyone who has ever parented a preschooler.

And can we talk about style for a minute? When Mom Tiger wears the same flower shirt and blue cropped pants every day, she looks great. Meanwhile, when I wear the same yoga pants two days in a row, I can’t leave the house because I’ve got baby spit-up on one leg, and finger paint on the other.

Cartoon parenting looks easy because it is. Real-life parenting? Not so much.

So as I sit and watch Mom Tiger easily diffuse a tantrum with a song after a tantrum-filled morning of my own, I can’t help but wonder: how does she do it?

The answer, of course, is that she’s a cartoon mom living in a literal Land of Make Believe. Cartoon parenting looks easy because it is. Real-life parenting? Not so much.

For most of us, life with kids is a lot more messy and complicated, depending on the day. Some days we diffuse tantrums with a song, and some days we roar when we ought to sing. We may never achieve a cartoon level of perfection, but we give it our best shot.

And at the end of the day — even on one of “those” days — we love our babies with a tiger-like fierceness that would make Mom Tiger proud.

Article Author Alicia McAuley
Alicia McAuley

 Alicia McAuley is a freelance writer, editor and all-around web nerd who never met a pop culture reference she didn't like. The former editor of a parenting website, these days she shares a home office in the suburbs with her husband, two adorable boys, and two lazy cats. You can find her cracking jokes on Twitter @aliciamcauley and pinning projects for her to-do list on Pinterest.

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