The other day I had to stop and laugh at myself because honestly its just necessary most of the time. But anyway, I was getting my son ready for bed and realized there was no more diapers, but it was already past his bed time and freezing outside so..I grabbed one of my feminine pads for him and called it a damn day. It did the trick and he didn’t know the difference so I chalked that up to a half assed mom win for the night but it got me thinking, what other types of things do we do to survive toddler life? Obviously I’m not a therapist of child rearing expert, just a fist time stay-at-home Mom whose figuring things out as it goes.
Change your attitude: I know this sounds like asking a lot but honestly, changing my outlook on the minor difficulties has helped my mental state A LOT. For example, the other day I left the boys (aka my son and husband) on the couch to take a bath for some me-time (what a concept right?) The bath bomb had barely started fizzing when I heard my son coming down the hallway and quickly started pounding on the door asking to let him in, regardless of my husband asking him to stay with him. I was trying to have a few minutes of calm, which as a stay-at-home parents is rare as hell, and then he started crying because both doors were locked and he simply wanted to come in but the whole time I was in the bath was anything but relaxing to sum things up. There were times when little inconveniences like this, especially after a rough day, would drive me insane and push me over the edge. Instead, I found myself just laughing (not at his upsets of course but at the situation) and realizing that this is all par for the course. Your rest time will almost always be interrupted, you’re hardly ever alone without a shadow tracking your every move, you’re constantly going to be asked for something, and thats ok, just make sure to set boundaries and when you can..have a really big laugh. This stage wont last forever so I’m just trying to remind myself of that and find the funny in every day toddler craziness.
Improvisation 101: So the other month it was lunch time and I was blissfully unaware as I was heading to the kitchen that I had barely any food food left. No bread or tortillas, no jazzy fruit to liven things up, zilch. We all know a hungry toddler is not the epitome of a good time so I improvised. I took out one of my cutting boards and threw together a “picnic” with a few grapes barely hangin’ onto the vine, a handful of popcorn, some cut up string cheese, snap peas and sliced cucumber. I arranged them in little piles and said were having a picnic day, so we took our picnic board out on the patio and he loved it. Granted he asked for picnics everyday after that for a while but goes to show that just switching things up a bit, even if you were just doing it out of desperation, can make their day (and yours) a lot more fun.
Embrace the tantrums: I know I know, even the thought of tantrums can make us want to crawl out of our skin but the truth is that they are a necessary part of these lil guys lives and how they learn. Now obviously you need to set limits and not allow for physical violence but instead of sending them to time out every time or right away, try to hear them out a bit. They (clearly) dont know how to communicate everything, especially when their speech is still delayed, so tantrums are how they know they can get our attention and let out their emotions. Try to remain as close to calm as possible and sometimes you just have to ride out the tantrum but when my son would calm down, I’d ask him why he was upset and a little later on I would tell him that next time he feels frustrated to say “I’m frustrated!” and a lot of times now he will start getting upset and tell me that hes frustrated before the frustration fully turns into a tantrum. Then I’m able to ask him why and we figure things out a little easier; however there stil lare meltdowns and crying etc…I mean, toddlers aint emotionally stable lets be real. Just know that you are not alone and tantrums are a normal part of their learning process, even if they borderline push us to the edge. Ah, parenthood am I right..?
I plan on making this a recurring series where I can share random hacks and advice I think of and experience but would also love to hear from you guys on this topic as well! Hang in there moms and dads, were all in it together. Until next time xo Chrissy