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Life balance with a toddler? Parenting tips to stay sane

Your sweet baby jumped aboard the crazy train to Toddlerville and life just got a whole lot more interesting. With their newfound independence and insatiable fascination with rolly pollies, maintaining life balance with a toddler seems impossible, right? Not entirely true. Sure, it takes a little practice, but so did changing a diaper with one hand once upon a time. Try keeping these sanity savers in mind:

Manage your expectations. Carefully examine your expectations of yourself as a mother. Are they reasonable? Do you recognize your triumphs or focus solely on your failures? Taking inventory of your expectations and resetting the ridiculous ones can go a long way toward establishing a balanced mindset.

If you don’t laugh, you cry. Remember the time your toddler had a diaper blowout in that restaurant highchair? C’mon, that was funny:at least in hindsight. When faced with the unbelievable (as you so often are), remember that this is the stuff toddlerhood is made of. These outrageously true tales of toddler mayhem become the treasures of your family folklore. Find humor in the madness; you can’t make this stuff up!

Just to-do it. While motherhood might just be the ultimate excuse for lack of organization, mommy survival hinges on our ability to TCOB. Make yourself a good old-fashioned to-do list whether on your phone (there’s an app for that) or scribbled on a dirty napkin. Organize your to-do’s in order of priority and start kicking some task booty. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of crossing off a to-do; task on with your bad self.

Roll with it, baby. The best laid plans of well-intentioned moms often go awry. Poop schedules, wild mood swings and multitude of other toddlerisms pose an obvious threat to any agenda. When it comes to schedules, prepare for the best, plan for the worst and always scout the location of the nearest restroom.

Raise the white flag. Sometimes, it’s perfectly alright to give up (or give in), especially when faced with matters well outside your control. Is it really such a big deal that little Johnny refused his nap? Sure, he’ll be cranky later. But rather than fight a losing battle with your bright-eyed toddler, surrender to the nap protest, insist upon quiet time and prepare for cranky later.

Realize you’re already supermom. Chances are, even if you aren’t doing everything you imagined you’d do, you’re a good mom with open arms and an open heart. Supermom isn’t all things to all people, she’s a champion a special few, including herself. And that’s a great thing.

Save the drama for your fellow mama. No one can relate to your parenting challenges like your fellow mother. Share your hits and misses with your trusted mommy friends, a simple conversation with a knowing soul is enough to remind us we’re all in this together.

Give back to yourself. You weren’t always a mom (no, really). It’s time to give back to yourself even if only in a small yet meaningful way. Abandon the guilt and take the time to do whatever feeds your soul. The more you give to yourself, the more you have to give to others.

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