7 Ways to Make Life with a Toddler a (Little Bit) EasierEmily McClements
Daily life with a toddler is kinda like riding a roller coaster; sometimes it’s the most fun you’ve ever had, sometimes it’s conquering your greatest fear, and sometimes you just want to throw up your hands and scream. One thing is for certain, life with a toddler is not what you would call “easy.”
But, I’ve learned that it’s important to embrace the crazy. And with the right attitude, you can turn those habits that drive you crazy into something good. Perhaps even a little productive!
Here are 7 ways to make life with a toddler just a little bit easier:
Make things into a game 1 of 7Toddlers love to play all. the. time. To them, everything in life is pretty much a game. So, if you're having a hard time getting them to get dressed, pick up their toys, eat dinner, or basically anything, make it into a game and they're much more likely to play along. Who knows, you may even have a little fun too.
Turn messes into a chance to clean 2 of 7Whoever said there's no use crying over spilled milk probably never had a toddler, and probably never had to clean up after their messes all day, every day. As frustrating as spills and messes can be, if you can start to look at messes as a chance to get some cleaning done, it makes them much less maddening. So, when my toddler spills milk on the floor, I decide it's time for a quick mop of the whole floor. And I feel much better afterward, because really, who can be mad about a sparkly clean floor?
Set up a routine to your day 3 of 7Toddlers thrive on routine, and on knowing what to expect out of their day. You will run into much less resistance when you have a rhythm or routine to your days so that your child knows that after breakfast it's time to get dressed and ready for the day, and after lunch it's time to play, then pick up toys, and then rest. But if rest time is becoming a struggle, read on for the next tip.
Make nap time a family affair 4 of 7Most toddlers go through a stage of resisting nap time. But we mamas know that no nap equals overly tired and cranky, which equals no fun for anyone. Instead of fighting to get your toddler to nap, encourage the nap by napping right along with them. Because we all know that mamas of toddlers could use a few more naps in our lives, and you can both wake up rested and refreshed.
Use chasing them around as an exercise routine 5 of 7No time to exercise with a toddler at home? No worries, just take your toddler to the park, or the mall, and let them loose. If your toddler's anything like mine, they won't stay still for more than about five seconds. It's amazing to me how fast those little legs can go when they don't want to be caught! And before you know it you'll be panting and sweating like you just ran a 5K. Which is especially awesome when you run into that other mom whose child is so perfectly behaved.
Have them help with chores 6 of 7When I break out the cleaning rags and the mop my kids actually clamor to come and help me. I know I'll be wishing for that kind of attitude when they're 13, so I figure I better take advantage of it now. A favorite activity for kids is "Soapy Bubbles", which is really just giving them a rag and a bucket filled with warm water and natural dish soap, and letting them go to town in one room. You may be surprised by how good of a job they actually do. And be sure to remind yourself that imperfect cleaning is better than none at all, especially with a toddler in the house!
Take advantage that they want to do everything just like you 7 of 7This is the time in life when kids want to be like you in every way, so use this to your advantage by modeling good behavior, and starting good habits from a young age. It's also a great way to get your child to do what you want them to, especially when they are feeling less than cooperative. The phrase, "Can you please put on your shoes (insert what you want your child to do), just like mommy?" are like magic words to a toddler.
Although life with a toddler can be unpredictable at times, with a change of attitude and a little creativity, you can create calm out of the chaos. You can make things just a little easier. At least for a few minutes anyway.
What tricks do you use to make your life with a toddler a little easier?