I Lost count on how many times a day I say “what’s in your mouth” “come back here please”, “no get down.” It must be enough because my toddlers favorite word is NONONO now…oops! (She’s a week shy of 17 months by the way.)
Yet still my baby who likes to be rocked and cuddled to sleep and is still so so sweet. I miss the baby stages I really do, but this new adventurous toddler stage is so fun and so exhausting.
How does one have enough patience in the day without full break down and exhaustion… the answer is.. well you nearly don’t.
I became a “stay at home mom” the week my daughter turned one and this pandemic shut down began. I was and am SO excited to stay home and spend more time with her but it was so draining to not see any friends or family or basically the outside of our house since it was still cold out.
Now that we are looking at this being the new “normal” for a while here are some tips that have saved me!
Tip 1: The mom guilt! Don’t feel guilty about napping when they nap. Or even to binge watch TV all day. There’s so many expectations that the house should look immaculate if you’re a “stay at home mom”, but let me tell you, its just going to be messy in 5 minutes again, so TAKE THE NAP! Or do something for yourself mama.
Tip 2: Make mommy friends! It can be the most uncomfortable feeling putting yourself out there to make mommy friends but its been so worth it for me AND my toddler! Find a local group if available and reach out you never know you might have a reply within 5 minutes (I did!) Pre Covid we attended a weekly music group and newborns support group and I’m so thankful to have met some lifelong friends from those groups, so it’s never too late to find mommy friends! I also used the peanut app briefly when my daughter was first born, it’s a great way to connect with other moms either in your area or not in your area.
Tip 3: Get adventurous, and don’t be afraid to get dirty ! Check out the site “busy toddlers and beyond” on Facebook it’s been a lifesaver. Parents/caregivers provide pictures of activities to do with your toddler or any age! Some favorites for us have been sensory boxes, water activities, or using recyclables.
Or another way to get adventurous is to try out a new park and have a picnic! I know for a while the playgrounds were closed down, it was even refreshing to go for a daily walk or two to a local park and just let your toddler RUN!!
I hope my three tips helped you maybe get out of a funk of feeling like you’re going crazy or out of ideas and remember YOU’RE NOT ALONE, and THEY ARE ONLY LITTLE ONCE!
– Halie Porritt