I’d like to introduce you to my boys. These guys fill my life with joy, and cause a lot of stress doing so. I’m so grateful to be their momma!
Desmond is 2 and a half years old now and Dash will be a year old in June.
If you’ve already got 2 under 2, I don’t have to tell you how hard this life is. I don’t have to tell you how absolutely rewarding it is either.
For those who don’t know, caring for a toddler is like constantly cleaning up after a tornado, while it’s still happening. Babies aren’t much easier, it’s like having a gremlin that you’ve accidentally fed after midnight.
This is scary business, raising sweet little monsters angels. It’s the most important and under appreciated job, and it’s yours! Congratulations.
The good news is, there are lots of things we can do amidst the chaos to make this mom life easier. I’d like to share just a few of my best tips with you.
1. Evening prep time
Every night before we head to bed, my husband plays with our boys while I get the kitchen ready for the next day.
I prep the coffee maker and program it to start before we get up, I make my husband’s lunch, and ensure that my kitchen is clean enough to make me feel excited to see it in the morning.
I also do one super helpful thing. My youngest is on formula, and I use those formula to go containers every day. By pre-portioning the formula I never have to keep track of how many bottles he’s had that day. I can just look at how many sections are empty. Super easy!
2. Ready to eat snacks
Toddlers are bottomless pits. They will -loudly- demand a snack at the worst moments, like when the baby finally goes down for a nap. Having quick and healthy snacks on hand has been a big help around our house.
Desmond now goes to the fridge and can get his own apple sauce or cheese stick when I’m wrist deep in a diaper change, or he can grab fruit or a bag of Veggie Straws off the counter.
3. Car go-bags
The absolute worst situation to put yourself in as a parent is to be unprepared while out of the house. Too many times I’ve found myself without enough diapers, or a change of clothes, that’s why I always keep a bag in the car for each boy.
I like to use those little wet bags for cloth diapers, or a gallon size ziplock works well too. I do a bag for each boy for a specific reason: I often leave one with my mom or send one with my husband. When I do this it’s so much easier to have two separate bags. I can also throw both bags into a large diaper bag for family day trips.
In each bag I always keep:
Spare change of clothes (usually PJs)
Larabars or Veggie Straws
*in my baby’s bag I also keep enough formula for a single bottle.
4. Get your toddler involved
My first instinct was always to send Desmond out of the room when I’m cooking or cleaning. I’m so glad I didn’t follow that thought.
I’ve got my 2 year old involved with cleaning, and now we cleans his own spills, puts away his toys when asked (most of the time), and even is in charge of vacuuming downstairs.
Okay, he doesn’t really vacuum. He does turn on the Roomba though, and that’s a big help. If you’ve got hard floors, I highly suggest investing in an automatic vacuum like a Roomba. It’s greatly cut down on how often I have to sweep.
5. Individual quality time
It’s so important that your children feel loved and special. They don’t understand that every thing we do is for them. They don’t get that we can love both of them all the time. That’s why is so important to find just a few moments each day to make them each feel like they are your number one.
I love when Dash naps and I get to snuggle with my toddler. He lights up when he sees me alone sitting on the couch, asking him to “come snuggle.” He doesn’t always nap anymore, so we have quiet time where we sit and watch a movie together.
Most mornings my toddler will sleep in, and Dash will wake up first so we get some time together, just us. These are the moments I treasure most. I get to be their favorite person and see this gleam in their eyes when we have special times like these.
It doesn’t have to be hard to find times like these, we just have to be intentional about it. Set our phones down and focus all our attention for just a few minutes on one child and see how their behavior changes.
What things do you to make mom life easier?
How do your kids help out?
How do you spend quality time with them?