I am in the throws of toddler-hood right now with my 20 month old son. He is worlds apart different from my older son in personality, and he has started his “terrible twos” way earlier. There are many challenges with a toddler; it is a battle everyday to change his diaper, get him in his car seat, and to get him to eat some kind of protein. On the other hand, this is also the only time of their lives when they still need you to do most everything for them. Believe me – they will grow up so fast, and before you know it you will have a five year old who can go down the hall to the restroom (#1 and #2) all by himself without any help, help you with laundry, and want to walk to class all by himself. So here are my 5 necessities that are getting me through this stage and helping me to enjoy it as much as possible.
I don’t know what I would do without my Iphone calendar and notes apps. I guess probably have 100 sticky notes stuck on every surface of my house! When you have a toddler, your whole day turns into one big blur, and at the end of the day, I often ask myself, “What in the world did I actually DO today?!” Since you probably always have your phone in hand, I recommend any time you think of something, just type it into your calendar or notes section to keep track of all of your “to do’s”. This accomplishes two things. 1) You won’t forget what you have to do for the day, and 2) you will actually realize at the end of the day what you actually did.
2. One-on-one time.
Our days can get so filled up with everything from just cooking meals and cleaning up afterwards, to play dates every day of the week. No matter what you have to do or what is on the schedule, never forget to spend time reading to your little one, singing with them, or even having a Pandora dance session to your favorite music with them. Watching their little faces as you be as goofy as possible is just priceless, and you won’t be judged on your dancing skills!
3. Alone time.
This can be so easily done away with, but it is necessary to keep your sanity. On my best days, I can wake up 30 minutes before my kiddos to get my own quiet time. The rest of the time, I have to take 15 minutes either during their nap/rest time or after they go to bed to just sit in silence in my own thoughts or reading my favorite book. No matter what, take at least 5 minutes a day to yourself.
4. A kid-friendly cookbook.
My new favorite find is Gweneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good” cookbook she just published. She has an entire section on kid-friendly meals older kids can help with and that all of your kids will love. Oh, and did I mention they are all healthy too?!
5. A baby monitor.
Yes, your toddler is no longer a baby. But what about those times you want to play outside with your older child when your toddler is asleep, or when you want to work in the garden or sunbathe? I have used my home security monitoring company’s indoor and night vision cameras since the day my baby was born. Before they slept through the night, I could see and hear if they really were awake. Now, I use it any time he is asleep and I need to do anything on the other side of the house or outside the house in the yard. I can watch the surveillance from my smartphone 24/7 – it has been a life-saver!!!
Thank you so much for reading. Please comment below with any necessities that have gotten you through toddler-hood and helped you enjoy this time of your kiddos life more!
Author bio: Karen is a work from home mom of two busy boys who works hard to always be more healthy, safe, fun, and frugal!