mom corner: share the wisdom

Here’s a current dilemma I’m facing in mom-land and thought a little help from my friends would be great. Please?

i feel a little lost at this point in motherhood. Jack requires more attention than ever at this stage of the game…life was so much simpler when he couldn’t move. lol. πŸ™‚ So while I have a pile of things to do that can’t really be done while he’s awake and needing me, I also require naps during his naps, which eliminates accomplishing those things while he naps. But the alternative is to be crabby and exhausted when he gets up from his two hour siesta, which is most definitely not a nice choice. For either of us.

I get the things done that I can while he’s my tag along or amusing himself with toys/books/etc. – housework, laundry, e-mailing, errands out and about and then find myself tired at the end of the day and when he’s in bed, all I want to do is curl up with a book or watch TV. I do not want to clean the oven at 9pm or scrub baseboards (things on my spring cleaning list). I’m not a big fan of sitting him in front of the TV, though I do employ that on a desperate occasion for 20-30 minutes at a time.

It’s the things that really require my brain like planning menus, writing stories, major cleaning that Jack will probably try to “help” with and create more of a mess, etc. that I’m finding hard to accomplish. I firmly believe in including your kids in life and I don’t view Jack as a hindrance to accomplishing MY goals…I definitely don’t stress about getting it all done and maintaining perfection, I just need to figure out something better!

Kyle is taking Jack with him right now to run errands while I make dinner, which is GREAT. I am hoping to schedule a day or overnight for Jack to go to Grandma’s so we can tackle major cleaning/organizing in April without him underfoot. On my to-do list is to develop a daily/weekly schedule to give a little more structure to our days, which I think will help a lot. I’m a very spontaneous person, but structure has always helped me reign in my time and be more productive.

How do you handle the needs and fun of a toddler and the need to get stuff done? Any experience or suggestions are welcome! πŸ™‚

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Author: jomegs

my life is full and beautiful because the Lord of all creation has seen fit to take me as His own. I have a wondeful husband, a sweet puppy, a beautiful baby boy, a lovely house in a small town, and two great jobs that allow me to mostly work from home. I throw the occasional temper tantrum, love good food, bake drool-worthy treats, and have a love affair with French-pressed coffee and vanilla lattes.

7 thoughts on “mom corner: share the wisdom”

  1. Yep, I agree with all this good stuff. πŸ™‚ Naps are more important when you’re pregnant than cleaning. It hasn’t been until the end of this pregnancy that I’ve realized I just haven’t allotted enough energy to my body for just being pregnant. It’s a lot of work, and I need to account for that by doing less in other areas.

    Esther’s suggestion of playing with Jack for a little while is a great one. I think it fills their little “mommy attention tank” and allows them to go on their own for a while.

    One thing that helped with Peter when he was about that age was having some toys that he only got when I needed to get something done. One of his favorites was a ziploc bag with a whole bunch of plastic containers and lids and a few plastic frogs. He’d move the frogs from one container to the next, trying lids until he found the right one. Those toys were table toys – he got up in his chair at the table and could play there. That way he was contained and happily occupied – a good combination. ;)Crayons and a big piece of paper keep Lucy busy longer than anything else, but that didn’t really work for Peter at that age. Just try a few things and see what Jack’s favorite activities are. Oh, have you tried simple puzzles? The ones where each piece is separate and lifts out of the back are so great for this age. Both my kids really liked those and would do them over and over.

    But really, just take the naps and deal with the fall out. πŸ™‚

  2. w/ the cleaning, Sawyer has *loved* “helping”. When I mop the kitchen floor, he runs to get himself a washcloth/rag so he can “clean” with me. Maybe J would follow behind you and help “clean” the baseboards? S certainly needs his “mommy time” and being included in my projects (even if his job is just to “watch” or “help”) that seems to fit the bill.

    I think that Esther’s right though — when you’re in your first tri, somethings just have to slide (the stuff you might normally do while he’s sleeping because you’re needing to nap). It’s a short season, really. In a few weeks, hopefully you’ll be hit w/ a burst of energy and motivation.

    It does help to get him set up to play (maybe in a contained area, like Ez said) and then get to work on your laptop. That might be hard for writing stories, but maybe not so much for menu planning.

  3. I gladly give credit to any mom of a 12-20 month old. Or maybe right up to 2 yrs. I was reminded of how much attention they require when I watched such a one in January.

    Other things get harder, but this DOES get easier. In fact I need reminding that my kids do still need attention since they do well on their own more ( well, you know).

    But definitely lower your standards and just accept that. I’ve definitely had to this winter.

  4. I hear ya on this one. Tagalongs are really cute and you feel honored that they want to be *that* close to you…but it gets old and kinda annoying really fast. I find that Simon just doesn’t want me out of his line of vision when I’m up and about the house. I try to include him when I’m baking or doing stuff in the kitchen, by putting him in his highchair with crayons/playdough or giving him a magnet assignment: where’s the “R”…etc. We’re both in the kitchen and we’re communicating. I do my menu planning at the table, sitting down. He’s free to play in the dining room near me…or even sit at the table and have a snack/read a book. If he whines or complains that I’m not paying him enough attention, I firmly explain that I need to get this done and that’ll I’ll play with him in a bit. Kids at Jack’s age love to be “helpful”. Giving him a cloth to help clean the baseboards makes him feel grown up. It won’t hold his attention for very long though. He’ll enjoy helping you and you’ll make fun memories if you include him when you do various chores. You can also make sure his room is completely safe, putting up a gate so he can’t get out. He can play with his toys/read his books and listen to fun music in a safe environment. It’ll take a few days for him to get used to this routine (tears will probably be involved) but 15 minutes of alone playtime is good for him…and it’ll allow you to get the little chores done.

    Hang in there. It gets easier (or you just get used to it, I’m not quite sure which it is). πŸ˜‰

  5. I have been going through the same thing. The first trimester with a toddler is the worst. I napped when Evelyn did and lowered my household standards for the first 4 months. Once my energy came back, life was a little better. There is always something to be done or to feel guilty about, but they are only little for a little while. Hang in there!

  6. I only say this because it’s been pointed out to me before… but you might have to let things like the baseboards and oven cleaning go while you’re pregnant. πŸ˜‰ You’re a high energy, motivated chica, so I know it feels like you can do it all… but I promise it’s ok and even healthier for you all if you cut your list down.

    As for the stuff you HAVE to get done. I find that being proactive with the playing helps. Prioritize playing with Jack for 15 min or so, then work on your menu planning or whatever for a little while. Also, I lock myself in the kids bedroom with my laptop and they can wreck all the havoc they want, it’s at least contained to just their room and toys.

    Does he play alone yet? It took a little training when Jamie was an only child, but I could get his cars and car rug out and let him play with that for awhile. Then put that away and get out something new and try that for a little while…put that away..etc. It’s better than mayhem from one end of the house to the other.

    I feel like I’m still struggling with this so bad. I can’t get nearly everything done that I need to, but my kids need me too. I’m always feeling guilty for either my neglected work or my neglected children.

    oh…one more thing. Sometimes sensory things keep toddlers like Jack occupied longer. Like a giant lump of homemade playdough in a ziploc can keep a child poking and squeezing it forever. A container full of rice and spoons. The bathtub (again, you on laptop). etc etc

    1. Ok, so I agree completely with Esther!

      Just to make you feel better. I have lived in this apartment for almost 2 years and I have never cleaned the oven. I have never cleaned all the baseboards. You probably think I’m a terrible house keeper now, but I’ve just had to let go to survive. Cooking dinner is usually movie time. Often, I’ll clean the bathroom while they are bathing. I’m teaching them how to sort clothes and they love that. I do most of my cleaning at night, but sometimes I’m just too tired. At least my husband is from a family of 8 boys, so he is used to mess…haha.

      I definitely agree with your friend, I go between feeling guilty that I’m neglecting housework, to guilty I’m neglecting children. Conner plays pretty well now by himself, so I’m usually able to get a few things done while Shep naps. When they are both up, sometimes they play together, but usually they fight. (That is a whole new challenge you will get later=)Does he color yet or play play-doh? Do you have letter magnets for the fridge? I really don’t have a lot of suggestions, but I understand what your going through! I’m going through the same thing!

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