This morning I wondered how I would fit it all in. It was Sunday morning, I had put a load of washing on, hung a load on the line, made the supper, dropped (and waited for) one child to have a swimming lesson, dropped that child home and picked up a second child to take them in the other direction to play rugby. I wanted to get into the garden before the rain came and I had work to do on my business. I really needed to clean the house and as tomorrow the kids are back to school things needed to be organised and sorted for that.
I am at a different stage of life to you. But as I left to go to the rugby drop off, my neighbour who is pregnant with baby number 2 and her 2-year-old toddler were also getting in the car, present in hand ready to go to a two-year-old birthday party and it stuck me… we are all trying to fit it all in!
So, here are my thoughts on how to make it all just a little bit easier when you have a baby or toddler.
- When you have a baby, always make supper as the first job you do in the day. I used to do that when my baby did that sneaky thing of going back to bed at 7.30 when everyone else was just getting up My babies were never the kind to sleep until 7 am… How on earth does anyone manage that?! I was the mum who dropped her child at the reception class having given the children breakfast, been to the supermarket for a weekly shop, played games, given the children a snack and then headed out to school while other children were rubbing the sleep from their eyes! Getting the supper made early in the day is like a little gift to yourself. No matter what happens in the rest of the day, when you are super tired at the end of the day, there it is sitting waiting for you as if to say, well done, you made it through the day!
- Swap with a friend. When I had my first 2 children, they were both under 2.5 years old I was working part-time, we were building our house, my husband worked away in the week and worked on the house at the weekend. Basically, I was tired all the time and the jobs seemed endless. I found that because I was so tired doing the jobs that I hated became a real chore. I was discussing my hate of housework with a friend one day and said I dreamt of having a cleaner.
‘Oh no’, she retorted, ‘If I could afford it, I would have someone make my meals for me… I HATE cooking and I love cleaning!’
So, there it was, our swap was outlined. From then on, on a Wednesday night, I would send her a shopping list, she would on the Thursday morning go via the shop for her shopping and bring it to my house. We would have a coffee, the babies would play, then she would clean a couple of rooms in my house and I would make her 5 meals for her freezer (and also made 5 meals for my freezer at the same time). She delighted in having food that she could just pull out (a little daily gift to herself) and I loved having food in the freezer and a clean house. The toddlers loved having a weekly play date!
- Invite Baby Mum friends over for coffee at your house: We used to have a group of about 5 of us who would meet for coffee and a play date with the children. We would meet in each other’s houses. It rotated. Whichever house we were in, when the kettle was boiling one of us would unload the dishwasher, the other would fold the washing, another would do any washing up that was needed and someone else would pick up the toys that had been left out. And sometimes we would even give the gift of making a meal if there was stuff in the house to do it. We then all settled down for a coffee and a natter together. We had company, the children interacted and played together, and the hostess had a large number of jobs done. By rotating the houses, we met up in, we all benefited from this little gift as well as the company.
- Get the baby to help you with the jobs around the house. Getting the baby to help you from the earliest of days with tidying up, folding washing, putting things away, getting things out, unpacking the shopping, doing the cooking and any other jobs around the house helps you, but more importantly, it teaches them an understanding that these jobs need to be done. By starting from the beginning of their life, you eliminate the challenge of getting your baby (who will become a teen) to do jobs around the house later in life. The earlier you start, the more likely you are to just get them to help. The more they help with the little things around the house, the easier your life becomes and the more prepared they are for living an independent life when the time comes.
So hopefully, these little tips will help you’ fit it all in’. What little tips make your day easier? I would love to hear them. It might help me out! 😊
There are more activities and tips like this on the Oliiki app, not sure if you have had a look yet? If you haven't why not do so, you might find there are fun things to do on it that make your day and your baby's day just a bit more fun. This blog shows you an example of one of the 1000+ activities that are on the app. Download the app and have a play.