I am a kind of person with a very short fuse. I like things to be really simple and straight. I guess this attitude came from being a working mother who had to multi task round the clock and achieve goals. Well I am a SAHM now but not much has changed. Guess what? I AM STILL MULTI TASKING!
Months after the birth of my younger one, I was at home 24×7. And I was running out of patience because my toddler was turning out to be really moody and choosy. I figured that if I wanted to have a sane life I had to set somethings straight. I couldn’t be running around two kids without a pattern to follow anymore. Through a lot of hit and trials I have arrived at some domestic hacks that help me keep my sanity and get a pattern my life despite two unpredictable kids.
Start giving options to your toddler
I was constantly running after my toddler to have milk every morning and evening. My question would be, “Nik its milk time! Lets have milk now.” And Nik’s invariable reply would be, “Nooooo! No milk.”
One day I chanced to asked him, “Nik do you want chocolate in your milk or rose?” He gave a simple reply saying, “Rose” A couple of more instances later I realized that this chose-one-from-the-two-things Worked Well In Other Cases Too.
For example – He never liked whatever I pulled out from his wardrobe for him to wear. Lately I have started pulling out two sets of dresses for him to choose from. I guess my little boy feels empowered just at the prospect of being able to take a call for himself. These days he mostly complies and makes less of a scene while getting ready to go out.
The bottom line idea is to clear the clutter.
Make a Food Chart and Put It On Your Fridge
Earlier I found a food chart to be very fancy . But ever since Nik has started his school, I feel it is my major savior. I read a joke somewhere about Indian women which went like, “What to make for the next meal, has been declared the national question of our country’s women”. Very guilty but I would swear by it. You need variety, taste and nutrition all on the same pallet. It sure is a huge task. So atleast for his lunch box, I have put a chart in place which specifies what is to be prepared for lunch box for the weekdays. I tell you, it saves a lot of time and mental hassle.
The More You Mess Up During Summer, Lesser You Hassle Later
This is a parenting hack that I got from my friend. This again relates to making your baby an independent eater. As soon as the first summer arrives when your child is ready for food other than breast-milk, allow him to create a mess of himself and his food. Let him pick up his food and try and put it in his mouth. AAghh! Can very well imagine what a mess it will be. But still encourage your kid to make an effort towards eating on her own. By the end of summers, your little one will be better at her motor skills and might even be capable of having a bowl full of porridge on her own. (Oh! My friends 14 month old angel is capable of doing this)
Encourage Your Elder One To be a Role Play Parent
Bringing up two kids simultaneously is quite a challenge. The only advantage is that you are prodding into an unknown territory only once. The next time around you kind of know what to expect. Encourage your elder one to role play as a parent and take care of the younger sibling. It takes a little load off your shoulders and it is also a REALITY CHECK for you. Because when your child plays a parent, you will see your reflection and will know how your kid perceives your actions as a parent.
Take a Little, Give a Little
This one’s specifically for those mothers who live with their mothers-in-law. I often hear my friends whine about how interfering their MIL is or rather there is this typical statement which goes like, “She has brought up her kinds in her way, she should now let me raise my kids my way” or something like, “I can see what kind of kids she has brought up. I am sure I can do a better job.” Well I am not going to analyse the validity of the above statements. But I know one thing for sure, that grands parents will never want anything bad for their grand children. Also in my case I feel that if my MILs children are generally tolerable or even good, she isn’t going to do anything different with my kids. Rather she would want to improve on things that might have gone wrong the first time around for her. And then there is a little advantage also in giving some autonomy to her in managing my kids. I get some me time to keep my sanity intact. I can spend time reading or just go out for a quick coffee with a friend. Nevertheless, I am very discrete while deciding where my MIL can play a role and where I am the sole proprietor of my kids’ life affairs. I prefer this set up better than a situation where I ban my MIL from my kids’ life and then be left all alone to raise my kids. I guess that’s because of the over-rated sense of individual space that I carry in my head.
These are some behavioral hacks I figured through my experiences that have gone long way in making my parenting life slightly less challenging. Do share what you do in the above mentioned situations with your toddlers.