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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Strategies, Part I

Okay, you parents of toddlers/preschoolers. I have a few questions for you. Basically, they're "how do you do it?" questions. If you've got any wisdom, I certainly would appreciate it!

  1. How many times a day to you clean up the toys, crayons, craft stuff, chaos? Most days, when Joe gets home, it looks like Tropical Storm Nathan swept through three or four times.
  2. Those of you who work from home... How do you put aside the time to prepare? I am taking this semester off, but will be teaching in the summer. I'm completely developing my class, so I need to get started ASAP. What do you do to carve out the time needed? Do you just wait until your husbands are home?
  3. Showering. I know this sounds so simple, but is it? I have this ridiculously thick hair, that is currently fairly long. If I shower at night, 1987 calls and asks for its hair back. Plus, I feel better if I shower in the morning. Unfortunately, if I showered before Nathan was up... well, I just can't predict when that will be. Do you guys trust your older children with your younger ones? I'd just bring the baby with me, but Nathan is definitely acting out to the point where I can't leave him alone for even a few moments.
  4. Leaving the house. Were any of you intimidated by taking both children places? We didn't go many places for the first six weeks, because Daniel was born in the heart of cold and flu season. But now, I know I have to get out of the house. And more importantly, Nathan needs out of the house. Did any of you have that anxiety? If so, how did you cope?
I was going to try to round this out with 5 questions, but this is a good start.


Sarah said...

1. I pick up crafts and messy stuff like play doh right away, but we do a huge toy clean up after Ben gets hoe and right before bath.

2. I cannot prep with the kids. I have to wait until night or get a sitter.

3. Can the TV babysitter give you a hand? I used to hook Harry up with a show and stick Jack in his bouncy chair right outside the shower door. Maybe Nathan would like showering with you until he is more reliable on his own for 10 minutes? You can always leave leave the door open.

4. Ugh, I hear you. You just have to do it, and pretty soon, it is old hat :)


AJU5's Mom said...

As for #1, like Sarah we clean up crafts right away for obvious reasons. But, the toys normally get picked up once during the day (before AJU5 gets an afternoon show) if there is a big mess.
On #2 - I find times with AJU5 is distracted and head to the office to work. Some times it is only a few minutes, something is better than nothing. When AJU6 was tiny, he would come with me. Now, I wait until he is distracted too (and napping most of the time).

On #3, I basically repeat the same "rules" as step two. I normally shower during their second morning show these days. My hair is SUPER oily, so I can't shower at night without a grease ball in the morning. Luckily I can get in and out of the bathroom in under 25 minutes.

#4 - We would go shopping without any issue. The park wasn't hard either because it was just down the street. If there was an issue, we could just come home easily. Juggling the kids at other places was harder. We didn't go too many places other than that because we didn't "need" to. But, the few times we did, the "double" stroller was a big help (other than story time at the library).

Just take it one day at a time. Go out and do little things. If the mess doesn't bother you too much, don't fight it. You will find a rhythm before too long!

Becca said...

1. Toys: Pick up once during his nap and then five mins before your husband is due home you kick everything towards the general area where it's supposed to be. Then you can put things away later if/when you have time.

2. I have to have a babysitter or Ryan home to get any work done. It is impossible otherwise.

3. Ditto the TV for Nathan, bouncer next to the shower door for Daniel. We still do that. We have a master bathroom, so I used to lock them in the bedroom while I showered which limited the potential destruction to one room. Now they can be downstairs without too much of a problem. But I always take the baby with me.

4. It is hard but you get used to it. Since you live in the city, why don't you start small, just walking around your neighborhood? Now is a great time to get out because the baby isn't trying to run away and get into stuff. Load up the stroller with diapers and go. It will feel so good to get out in the fresh air. The juggling sensation gets better after a while, and your kids get older and more reliable when it comes to following verbal instructions, which helps.

This is a huge transition. Like AJU5 said, just take one day at a time. Some days go great, some are really hard. Soon, you'll have more good than bad ones!

Mrs Lemon said...

Pre 1: Hon - You are still in the thick of realizing you have two kids! Take some of the pressure off yourself girl! I didn't feel like I was getting into a comfortable routine until Gracie was about 10 months old. And remember, now she's almost 17 months old, so there's a lot more leeway because they can actually play together.


1. I try to clean up the kitchen and dining area immediately after each meal. Simply because if the toys are organized, but the table and floor is a wreck, I just can't live with that. But the toys, I kick to the edges of the room a few times a day, and straighten/organize at night. Weirdly, Zachary will not play with them if they are all tossed in together in one big toy bin.

2. I do work from home and the church office, and one thing that has helped me is I can sync files between church and home, so that means if I squeeze in time at home to work, it makes my time in the office more productive.

3. Showering. Yeah. I do what I can when I can. When Gracie was very small, I would at least put her in her crib and park Zachary in front of a movie. Waiting for both of them to sleep at the same time is near impossible. If Gracie is awake and won't do the crib I put her in her high chair with a bunch of crackers.

4. I forced myself to take them both out several times a week by myself pretty much when Gracie was a few weeks old, even in the winter. I figured it can't get much worse than a newborn and a toddler in the rain at WalMart ;) I don't go to many places with just the two of them, but I will say that going with just them is worlds easier than going with them plus Kelsey. Because then I have to shop, potty train, be friendly to everyone else, and referree at the same time.