Dare I say we all have days that feel heavy on our Mummy soul? The toddler is throwing a massive tantrum because he asked for “chopp chopp nana’s” and you chopped the banana but now can’t put it back together, the baby is teething and only wants to be held by you and the hubby threw the wet, dirty sponge in the sink… IT’S A LOT.
So I have gathered a few tips and tricks that make those days just a little bit easier:
Feel your Feelings
Days like these will happen. So allow yourself to feel the feelings and lower your expectations. Not every day has to be highly educational with singing and counting and 500 activities.
When in doubt – add Water
I am not sure why, but whenever kids are grumpy, putting them in the bath really helps. Is the messy kitchen bothering you? Plopp ’em in the sink and clean the kitchen while you can supervise the water play.
Snacks, Snacks and more Snacks
A genius life hack I wished I would have learned the second my daughter was born: Prep the snacks in the morning. Put all the carrots, berries, crackers, etc. in the food container, and you are sorted for the whole day! Another hot tip is to serve snacks, or even lunch, out in the garden… Sometimes keeping little ones at the table can be a challenge and this way you can just lean back, let them be messy, wander around, whatever… the garden hose is always near by ;-)
Whenever I do my weekly groceries I make sure I have at least one dinner that is a one-tray oven situation. This means less washing up and you can actually use the 30mins. of cooking time for something else. (Maybe some me-time?) Some examples that are a staple in our house are Salmon and Veggies, Lasagne, Pizza, Apricot Chicken… and for the days where it has just been a real rough one… put down a picnic mat and put on a movie!
Next time you tidy up the toys, put some aside in a box… Hard day? Bring out the box with the forgotten toys that will feel brand-new to the kiddies!
What’s on my bum?
Lay down on the couch and ask the little ones to put something on your bum. Then guess what it could be! (Is it an elephant? Did you put a car on my bum?) You may also close your eyes at this point… :-)
Do you have any other tips? I would love to know them!
I can also highly recommend our Sensory Playsets for these tricky days as they keep the little ones entertained for ages!
Fun Fact: A child’s brain is not developed enough to grasp the concept of sharing under the age of 4. Jup. Let that sink in Mama. They can physically not understand why you want them to give THEIR toy to someone else…
Instead of forcing our kids to share we can try these two techniques:
WITH SMALL CHILDREN:
TAKE TURNS GAME:
Step 1: Find a popular toy
Step 2: Sit with your child and say “It’s Mummy’s turn to play the tractor”. Play with it for a few seconds and then pass it to your child saying “Your turn now to play with the tractor”. Keep passing the toy between you and any siblings that are available to play with.
Step 3: When your toddler passes the toy to someone, encourage their behavior by saying “You did a good job sharing your tractor!”
This will start teaching them the concept of sharing in a playful way!
WITH OLDER CHILDREN:
BE A SPORTSCASTER, NOT A REFEREE
When siblings, or two children, are squabbling about a toy try to narrate the situation rather than stepping in and fixing it for them.
Step 1: Accept & Acknowledge
“You two sound mad at each other”
Step 2: Narrate the issue
“Maya, you are still playing with the airplane. Dylan, you want a turn”
Step 3: Empower
“I know you two can figure this out”
Both kids feel heard, understood, and empowered that Mum knows they can find a solution!