Perfect bodies aren’t the only thing the media miss-represent to us women. The idea that we have to have our homes stellar decorated and in pristine shape ALL THE TIME is a flat out lie. Martha Stewart doesn’t have toddlers running around her stage without close supervision and staff to watch them…Us moms are the host of our own homes AND we ARE the staff.
A friend of mine has just hit the bending point of toddlerhood exhaustion. Besides the no sleep with 3 under 4years of age, she’s most distraught about her messy house. Been there, worried about that, crumbled with despair from the criticism I heard for it. But I refuse to believe those voices, real or imaginary ever again!
I am living proof, that this is a STAGE. Here’s my baby day rules. And I know they work, because I am repeating the toddlerhood exhaustion after a couple years of believing I was completely over having babies!
1. Shower. ALWAYS. Once a day. Kids can be contained for 3 minutes of warm water and soap. Even as a Single mom I accomplished this because I swore I would. I felt better about myself for it
2. Make a daily list of “Things to Do” But heres the rule. You can only put three things on it. If you finish that list, you can add another “thing to do”. The point of these list is usually the mental and emotional award of seeing things stroked off and the list finished. That wont ever happen with toddlers if you have too much on your lists! Keep cleaning, even though it seems like a useless task. But one day you will suddenly realize your kids copying you. (And if they don’t, you have a retaliating comment to make “Have you ever seen ME leave a sloppy mess? Clean that up please!) For the record, all my children have been taught to do a complete load of laundry at the age of six.
3. Eat! 3 times a day. Doesn’t matter when. Just do!
4. IT’s NOT BABYSITTING…if your partner or other parent has the children, they are not doing you a favor. They are doing THEIR JOB. SO don’t rush, don’t pin a medal to their chest. Praise them with ” Awww, did you have a good time with daddy!” And a pleasant Thank-you. Because we are polite that way!
5. Don’t ask for help…TELL people you can’t do “this” by yourself and tell them what you NEED. This includes your mother, your spouse, the church lady who just called you and the neighbor that wants to gossip over the fence.
6. Pray. Find your source of strength before you get to the point you think you might break. We weren’t meant to feel alone during these precious years of our tiny peoples lives. We were meant to be fruitful and multiply as partners and families. But when they let you down and you feel lonely, you don’t have to be alone. There is a difference between lonely and lost and alone and capable.
So Chin up, fight forward and look toward your goals. Just like birthing pains, one day this sleeplessness and chaos will become a distant painless memory.