Easy Ways To Be a More Present Toddler Mom
I’m going to make a huge mom confession. Sometimes there are days where I wake up and immediately think about how excited I am to go to bed. Gone are the days where I can lounge around, binge on Netflix, and doze off as I please.
My days are primarily spent on my feet chasing around a very active little boy. Other days I yell things like “stop playing in the trash can!” “get down from there!” and, my favorite, “don’t you dare eat that bug!” from the couch.
Luckily, my little guy is fiercely independent, has an outstanding imagination, and is da bomb at entertaining himself. However, I’m ashamed to admit that there are times where I spend too much time looking at my phone, watching television, or perusing Pinterest for recipes I’ll never make rather than playing with my toddler.
On the days that have you question if you’re cut out for motherhood, it’s important to remember that these years are limited. Before you know it, you’ll have a child who is grown and relies on you less and less.
It is so important that, during these years, you are an active participant in your child’s life. Luckily, there are some simple ways to become more present when spending time with your toddler.
5 Simple Ways to Be More Present with Your Toddler
Create Daily Routines and Special Traditions
Little ones absolutely thrive with routines. You can make some of their routines even more special by becoming a part of them. Eat breakfast with them and talk about what your plan is for the day. Cuddle up and read a book before bedtime every night. Pop some popcorn every Friday night, stay up a little past bedtime, and watch a movie as a family. Sit on the front porch and watch the rain during storms. This will become your special “thing” with your child.
Make sure that you are focused on your child during these special moments. These will be the things that both of you will remember.
Limit Use of Technology
This sounds like a no-brainer, right? Honestly though. How many times have you caught yourself on your phone without even realizing it? Like, how did I end up 154 photos deep on the Facebook page of someone I went to highschool with?
Set times throughout the day where you leave your phone behind, shut the television off, and put the laptop away. These seemingly innocent devices are stealing our undivided attention that our children truly deserve. By leaving your phone in the other room, you won’t be tempted (consciously or unconsciously) to pick it up and start scrolling.
Look for Moments of Gratitude
When you spend time with your child, be sure to look for little moments and actions to be grateful for. Are you proud of how they use their manners during mealtime? Do you appreciate how sweet it is that they stop to smell the flowers on your walk? Is it crazy cute how loving they are toward your dog? Notice your child and the sweet little being that they are.
By doing this, it will help you connect with your child - and to see the truly amazing human being you have created - on such a deeper level. Go ahead and be proud of this life form that you brought onto this planet!
Remember that Chores Can Wait
It can be so difficult to find time to fit in housework with all of the other demanding aspects of being a parent. I get it, you like to get things done when you actually have the energy to do it. However, if your child is looking up at you with those big puppy dog eyes asking you to read them “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” for the eleventy-ith time, ask yourself if your housework needs to happen right then.
When things just can’t wait, I like to get my toddler involved. He loves that he is able to “help” mommy. So, when I need to clean up the kitchen, I hand him the dustpan and brush and he gets a’sweepin’! If I am tidying up the bedrooms, I hand him a cloth and he dusts the window sills. And floors. And dog. Hey, as long as we’re working together!
Give Yourself “Me Time”
The best way to be more present as a toddler mom is to take a break from “momming” once in a while. By stepping away, you will come back recharged and refreshed. Your child will notice (and appreciate) that you are more patient and happy. Also, you would be teaching your child the ever important practice of self-care.
So, do what you have to do. Take time for yourself by waking up early or staying up late. Have your husband take the kiddos for the afternoon while you go get your hair done or sip wine and read a good book. Get creative. You’ll feel like a new woman and mother. Your kid will love you for it.