To keep kids busy while getting things done theoretically would be ideal, but it is often hard or not at all always possible.
The moment, when your toddler walks with you into the toilet and after asking to close the door, she calmly closes it, leaving herself inside… Makes you forget why you in the toilet in the first place. 🙂
Being a mum itself is a 24/7 job. It is never-ending routine. Man will never understand this.
Waking up – sometimes even earlier, than you would normally wake up for your daytime job, changing nappies, making breakfast. Cleaning up, doing laundry, making lunch. Putting kids to beds for the afternoon nap and tidying up again. Then you MIGHT have a little break while kids are asleep, but this is NOT always the case, as you will probably use that time for paying bills, making important calls or writing a blog, as I do!
Kids then wake up, so you change their nappies again (you have probably done that for about 5 times anyway before they went to sleep), making a little snack for them, then get on with preparing dinner, while fulfilling your babies demands: want a cartoon, want a yogurt, want to wear this dress (which is actually a sleeping dress) and not another one, don’t want to do my hair, etc…
Finally, it’s dinner time, which is just as eventful. I normally end up feeding Harry with one hand, Daniella with another (she soon gets bored of feeding herself and asks MUMMY to do it), while my own food is getting cold in front of me. Edward does try to help, but our princess often refuses to get fed by anyone else than mummy…
Reminder for myself: ask Santa for the third hand over next Christmas!
Where did I finish then. Ok, so after the dinner I am lucky enough to clean up he kitchen, always with help from my wonderful Edward- I honestly don’t know how would I cope without him. After dinner, it’s Eastenders time (ha ha). This had become a family religion. 😀 I would normally watch it while editing my blog post or catching up with other undone stuff online. And soon it’s time to get kids ready for bed (I am not even mentioning nappy changing in between no more). Once kids are ‘happily ever after’, I will finally in silence (sight) catch up with my leftover online work and at about 11pm – 12am I am off to bed.
However, it’s not the end even then. I don’t know if I can call my sleep ‘SLEEP’. It is somewhat a ‘standby mode’. In case Daniella calls from another room to fix her duvet or that she had a bad dream, in case Harry wakes up for nursing or dog starts throwing it’s bowl across the floor, as she has run out of the water. And then in no time the morning comes, and all starts all over again… I am not gonna go into the horror stories when children are ill or teething… Man will never understand this anyway…
One way or another, things won’t get done by themselves. No matter if you didn’t have much sleep or if you missed your breakfast, you need to survive another day without failing. Kids to be fed, house to be cleaned, dinner on the table by 6pm or so. Another busy day ahead.
Experience has thought me some tips and tricks on how to manage throughout the busy day without pulling my hair out or throwing the plates to the wall. These are my 5 very simple tips (that you might already know) to keep kids busy while getting things done:
Have enough equipment for your children. Let them have a choice.
I am not saying you should buy every possible baby item on earth, not at all. Just try to discover what your baby likes – it can be a swing, seat, Jumperoo, anything really. Our little Harry is pretty active, he loves spending time in his Fisher Price Jumperoo. However, at times he gets fed up with it, but he is then more than happy to play in his seat (also Fisher Price). If our nearly 8 months old baby refuses both of these, he most probably will be happy to simply roll on the floor, reaching for toys and learning to control his movements.
Daniella (3 years old) loves her Play Doh. It keeps her occupied for quite a while. Daniella’s baby doll keeps her busy for another good amount of time. Our toddler girl also loves puzzle – she is surprisingly good at it!
Youtube Super Simple Songs or Youtube Videos
Controversial one. But God knows, it’s such a life saver!
Harry gets hooked if I put Super Simple Songs playlist on Youtube (I play it on our TV). I KNOW! TV is not ideal for babies, but come on, reality is far from the fairytales what’s good and what’s not and sometimes you just have to do it to survive a day, isn’t it? Those songs are also educational, so there is definitely a good side about it! I can then easily go to another room without Harry screaming after me and get on with my tasks.
Daniella LOVES Youtube videos. So when I need a bit of the ‘do not disturb’ time, I allow her to watch them on my phone. She normally watches toys unpacking videos, Frozen songs or cartoons – Caillou, Peppa Pig and others.
Have a routine
Very important! If you know at what time is lunch what time your kids will go for a nap, etc, life will be so much easier! If you have several kids like I do, try getting them sleep at the same time- when Harry and Daniella are both off for their lunchtime nap, it is definitely my best and most productive time of the day!
I don’t suppose it’s anything new for any mum. Just at this very moment, I am rocking Harry to sleep using my leg, while typing this post. Another example, I often put Harry in his seat on the top of the kitchen table while cooking, so I can interact with him while getting dinner ready. And one more out of many – bathing Daniella and Harry together saves me time rather than bathing each of them separately and they both enjoy it much more.
Talk to them
It is always good if you not only try getting your children out of your way but also tell them, why you need them to play independently for a while. Even to your smaller ones. One day they will come to understand that and giving mummy some space for getting things done is a normal every day thing. let’s just hope this day is soon enough haha. 😀