Mom Life

Thriving Through Toddlerhood 5 tips to maintaining sanity with toddlers

Tell me this gets easier.

I’ve been tackling life with little ones for almost 2 and a half years now, and although it’s been the best 2.5 years of my life – it’s also been the most challenging! Having kids changes your perspective on everything, everywhere you go, things you do, money you spend, your marriage… it makes your true colors shine. 

I find that, however, most people don’t talk about the tough days. And it’s not even always an entire day – sometimes, it’s just a half hour before my husband gets home from work and it seems to be the longest half hour of my life. The house is a mess, loud and noisy with kids TV… dishes in the sink and I’m still wondering what I can start for dinner. With little kids, it’s easy to be pushed to your mental breaking point. It’s also easy to feel like you’re failing, and that everyone else seems to have things under control while you’re floundering. But trust me – this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

The truth is, we’re all just trying to make it. We’re all in the same boat together. I find this when I finally take the time to vent to my friends about what’s going on.

It’s important to not just survive toddler-hood, but thrive through it. I don’t want to look back and think, wow that was so hard and I’m so glad it’s over! I know one day, I’ll look back and miss these days. So, I’m trying my best to ENJOY them – even though they’re tough.

So here’s my tips for thriving through toddler-hood:

vent.

you need to let off steam. Whether it’s a spat with your spouse, or your kids have just pushed you to a breaking point, find a safe person to talk to it about. Share your challenges and struggles, it’s likely they’re going through the same thing and you can commisserate together. 

make time for yourself.

When my husband gets home for the day, I try to hand off both kids right away. Even just 20 minutes of sanity by myself can recharge me enough to get through til bedtime. On the weekends, I try to carve out a chunk of the day where I can do something by myself. It’s important to maintain your own identity even as a mom. It’s also crucial to take care of yourself and your needs before you can expect to take care of anyone else’s. 

communicate with your partner.

I didn’t realize that I wasn’t really communicating my struggles with my husband. Men tend to see black and white, they’re also natural “fixers” – so unless I clearly communicate that I am stressed/overwhelmed/struggling – he’s assuming I’m fine. Subliminal hints do not work here. You need to be open and honest and give clear communication on what you need help with.

find a hobby.

Luckily, I stumbled upon creating a blog at the perfect time. I feel like this has been the perfect creative outlet to give substance to my free time. Find something you enjoy and pursue it – don’t procrastinate until you have “more” time. The dishes, dust, and laundry will keep coming back – but 5 years from now, you’ll be thankful you took the jump. 

divide and conquer.

When both kids are crying, house is a mess, the TV is too loud, and I’m worrying about whether or not I remembered to make my car payment – I find that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I try to make a list in my head, and just check the box one at a time. For example, if I’m tackling cleaning, it seems like there’s way too much to do around the house, so I’ll start with one room and get that completely done. It’s amazing how less stressful it is when the TV is OFF. Surprisingly, the quiet is more rewarding than my kid vegging out – and usually he’ll find something else to occupy himself with anyway. Take each small problem and resolve it and eventually things will start to snowball. 

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22 Comments

  • Reply theycalledhermom February 6, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Loved this post! My husband and I constantly talk about how everything you find online about parenting is just the roses and butterflies of raising children, but very few people talk about the everyday stresses of doing too much with not enough time.

    I automatically felt like a bad parent the minute my son came home from the hospital, as I found myself overwhelmed and wondering if it would get easier. He’s almost one year old now and the most precious, adventurous little monster and it’s reassuring to hear from other moms that it’s okay to have bad days. Bad days mean you’re doing it right!

  • Reply Thompson Rebekah December 15, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I think having a routine can also really help in the toddler years. And yes, momma, it does get easier! At one time I was saying exactly the same thing as you….people kept telling me it would get easier, but I couldn’t see that for myself. Now that my oldest is six and my middle is almost out of toddlerhood, I am seeing the truth in those words. Here are my tips for anyone struggling through the toddlerhood years: http://survivingtoddlerhood.com/2015/12/14/dear-tired-momma/

  • Reply Shann Eva December 12, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Great advice! The toddler years are really, really hard. Talking with other moms really helps me. I actually just had dinner with a bunch of twin moms, and we all exchanged stories. It made me feel so much better!

  • Reply thetaylor411 December 11, 2016 at 9:48 am

    This is great advice. I know talking to my husband helps me tremendously. Also having a hobby, blogging is my hobby and that’s where I usually vent 😊

  • Reply Sam December 10, 2016 at 9:15 am

    I agree with you on all of this. I have 4 kiddos: 9,5,2, and 5 months. My 2 year-old is so challenging! These tips you’ve suggested are SO useful. I also have found that blogging right now is the best thing that could have happened. Taking the time you need for doing something other than being a mom is SOOOOOO important. It gives that mental break. I also find that spending as much time with friends and family is helpful. We go to a local playgroup where my little one can burn off the energy she needs to and I can have some adult time:)
    High fives, Mama! We’re all doing a great job:)

  • Reply fivelittlebearsblog December 9, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    I love every single thing about this post. I have 5 kids between age’s 9 and 20 month’s and your so right. Most people don’t talk about the tough days but thats exactly what we need to be talking about. In my blog I really want to show real life. Motherhood the good the bad and the ugly.

    • Reply Megan Z December 9, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      5 kids!!! You are amazing!

  • Reply savagesevenblog December 9, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    I am currently going through toddler-hood x2. I have a two year old and a one year old and I am currently expecting my 5th and last one. Some days I want to pull my hair out with the mix of tantrums, stubbornness and potty training! -Breyona Sharpnack

  • Reply emma December 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Venting is an absolute must, in my book πŸ™‚

  • Reply Wellchamps December 9, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I’be been there before. Miss those precious moments, even when they were making a mess. Those are nice suggestions to moms with toddlers.

  • Reply spals1288 December 9, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I love this post! I agree. I feel like no one EVER talks about the tough days. With little ones, there are loads of tough days.

  • Reply theforeverteacher December 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    haha I feel you! I have a 1 1/2 year old and a 2 1/2 year old… feeling the pain! Needed this

  • Reply Georgiana December 8, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Awww, I kind of miss the toddler years–at least certain aspects. Of course, it was all great training for the pre-teen, teen and young adult years. LOL!!! Each stage is its own type of precious. In any case, I SO agree about time for yourself and finding a hobby. So important!

  • Reply Belle December 8, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Finding a hobby helped me a lot because it feels like I am doing something for myself rather than me doing everything for them. These are great tips!

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  • Reply Stef @ Crafty Christian December 8, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Finding a hobby helped me SO MUCH with having more to give to my boys.

  • Reply Amanda December 8, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    So true. Venting and making time for myself is hard but I’m working on it.

  • Reply Roberta Perrone December 8, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Love this post, sweet, simple and true. I find that many don’t want to talk about the moments of pure fustration out of the fear of being judged. Venting is improtant because we are not alone, there are others going through it too. Our kids are not bad kids, just toddlers!

  • Reply Diedre December 7, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    oooh yes to divide and conquer. I do dinner and bath, hubby does story and bed. Gives me a few minutes of sanity at night. You have a lovely blog!!!!

    • Reply Growing up zee December 7, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      Aw thank you for the kind comment!

  • Reply celeste December 7, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    Communicating with my partner really helps! It feels good to share how you feel with someone who can relate and help.

  • Reply taylermorrell December 7, 2016 at 7:18 pm

    Thank you for the option to vent! Sometimes I need to. Thankfully, I have a typically well-behaved toddler, but there are just some days….

  • Reply kristamae12 December 7, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I need to be better about making time for myself. I always feel so guilty!

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