Thank you Playtex Baby™ for sponsoring this motherhood post about balance!
Finding balance between baby and toddler can be a big struggle. It has definitely been a learning curve for me now that I have two kids, and one I continue to work on even though I know it’s never going to be perfect. I usually feel torn between giving enough of myself to either one of my little ones. The mom guilt is real!
Let’s be honest. The baby, Levi, is usually the one who gets most of my attention. Babies just need us to do everything for them. AND, I’m his main food source so I’m constantly stopping everything to nurse him. My toddler, Evelyn, is usually the one who hears, “when I’m done”, “just a minute”, or “that will have to wait”.
How do you find that balance between taking care of your baby who needs you for everything and giving your toddler enough attention? Here are several ways we find balance in our family…
LOAD UP ON ART SUPPLIES. Art projects and Play-Doh usually provide at least an hour of entertainment for my toddler. I have a box of Play-Doh and a large stash of art supplies on hand. Crayons, stickers, paper, washable markers, colored pencils, coloring books, paint supplies, glue sticks and more! It gives Evelyn something fun and constructive to do while I tend to Levi nearby.
HAVE SNACKS AND DRINKS READY TO GO. My toddler is constantly asking for snacks and drinks. I stock my pantry with easy toddler snacks like goldfish, fruit snacks, and animal crackers. And, instead of filling up her cup a million times a day or having her go without while I tend to the baby, I have an insulated water bottle filled and ready to go in the morning. We use a Playtex® Sipsters® Sport Spout Cup. It’s a larger 12oz cup that’s designed for older kids. It keeps her water cool and fresh twice as long as regular single wall cups. Plus, it’s 100% spill-proof, break-proof and leak-proof, so she can carry it around wherever she wants to.
SIGN YOUR TODDLER UP FOR EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES. This year, we enrolled Evie in a gymnastics class through the YMCA and a free youth hockey program at the local ice rink. We typically take Evelyn without Levi, so that she can have one-on-one time with mom or dad. My husband takes her to hockey and also coaches, which gives them that special time together once or twice a week. I take her to gymnastics while dad stays home with Levi, so that we can have a girls outing. To make this work, I usually feed Levi or pump right before we leave. (Check out the Playtex Baby™ bottles Levi loves here.)
HAVE YOUR TODDLER HELP YOU WITH EVERYDAY TASKS. Another way I spend time with Evelyn is by having her help me with everyday tasks. It allows me to get the necessary tasks I need to have done while also giving her attention. I have her help me clean, cook, do laundry, and even work on my blog. Things may take a little longer, but it’s worth it. She loves helping switch the laundry. She takes one item at a time and puts it in the dryer. It’s pretty hilarious… and helps me work on my patience. Haha! She LOVES to help cook, and it even makes her more apt to try new food when it’s something she’s made herself. When I’m working on my blog, I tell her “mom needs to work” and I set her up with crayons and paper next to me at the desk so she can “work” too.
IMPLEMENT “REST TIME”. Since my toddler does not take naps, I usually implement rest time. Evelyn takes her iPad, which I have loaded with cartoons and learning games, and lies down in her bed for rest time. If Levi is napping, I take this time to get caught up on tasks or finally take a shower. If he’s not, I nurse him and hold him, getting in one-on-one time with my sweet baby boy.
DON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT RELYING ON AN IPAD OR CARTOONS IF YOU NEED TO. Sometimes the day doesn’t go as planned. The baby needs more attention, I have work or tasks that have to get done, or we all just need a break from playing and entertainment. It’s OKAY if you use cartoons or a tablet to give you that much needed break. Seriously, it’s okay.
At the end of the day, the balance between baby and toddler is never going to be perfect, but hopefully these tips and tricks can help you feel like you’re on the right path.
Thank you Playtex Baby™ for supporting this conversation about motherhood! I’m proud to be a #PlaytexMom and part of the #ForBetterBeginnings campaign. Playtex Baby™ knows how to make my life easier as a mom by making products that support my kiddos right from the start. To find Evie’s Playtex® Sipsters® Sport Spout Cup click here.
What is something your family does to find balance?