Welcome back to Momming on a Budget! This post is a bit different than the others because it’s focused on how to save energy instead of money. This post is for my tired moms, my working moms, my stay at home moms, my moms of multiples, the soccer moms and every mom in between. If you’re trying to figure out how to squeeze in a few more moments of silence and a few more moments of solitude keep reading, it’s easier than you think.
IN THE CAR
Situation: You’re a mom with things to do and places to go, I get it. Unfortunately, the little person in the back doesn’t. They whine, they kick, they scream, they ask wayyyy to many questions.
Response: Your response is everything, don’t drain yourself. Are you yelling at the toddler to stop kicking your seat, consistently attempting to verbally console the crying infant, etc.?
Solution: Kids will never completely behave in the car, that’s the harsh reality of life, but you can help entertain them.
Here’s some really cool traveling activity cases that you can make at home: http://www.babyfirstblog.com/diy-on-the-go-activity-case/
I personally always keep a mini-clipboard with jumbo index cards and a bag of crayons on hand.
I have a playlist made particularly for my son with all his favorites, little guys like to jam out in the car too.
Use car rides as learning opportunities. You can teach them about road signs and rules. Teach about time as you talk about how much longer until you arrive at your destination.
When you have the energy, answer their questions.
When you see people on the street make up random stories about them (kids love this, they get really into it.)
No matter what, don’t let a car drive get you upset. All you do is exhaust yourself before you even make it to the destination. Conserve your energy for dinner prep and laundry.
Situation: Your child is growing restless with sitting in the cart or stroller. You still have two more stores to go to before nap time. You want your child to calm down so that you can complete your mission.
Response: You rush through your shopping, causing frustration, you forget to get the milk for dinner, resulting in another trip out the house. The saga continues…
Solution: Don’t stress yourself. My secret solution is simple, snacks and small toys. He has everything he needs right there in front of his stroller. This eliminates the need to beg for my attention and allows me the focus on my goal.
Ask their opinion. When shopping for clothes, food, lamps, whatever, ask your child which one you should choose. If you choose differently, you guys can discuss the pros and cons of each decision. The child’s brain is focused and you get to stay on track too.
WHEN LEAVING SOMEWHERE FUN
Situation: You’ve been having a great day with your little one, all is well. But, it’s time to go and she isn’t having it. Your child is running away from you, screaming, hiding in small places that you can’t fit.
Response: You chase the child, finally capture her as she slides down the green slide as part of her exit strategy. The walk to the car is a difficult one, the child won’t walk independently, you’re towing the bag, purse, child, toys, etc.
Solution: Set an expectation before, during and after the visit. Before getting out the car let your child know how long they will be playing, “we’re only playing for 30 minutes today, after that we have to get ready for dinner.” The child is aware that there is a schedule at play and that their play time will be limited. Before packing up give your kid a warning “5 minutes until we go.” They know that the end is near, they have a few minutes to get out their last minute whines, slides or hugs with friends. After, make sure to follow up with a positive and hopeful statement “you did a great job at the park, we can come back on Tuesday.” You encourage them to do the right thing if they want to continue to have fun.
I hope these quick tips help you in your journey outside the home with your little people. I made the decision a few years ago that I wouldn’t stress myself out about my toddler’s behavior and attitude, it was temporary. If I fed into it, it would become worse and I would emotionally drain myself. When he realized that the only responses he would get to tantrums would be discipline or complete silence, he changed his approach. He was only two years old when I introduced deep breathing into his life, but it has saved us so many melt downs. Every child is different, so figure out what you child needs in order to be happy and calm, so you can get things done.
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