Friday, September 27, 2013

momma tips

Recently a friend of mine announced she is pregnant with baby number one. As we exchanged e-mails I assured her I am always here if she has any questions, but I am far from knowing what I am doing. ha. When I was pregnant, I never read books or anything to know what to do. I asked friends their advice and just learned as I went. Same goes for now. I haven't really read ahead about teething, transitioning from formula to baby food to table food. I kinda just winged it. Sounds bad maybe, but it is what worked for me. I have some books about parenting and raising children virtuously, etc, and that is what I read in advance, but not the rest. I stay more calm this way so I don't read all the what ifs that are out there. So. With all that being said, giving you my disclaimer that I don't know all the right answers, I thought I'd occasionally share some of my momma tips. Completely random things that pop into my momma brain.

What works for someone else doesn't mean it will work for you. End of story. Don't let people pressure you into doing things just because it worked for them.

Give your kids one kitchen drawer. I suggest giving them one drawer with things they can't get hurt using or make too much of a mess over. I put in their extra sippy cups and things that we don't use all the time. Completely little boy safe. For me, I don't mind some things out all over the kitchen floor, but if it were things from each cabinet or drawer, I would constantly be cleaning up and washing the items. So one drawer makes them happy and keeps Momma happy too!

Don't stress over the mess, but don't let it get out of control either. I let the boys play with their toys all over during play time. When they are napping, I pick up and put away so the floor is trip-free. If I left things all over and ran around the house during nap time trying to get things done, I would trip over something. Guaranteed. So I semi-clean up while they are napping. No serious cleaning because they are going to play again. And then when they are put to bed at night, that is when all the toys go away in their toy baskets.

Don't buy your kids a million toys. The boys were given so many toys. We have two entire baskets full of toys. Of course they love each one, but they always play with the same few toys. So we leave their favorites out, and when it seems like they are a little too familiar with them, looking for something else, or if they have advanced above that toy level, we switch out. Currently, their favorites are blocks, large legos, and trucks. They have more than that out, but limited amounts.

Keep your sink and counters in the kitchen and bathrooms clean. I like to use the Fly Lady's advice and  I shine my sinks each night. I have always liked to clean my sink and keep it clear. I wipe my counters down after each meal (if needed) and rinse and load our dishes into the dishwasher to be washed right before I go to bed. I don't run the dishwasher right after dinner as to make sure any glasses or snack plates are added and washed and not left sitting in the sink overnight. I keep a plastic basket in the sink to throw all the boys' bottles, spoons, pacifiers, etc in to keep them corralled. I don't like them sitting in the sink all mixed in with other dishes and I don't always rinse them and load each thing into the dishwasher after each use, especially dirty pacifiers. So the basket keeps the sink neat, even when there are a few things in it.

Have a general routine, but don't stress out if the timing doesn't always go as planned. Babies are always changing. And in my case, my boys change at different times so we are really always changing. I try to keep to the same meal times, nap times in the general area of the same time, a set chore for each day that stays the same each week, and one given project each day. That is always changing.

Don't stress out too much. Wait, who am I kidding? No really. Try not to stress too much. About the messes, about schedules changing, about any of it. The more you stress over things, the harder your day is. I mean, don't let everything go and be lazy, but don't get all OCD on things.

Make the time. Record the little moments. You will want to remember even the littlest things. Keep a calendar / journal. Even a one liner journal. I regret not writing more things down, even though they seemed somewhat meaningless at the time. I like having the dates with their little memories too. What I do is get a planner, with room to write every day as well as the monthly calendar. Each day I write a line or two at least to remember fun things that went on, things to do with the boys' health, milestones, etc. And then the big events go on the monthly calendar. It's cheap and easy!

Be in pictures. If you are like me, you pretty much just take the pictures. We have just a few family photos. One when they were born (a bad one at that), one for their Baptism, one or two around Christmas time... You get the idea. Not many. And I wish I was in more. Nice pictures for the boys to have when they are older.

Have a station. That is what we call it in our house. It is our go to spot that we keep our stuff. Whether it be your desk, a basket or even just a tote bag that can be moved around. I personally like the idea of a tote bag because sometimes I am at my desk in our kitchen, sometimes on the couch, and other times lounging in bed. This way my current read, the boys' journal, my blogging note book, a knitting project, etc, is all together and can go with me. Being in a tote is good too if you are going to be out all day and you might be at a kids soccer game or waiting in the car a while, or like what happens to me, your kids will nap for two hours while you are sitting in a parking lot waiting to grocery shop. So all my random little things stay in one spot and can travel near and far. It keeps things neat too and you know where all your stuff is! Just don't leave that tote in arms reach of your littlest ones.

The grumbling stops at their bedroom door. No matter what time they wake you up, even if it is at an ungodly time like my little men sometimes choose, greet them with a smile and happy voice. Even though I am incredibly tired, I miss them when they are asleep. And even though I hate being woken up super early, I am very happy and eager to see their angelic faces and hug and kiss them. Don't let them catch the vibe that you are irritated to be up with them and would kinda rather be sleeping.

Well these are a lot to have to read for now. Like I said, I don't know it all. I don't know nearly a fraction of other moms out there, but these are my rules that I am sharing with you! Feel free to share some of yours with me! I'd love to hear them and adopt them on my list!

1 comment:

  1. LOVE these tips, especially "the grumbling stops at the bedroom door"! You're a great mom!