Saturday, April 16, 2011

{How I'm Trying to Become a Better Mom!}

Being a mother of a toddler has proved to be a whole different ball-game! Gone are the days of Titus staying where I put him, and finding pleasure in whatever I put in front of him! No, now he roams the house at will, his curiosity compelling him to open every door and cabinet he sees. He now communicates when he wants something (and doesn’t want something), and he certainly knows what he wants! The refrigerator is a constant obsession, as is climbing the stairs, uncautiously jumping on furniture, and pushing any buttons he can find (ie, cell phones, remote controls, laptops, grr!). He’s also proven to be more emotional and clingy! This is the part that is about to drive me crazy most days! The whining and constant need for attention is sometimes about more than I can bear! I spend most mornings surviving until lunch and afternoon naptime! I get hardly any work done because of he refuses to let me put him down or get within 5 feet of him. And he especially starts fussing when I stand behind the ironing board or sit behind the sewing machine or computer! And the worst of it is, I have no idea what to do with him! I don’t know what he wants! I feel like I spend the whole morning trying to figure out how to make him happy by doing things he likes to do- reading, chasing him, building/knocking over towers- and as soon as I walk away to do something he asks as if I’m neglecting him! I have put him in his pack-n-play for some alone playtime, and after we get through the first few minutes of fussing, he generally can be in there quietly playing for a half hour or so! I definitely enjoy every moment he’s down for a nap, but once dinner is over, the whining is constant and extra-irritating, and time seems to slow down until it’s time to put him to bed! I’m starting to realize my struggle to enjoy this stage and truly understand what he needs! Is he bored? Am I not stimulating him enough? Do I need to spend more time with him? Is this just a phase he’s going through? I realize he seems to be a child whose love language is Quality Time. But spending 2 or so hours as a family after dinner doesn’t seem to make much difference!

Anyways, enough of my venting… :) Here’s what I’m going to do about it!

Yesterday, I remembered a book by mom gave to me several months ago called, “The Toddler’s Busy Book.” I started reading it this morning and already have so many ideas of activities to do with Titus! I’d like to start being more purposeful about my mornings with Titus. Since I can’t get any work done then, I need to focus more on his development and how to have happy mornings together. As I’m reading, I realize that this takes planning! Tim and I are talking about home schooling, so I think starting a morning routine of purposeful and stimulating activities could easily transition into home schooling in a few years!

This book has a list of craft supplies to keep in stock, a couple ideas for boxes to compile (Rainy day box for exceptionally long days, a Baker’s Box for while you’re working in the kitchen, and a tickle truck of fun dress up clothes… just to name a few). The key is to keep the items in the boxes fresh (totally see the need for that!) and pick items that are age-appropriate and your child enjoys! Something I should do better about is rotating his toys and doing it regularly! After his November birthday and then Christmas, his toy stash went from a few baby toys to more toys than he ever plays with!

So my goals (after only reading 30 pages of this book ;) ) are to make up a couple boxes of fun activities and simple household items, and then I want to make a weekly plan for activities, having 1 or 2 a day! The book has a couple pages of a Weekly Activity Planner that I’m going to print off. Then the next couple hundred pages are all kinds of activity ideas!!! (The subtitle IS “365 creative games and activities to keep your 1 ½- 3-year-old busy!” haha)

I'm committed to this adventure and calling of being a mom! I don't think there's any better way I could spend my life! I'm excited for all the fun we're going to have and I like that my attitude and perspective have been changed! No matter in what area of life, living purposefuIly is the way to go! I'll let you know my progress!

From on my lap, Titus and I are signing off! :)


Tim and Kate said... [Reply]

Not that you asked for ideas or anything, but I am currently going through this for the second time with my 15 month old (after just getting through it with my 2.5 year old). Two activities that I found that they NEVER tire of is a rice/bean tub and a pasta tub. We used beans instead of rice because they are easier to clean up, put a whole bunch of pinto beans in a plastic tub and then mix in small animals or other toys (found at the dollar store), both my girls LOVE to see if they can find all the animals. The other one I did was a pasta tub. I bought several different shapes of pasta and died them different colors with foodcoloring/alcohol. Put some measuring cups/scoops, anything they can sort colors or shapes into (I used a veggie tray with all the different dividers) into the tub and viola... I can usually squeeze 45 minutes to an hour out of each of these activities! We just have a rule that they have to play with them on the tile floor not on the carpet!

Good luck to you!

Blue Ladybug Mamas said... [Reply]

@Tim and Kate

Ooo! Thanks so much, Kate! I'll definately have to try those! Does your 15 month put them in her mouth though? I would worry Titus (who is 17 1/2 months old) would try to eat that kind of stuff! I guess that's probably where good supervision comes in! Thanks again for those ideas!