Six ways to manage time with a toddler
A typical day for most parents looks like a balancing act between work, family obligations, and squeezing in a little time for yourself. And if you add a toddler to the mix, time management becomes even more difficult.
Between the endless rounds of feeding, changing, and playing, it can be tough to find time for anything else. But fear not! We've put together some strategies for managing time with a toddler. Whether you're looking to get more organized or just need some quick and easy tips, we've got you covered.
So take a deep breath and read on—your sanity (and your toddler) will thank you!
Discuss Priorities With Your Partner
Communication is essential for managing time with a toddler. Setting expectations and discussing priorities with your partner makes coordinating tasks and responsibilities easier. Talk about who will do what and when, and be open to delegating if one of you is overwhelmed or overworked.
It is also essential to make time for discussions on child health, child-rearing, child discipline, and other decisions that affect the whole family. Illnesses are also part of life, and your toddler might get a cold, fever, or fall sick for any other reason; discuss and share responsibilities with your partner in such cases.
Your child may also have developmental delays, including physical, emotional, motor, or cognitive. Such toddlers need more care and time. Getting them timely medical attention is crucial, and managing time with such kids is no easy feat. These developmental delays can also be symptoms of cerebral palsy, for which you will have to get your kid various types of alternative treatment so they can have a chance at a normal life.
Managing a routine with doctor appointments and therapy sessions can be tiring, but it is crucial for both partners to take collective steps in this regard. Rather than burdening one person with all of the obligations, especially during difficult times, problems can be solved through effective communication.
Make a To-Do List
When you have a toddler, time is of the essence. Every minute needs to be put to good use! One way to make the most of your time is to create a to-do list for the day. A to-do list will help you stay organized and ensure you don't miss any important tasks.
Be it your toddler’s task, daily chores, or work-related stuff, maintaining a to-do list will sanction appropriate time for each task that you can check off after you are done. It can also include a list of regular activities for your toddler, such as sleep time, meals, playtime, bath time, and more. Doing dishes, laundry, cooking, or grocery shopping can be added, and you and your partner can split the tasks.
It will keep your day manageable and productive and may also save you some time for yourself.
Designate Toddler-Friendly Zones
Designating toddler-friendly zones in your home is excellent for managing your time with a toddler. This means setting up areas or rooms specifically designed for your toddler’s needs and interests. This way, you can safely leave your little one there and not worry about them getting into trouble or disrupting the other parts of the house.
These zones should include age-appropriate toys, books, art supplies, and child-friendly furniture. Depending on the size of the space, you could also consider putting carpet and child-proofing the areas that are not safe for them.
Overall designating toddler-friendly zones can give you much more freedom to tackle tasks without chasing after your toddler every other second!
Prepare in Advance
Preparing for all activities or events the day before will save you a lot of stress. This includes packing the diaper bag, gathering snacks and toys, and ensuring you have everything you need for drop-offs and pick-ups.
You can also pre-schedule your days—there's nothing like having a plan of attack for when time starts slipping away. Making a general outline of what you can reasonably expect to accomplish each day effectively ensures all your bases are covered without letting things slip through the cracks.
Don't forget to schedule regular breaks for yourself when your toddler is napping or playing. Taking time to relax and refocus will help you have the stamina needed to stay on top of your parenting game!
Regarding relaxation, remember there are no rules—do whatever works best for you! Whether this means recognizing when you need a break and scheduling a few moments of "me-time" or taking an entire day off once in a while; it's essential to take care of yourself. After all, how can you properly take care of your little one if you're not taking care of yourself?
Ask Help from Family
Getting help from friends and family can go a long way in balancing your responsibilities. It could mean asking your sister or mother to take over for a few hours on the weekend, so you can get errands done without a restless child in tow. You can also have a friend help you out with some household chores so that the task is done in less time, and you can give more time to your kid.
You can also take friends' and family’s help to get a little time for yourself and your partner. By asking someone to babysit your toddler, you can enjoy your time by having a meal together or going for a drive. Taking care of a hyperactive toddler does not mean that you neglect yourself completely. Taking time off now and then is important for your relationship and family in the long run.
Like anything else, the more prepared you are, the better off you'll be. So take a deep breath, have some patience, and get ready to tackle the next few years with grace and confidence with these few simple tips. With a little organization and a lot of love and care, you can manage time with a toddler easily.