The majority of my mom friends only have one or two children. So whenever we get together and/or have a chance to talk, it’s inevitable that they remark about how much more I have to handle and deal with.
And it’s true. Having 5 children certainly does make for more chaos! I just brush these comments off though because little do they know that I have a handful of secrets to manage the stress. Most moms with less than 2 or 3 children will not understand these methods, and that’s OK. Moms of 4 (or more) will totally get this. There are numerous issues I encounter while trying to get through my day. These issues include:
- Idle hands spend time doing terrible toddler things (e.g., picking their nose, putting their hands in their diaper, dumping cat food into the cats’ water bowl).
- When toddlers step out of line, the punishment must be swift and harsh.
- When toddlers do good work, the reward must also be swift (and sometimes harsh).
The following are 4 of my secrets for getting through the day without beginning to drink at 8:45 a.m.
Secret #1: Your 2-year-old is more capable than you think:
Put their incessant energy to good use by making them perform the household chores that you hate. For example, let your toddler wash their own bottles. In addition, have them finish up the leftover dishes from the previous night’s dinner.
Also, cleanliness is next to godliness, so have them wash their hands repeatedly. This is a double bonus, because they will have relatively clean hands (for a couple of minutes) and they find this exercise enjoyable.
Secret #2: 2-year-olds are excellent at doing laundry:
Here you can see Coraline cleaning out the lint filter. Another double bonus, because the lint problem gets taken care of and thoroughly punishes the toddler who has just spent 20 minutes washing her hands.
Secret #3: Your 1-year-old is more capable than you think:
For example, Halsey does an excellent job of (re)formatting his father’s Kindle.
Also, they say a 1-year-old’s mouth is cleaner than a dog’s, so let him disinfect those germ-ridden game controllers.
When your 1-year-old does his chores appropriately, a suitable reward is letting him play with plastic bags.
However, when your 1-year-old tries to run from helping fold laundry…
Suitable punishments include making him smash his own fingers in the kitchen hand towel drawer:
Locking him in a dark bathroom:
Making him watch TV from outside of the family room gate:
One item of importance is making sure your 2-year-old doesn’t get lazy. You’ve got to make her sharpen her incredible gymnastic skills.
Also, you can’t let your toddler get too comfortable. A good way to keep them in line is making them nap without their favourite blanket. Note the look of glee on my 2-year-old’s face. She clearly enjoys my creative methods for compliance.
Secret #4: Your cat can actually be helpful:
Here is Lieutenant Clawhugs reporting for duty.
He helps by using his entire furry body to dust off the kitchen table.
Cats are also excellent inspectors.
In fact, cats are very thorough inspectors.
Once your cat is done inspecting your toddler’s work, he’ll likely want to take a break by laying on a clean kitchen towel. (This is because cats are notoriously lazy.)
At least he makes up for his laziness by voicing his complaints. (Cats hate the paparazzi.)