By Nicole Fabian-Weber
Toddlers are pretty much the cutest human beings in the world ... because they're crazy! I'm convinced that the reason they're so dang adorable is to prevent parents from getting mad at them. It's hard to get annoyed with someone for drawing on the walls when they're standing there in their undies with puppy dog eyes, saying, "I'm sorry, Mama."
But they can make you feel pretty nutty sometimes. It's unavoidable. However! There are things you can do in your everyday life to keep from feeling like you've totally lost it on the days your little one is behaving, well, less than angelic.
Here, five little things to help you feel centered (and sane!) when you're caught up in a toddler tornado.
Make the Bed
This may sound familiar to many moms -- my toddler crawls into bed with me in the (super) early morning. We typically lie together, snuggling for a bit, before we head downstairs -- and there's no time to make the bed. But when it's time for everyone to get dressed for the day (and things have gotten remarkably more wild and loud), I always make my bed. For whatever reason, having a messy, unmade bed makes the chaos seem ... more chaotic.
Hands down, my favorite way to reset and feel centered is a shower -- and being that it isn't something I get to indulge in every day, it quite often feels like a luxury. When my 3-year-old seems to be going cuckoo and I feel like a disheveled mess, it makes a huge difference to take a quick shower, change my clothes, and fix my hair. I feel like a new woman.
Keep the House Tidy
It's pretty much impossible to have a clean house when you've got a toddler living under your roof. That said, you can minimize the amount of stuff you have and tidy up here and there when you have a few moments during the day. I know -- not an ideal way to spend spare time, but for me at least, a clear space means a clear head.
When the weather is nice, get out as soon as possible. As soon as everyone is dressed and fed and potty-ed in my house, I take my kids in the backyard, for a walk, or to a nearby park. In my opinion, the morning is the perfect time to get out, as it's not yet too hot and it sets the tone for the day. Who wants to first leave the house at lunch time?
Weigh Your Options
Like many parents, I'm not a big fan of screen time and it's pretty limited in my house. But when I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed (and my toddler is acting nutty), I ask myself what the best option is: a half-hour show, so I can re-center and get a few things done while it's quiet, or trying to wrangle an antsy toddler who isn't finding anything particularly entertaining in the moment? TV may not be "good" for them, but neither is an irritated, cranky mama!
What do you do to stay centered when your toddler is driving you crazy?
Nicole Fabian-Weber is the mama to a sweet toddler girl and a baby boy. She lives outside of NYC and writes for The Stir and numerous other online publications. Right now, she’s probably fantasizing about sleep.