If you find yourself struggling to get things checked off your “to do” list because your tending to your little ones know that you are not alone! I struggle with this every day as well as many other mothers out there, which I’m sure is not news to you! My schedule has been non-stop since our little man’s arrival so any time where I can do things I need or want to do is precious. Below is a list of strategies I have been using to try to keep James occupied so I can get things done. James is about 4 months old right now so I know this list will change as he gets older. What’s even better is I know it will get longer! (YAAAYYY!!) But let’s not celebrate too early! Here the top 5 things I do to occupy James so I can get things done! (It is here that I must say: What works for me may not work for you! This is just what I do to get by day by day!)
- If you have a MamaRoo, a Bumbo or a bouncy seat of some sort…use it! Don’t let these wonderful inventions sit around to gather dust! One thing I must mention before I go on, make sure to put a little thought into it before getting the MamaRoo. It is more expensive than a regular bouncy seat and there’s always the 50/50 chance your baby won’t respond to it the way you’d like. We bought a MamaRoo for James and it was wonderful during those early months. We could put him in it and he would fall right to sleep. But then we ended up buying a bouncy seat, mainly for trips to the grandparents because it’s just so much more portable than a MamaRoo. Now I find that the MamaRoo is hardly used at all. We have it on standby of course and we still use it from time to time, but if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on that sort of thing just keep in mind that, although very nice, all the fancy tricks of a MamaRoo isn’t all that necessary.
- Remember all those people who stopped by to visit and meet your precious new little one when they entered the world and said to you “if you ever need anything let me know” or “I can babysit”?! CALL THEM! Totally take advantage of any help you can get to get things done. Especially if it is down to the wire and something important. It gets pretty frustrating when you can’t get anything finished. Trust me I know. It’s even more frustrating when you feel it is beyond your control. You’re trying the best that you can but sometimes you just really need to get a helping hand and there isn’t anything wrong with that. When your “to do” list begins to manifest itself into mountains of laundry, piles of clutter and in my case, tumbleweeds of dog fur begging to be sucked up by the vacuum that is now gathering dust PICK UP THE PHONE! You’re feeling overwhelmed! Don’t let your to do list get any bigger! Don’t turn down help when it is offered. They wouldn’t have offered if they were not more than willing to help.
- I know this is bad but sometimes you just need to give in and stick your kid in front of the television. I felt a little guilty about this one at first but the guilt only lasted for like 2 minutes, then I came to the realization that this is pretty awesome….and highly effective! A combination of #1, bouncy seat, and some form of video stimulation whether it be from cartoons or a movie or even just regular television is a combination that James finds very hard to resist at most times. It is effective I would say at least 85% of the time and usually stays effective anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. When I first set James down in front of the television I’m not going to lie, I immediately had the picture in my head of a teenage James sitting in front of the television with a bag of cheese puffs. But that picture left real quick. Time is precious. And being a mom is hard work. You have things to do and sometimes you just have to do what you have to do!
- This one is a given. Get your kid to sleep! Maybe it is just conveniently time for a nap? If it is nearly time, take advantage! My husband Adam and I do not keep any kind of napping schedule for James. We just let him sleep when he’s tired and try to take full advantage of that time. Some days James will nap a lot and other days hardly at all. So any time your child is napping I suggest making the most of that time. I will admit that I have used many of my child’s nap times to sit and scroll around on Facebook and Instagram on my phone. Don’t do that! Unless you really have nothing else important to do of course. Actually, you do what you want with your time! But for me, I know I feel better if I at least get something productive done while James is napping. Even better, if I can get a nap in while James is napping, I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot! Sleep is SOOOO valuable anymore as I know many mothers are aware!
- My least favorite strategy of all…..letting him cry it out. Again, sometimes you got to do what you got to do. I only resort to this when I absolutely have no other choice. And if James cries for too long (longer than 30 minutes) then that is when I usually start waving my white flag. I surrender! James is the victor! I can’t let him cry any longer than that. It’s just me. I can’t bear it. I guess I fear that one day when he’s older he’s going to look down at me and mouth the words “I know what you did” as he releases the handles of my wheelchair and I begin my descent down a very large, very steep hill. But hopefully he doesn’t last 30 minutes. Hopefully #5 metamorphoses into #4 and the child goes to sleep! Usually this is the case and you know….winner winner chicken dinner!
So hopefully some of you found this useful. I know it is mostly common sense but sometimes common sense isn’t easy to come by when you have a huge list of things to do and a baby that wants nothing else but his mommy. It is so hard in the early months and really does get easier as each week rolls by.
I want to know what other mommies do to occupy their children to get things done. If there is something that you do that really works awesome for you I would love to know! Comment below with any tricks of the mommy trade you have either used or heard of that I didn’t mention! I’m really interested in hearing what you all do to get things accomplished each day!