How to manage time wisely with more than one child

Denise - posted on 01/29/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I am a mother of a 2 year old and a 4 month old.Since having the baby I find it harder to manage my time between the two of them.I recently started waking up around 7am each morning to get my day started and accomplish more but only end up feeling more tired.On days when I do everything for them I end up ignoring something for myself.I have been able to get a little more done but whenever one thing changes it throws off my whole day.No matter how early I get up I always feel the need to be in a hurry with things.For instance,if my infant is crying for a bottle but my toddler has a potty accident I usually rush her so I can get to the baby.I want to get to a point where things go smoothly.How do I manage my time between the two of them without feeling like I'm neglecting either of them or myself?

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Jodi - posted on 01/29/2012

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For starters, you accept that you are only one person, you are only one mother and you can't be super woman...even if you are super mom. Your baby is only 4 months old, right now, things are going to be crazy, give it time and soon your baby will be on a better schedule and things will even out. (trust me, I had my twins when my daughter was 22 months old...and potty training too like yours!)



In the meantime, have you tried wearing your baby in a sling, this can help calm and sooth baby while simultaneously freeing your hands...give you a few extra moments to help not rush your toddler without your baby screaming in your ear for her bottle. Also, really try to involve your toddler in everything, from making bottles (mine was content to just hold the bottle while I added the formula.) to feeding, getting diapers, wipes, nuks, singing to her...you name it, your toddler can do it. Also, when you clean up house, include your toddler, put a sock on her hand, spritz it with water or pledge if you're brave and let her "dust", give her some water and paper towel and let her "wash" windows, let her play in the sink while you clean up the kitchen, she hand you clothes while you fold laundry, wipe down tabletops, chair seats etc etc. Best part is, your toddler will feel like this is just as quality time as when you're playing blocks or games with her. I always play kids music when we clean and we sing and dance while we clean. If you wear your baby in a sling, he/she gest to be involved too!



The point where things go smoother *will* come, but remember, you are officially outnumbered! You are a great mom doing a fantastic job. btw, my me time was when I would put Dora on TV for my toddler while the twins napped, not even a half an hour, but hey, we take what we can get! *hugs* I know how you feel, but it does get better!

Kaitlyn - posted on 01/30/2012

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All the previous replies are great! I absolutely get what you're saying about sometimes the toddler's help is more frustrating than helpful or "quality" time like for you. I am there w/ my 21 m/o and 4 1/2 m/o. Only difference is I also have a 4 1/2 y/o thrown in the mix, which might sound like a great helper (and often he is), but he can also get in the way or cause chaos w/his sister leading to more screaming in our house and an even more frazzled Mommy! My motto is: "Don't sweat the small stuff!" Life is not perfect, therefore I cannot expect myself or anyone around me to be either. Some things CAN be put off until tomorrow. Schedules are absolutely important, but you can't beat yourself up when things do no go according to plan. The less stress you LET in, the better you ALL will be. Good Luck!

Kaitlin - posted on 01/30/2012

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my first two are 12 1/2 months apart- I know that feeling! And now we'll have 3 under 3. What really helped me was a solid schedule, but not getting too upset if it didn't go just right. First, I made a schedule for my older child, then a fairly loose schedule for my newborn. Our day 'started' at 7 and 'ended' at 7 (with the kids) with naps, feedings and play time scheduled, and at least one outing every day (grocery store, library, park, grammie's or a neighbors house, etc). My oldest (and eventually, my second) had to 'clean up' their toys before nap and before bed- which made me breathe a little easier, even though it's not ''perfect'. Once I got used to this, and they did too (a few days to a week) i started looking at the chores that needed to get done, and when. Dishes always happened once the kids were in bed. Laundry was every other day (we did cloth diapers), but they would watch and it took two seconds (folding didn't often happen, I don't mind wrinkles,lol) Meals for me and for my husband were prepared in advance, either on Saturday (when I had an extra set of hands) or once they went to bed (and I prepared meals for the next day). We had a weekly meal schedule and still do- breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, after dinner snack (for us) with all detailed and planned and it also helped make our grocery list and stay on budget- so there's never a night when I ask, what am I going to make for dinner?

I hope htis helps. Some days, our schedules don't go so smoothly, but most days are pretty much normal, we know what to expect and how to handle it. It does get easier.

Sharon - posted on 01/29/2012

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I have a 27mth old & a 9mth old. I prioritize between them which is more important and that particular moment. For example...my 27mth old comes up to me and says wee wee (toilet trained for about 2wks) so I drop what I'm doing, and take him to the toilet. If he's actually had the accident, then off come the undies and I clean up the mess once I have finished what I am already doing (I figure them mess is already there, 2-3mins more isn't going to hurt). I don't get up any earlier as mine are already early risers (5-530am), but for the first hour of the morning I'm getting things ready and they are playing together on the floor. I found it got alot easier once the youngest hit about 6-7mths and started to be a little mobile, that way they began interacting more. And bathtime is so much easier once they can both be in there together!

If I do have to rush the older ones task for any reason to do with the baby I make sure he helps me once we get to the baby. He may hold the bottle, or wipe bubs bottom. That way, he's still included and isn't left waiting there on his own.

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Denise - posted on 01/30/2012

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This advice is quite helpful,ladies.It seems that everyone agrees that things even out more when the baby gets older adn getting the toddler to help really works.I have tried this a bit although sometimes I feel that she is still too young to help much.Usually the things that I allow her to do she ends up messing up somehow or just getting in the way.I feel awful admitting this but when I get motivated to do something having to slow down and explain it to a busy body isn't exactly easy.LOL.



I do agree that a schedule also works.I had my toddler on a strict schedule since birth but of course things changed with the new addition.Im still in the process of getting the baby on a schedule(which is getting better).I guess it's just hard having to start all over again with everything I just accomplished with my daughter.

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