Family & Home

Page 45

92 articles in category Family & Home / Subscribe

photo credit

I am looking forward to seeing what y’all have to say about this week’s poll, but first – last week’s results.

Last week’s question was “What percentage of your budget do you spend on food?” Thank you all for answering and explaining how you budget for food in your families. It really is helpful to hear from others – you never know who is going to give you a great tip!

The average food budget turned out to be 12.7%, with a range of 4 – 20%.

I wanted to say that I hope that this does not discourage anyone. It is really easy to look at someone’s else’s numbers and be discouraged. One thing to keep in mind is that we do not know someone’s circumstances, nor what their husband prefers. Here’s a simple thing that I’ve learned, if you start with what your husband’s preferences, numbers don’t matter and everyone will be pleased in the end.

Now, onto this week’s question.

Because of the stage of life I am in (two littles) and the season (cold winter), I haven’t been leaving the house very often. A year ago, this would have driven me absolutely mad. Now that I have better embraced the things I need to get done around the home, I have found myself more content not getting out – at least in the cold months. It also keeps me more motivated to stay on top of my tasks and creates a warmer environment for my husband when he gets home. Come spring, I may be singing a different tune.

So, this week’s poll is all about how often do you leave your home (not just for your backyard) during the week in the winter months.

I’ll go first. I get about once per week, sometimes less.

[polldaddy poll=1187962]

Since the arrival of our son approximately nine weeks ago I have been learning how to give both boys the love and attention they need. Obviously the baby doesn’t understand ‘just wait, someone else needs me right now,’ but my toddler does. And that is a huge blessing. He can be quite independent and very creative at finding things to do while mommy is taking care of other things. He can also be quite needy at certain times and I have figure out how to work with that. One of the most important things I have learned is that I must multi-task more.

Here are a few ways I am making time for my toddler:

  • Reading to him while caring for the baby. I can sit on the sofa next to him, feeding the baby, while he holds his book and I “read” to him. I call it reading, but it’s really me reciting the story that I have read so many times it is now carved into my memory. I will also do the same thing while I am changing the baby’s diaper. He sits in the chair in his room, book in hand, while I recite the story for him. He even knows what page he is supposed to be on depending on what I am saying.
  • Doing housework together. I doubt I would get anything done if he didn’t help me. He loves to do dishes with me. He loves helping with putting laundry into washers/dryers, taking the laundry out, bringing it to me and helping me fold. He sets the table for me. He likes to dust while I sweep or vice versa. He loves watching the vacuum when I run it. He loves to help dump things in and stir when we are baking. Of course it generally takes longer to accomplish tasks, but he is learning and getting some much needed mommy time.
  • Playing with him while holding the baby. Putting the baby in a wrap works really well for this. I can chase him around the house, dance with him, tickle him, smooch and snuggle him all while holding a baby who also needs attention. This does require care so that the baby doesn’t get hurt in the process.
  • Making special mommy and me dates. I have just come to realize that I don’t get a lot of alone time with my toddler, so I need to make some. This past weekend he and I went to the park for about 8 minutes in the cold rain so that I could see him go down the slide all by himself. His pants were soaked, it was mostly dark and his fingers were so cold that on the way home he asked for a ‘band-a-daid’, but we both loved every minute of it. What a blessing it was for my husband to watch the baby so we could have that. I will be trying to do more of that.
  • Taking advantage of when the baby does NOT need me. When the baby is napping or having some alone play time I try to make a point of really being present with my toddler. Even if we are folding laundry I try to discuss the colors of different articles of clothes, ask him questions, go over the alphabet or count with him. Sometimes I have to switch from ‘get things done’ mode to let it go and love your toddler mode. Which brings me to my next point…
  • Let it go. There is a never ending list of to-dos when you are a homemaker, and you can’t get them all done, maybe not even half of them, with small children. I try to remember that if the boys are fed, changed, have clean clothes and are kissed and hugged that’s all that NEEDS to get done. Anything after that is icing on the cake, or day.

That is, in a nut shell, how I am spending my days with a baby and toddler. I am constantly having to remind myself to do these things, but day by day it is becoming more natural as we adjust to being a family of four instead of just three. And that works for me.