Making time for your own interests with a mobile toddler

Remember the first few months of parenthood when we thought it was super difficult to deal with a grump blob? Well, once they’re mobile, things go from hard to harder and you find yourself missing ‘the good ole days.’

Before mobility, babies are a little like pictures – you can look at them, appreciate their beauty, and take everything in at once.

After mobility, it’s more like an independent film – looking away for a millisecond means you’ll miss something important and lose sight of the entire plot.

I remember being extremely excited about my son’s first movements. But when you think about it, a lot of times we are so milestone oriented we forget to appreciate the moments at hand. Don’t get me wrong, those milestones are immensely exciting. But have you ever noticed that it feels like you have a better chance of finding a unicorn than being productive when your child reaches mobility?

Mobility makes kids sneakier. To be transparent, there are a lot of times that our house is downright chaos. To be even more transparent, as I write this my inherited pearls are being shoved into the furnace by my most precious gift. Along with that increase in sneak comes a decrease in time to get your stuff done. Here are a few ways that I have snuck moments of productivity into life with a mobile child.

Turning things into a game

Getting things done with such a silly being around the house can be challenging. When I want to work, he likes to run underneath the desk and climb into my lap. If he didn’t also want to copy mom typing on the computer, that would be fine.

We turn work into a game by using redirection. I bought him his own laptop that makes sounds and has images, so he gets to feel involved and be stimulated during work time. And the best part? He thinks it’s all fun and games.

Using some TV

The use of TV is frequently debated among parents of young children. However, in moderation it can be a godsend. For a work-from-home parents like myself, TVs have the ability to provide short burst of attention-grabbing educational material when I have things I need to get done around the house.

When used in moderation, TV has the ability to help children around 30 months of age with language development. However, this is highly dependent upon the type of shows being watched by those individuals.

Rotating childcare with friends

While it isn’t an option for everyone, rotating childcare is extremely helpful for getting me time. Although I was hesitant at first, sending my son to daycare part-time has lead to immeasurable improvements to my sanity and productivity.

Personally, I managed this by having a group of friends who exchanged child care services. For others it might be through daycare, and for some it might be with help from relatives. Whichever option is available to you has the potential to be a huge game changer for your daily routine.

Prioritizing tasks

Getting things done with a mobile child requires strategy. This might mean waiting a few hours or even a few days before getting your wants and needs done. There are days when I forgo my work so Salem has a chance to go to the park – he’s full of energy and he deserves the opportunity to have fun.

Being productive and doing things for yourself might require more creativity once you have a mobile child, but it’s definitely possible. Just like with all the previous stages, there will come a time that we miss the simplicity of toddler mobility.

About the author:
Rochaun Meadows-Fernandez is a writer who specializes in sociology, health, and parenting. Her work has appeared in Healthline, Yes! Magazine, HuffPost, Allure, and many other publications. Follow her on FacebookTwitter or check out her website.

  • “TV and Kids under Age 3.” PBS. PBS. Retrieved August 31 2017.
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