Are you a mom of a toddler? Are you exhausted?
I recently asked for people to send me questions on Instagram, and more than one listener requested that I do a show about surviving the toddler years. So I spent some time thinking about what things I would share that helped me the most when my kids were small and ended up with six hacks that can help!
“God made you the parent of your child on purpose. He picked you and that child from all of eternity for each other. He knows all about your weaknesses and your flaws and your failures and all the unique ways your child is challenging you. He knows all about it and he called you to it anyway.”
1. Make a sleep space in your bedroom.
Small children have a way of disrupting our sleep even long after the baby years are over. When I found myself struggling with kids who would wake up at night and want to come into our bed, I put a crib mattress on the floor in our room. Any toddler who wanted to was welcome to come to our room at night and sleep near us, but not to wake us up. It really worked great, for many years and with many of our children.
2. Have quiet time every day.
Even if your child is no longer napping, you can still enforce quiet time each day. At least an hour each afternoon where you are doing some quiet independent activity, like reading or drawing. This is a great way to teach them the need for rest, but also to teach them that you have a need for rest and they should respect Mommy’s boundaries.
3. Read to them.
Read lots together! Reading bonds you together and is a pleasant way to learn new things and be inspired by beautiful things while instilling in them a love for reading. Read to them before bed or before naps, but also any time when you are having a tough time together. Reading is a simple way to enjoy something together.
4. Remember today is not forever.
Give yourself the gift of a broader perspective and don’t give in to the temptation of thinking that this is hard and it will be hard forever. It will not. Your toddler will grow up. And there are so many great and freeing things that will happen for you as they change and grow.
5. Connect with others.
Find friends who are in a similar stage of parenting and connect with them to commiserate and laugh about some of the tough stuff. Also look for friendships with people who might have kids a little older than yours so you can be encouraged by their example.
6. Pray for their futures.
Pray for your young children with an eye to their futures. Pray for their vocations, pray for their future spouses, pray to be a help to them in all that God has planned for their lives. It’s always good to pray for our kids, but praying with a forward-looking focus is very encouraging and hopeful for struggling moms.
- How to Pray Like Mary
- Guardian Angel Prayers
Angel sent by God to guide me, Be my light and walk beside me. Be my guardian and protect me. On the paths of life direct me. Amen.
Angel of God my guardian dear, to whom God’s love entrusts me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
And the prayer I shared from my own childhood, in answer to Carly who wanted a family prayer time script to follow:
Thank you God for my happy day. Take care of me tonight. I’m sorry if I did something wrong today. God bless me, and God bless my whole family. Take us all to heaven one day. I love you Jesus. I love you Mary Teach me to love you more. Amen.
- Saturday, November 16, 2019: You Are Enough Retreat at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orlando, FL
- Saturday, January 11, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat, St. Michael Church, Exeter, NH
- Saturday, March 7, 2020: You’re Worth It Retreat at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper, IN
- Saturday, March 28, 2020: Women’s Conference in Norwich, CT
- Want me to come to your community to speak or give my retreat, You Are Enough, based on the themes in my newest book? Get all the information here!