Welcome to our newest blog series, Mom-hood! I am so excited to share the advice, encouragement, and stories of some amazing moms with you! Every guest blogger is not only a mother, but a business-savvy individual who is raising their tribe the best way they know how. I hope this series is not only relatable and inspiring, but offers comfort in knowing that every mother doesn't have it all figured out, and we're all just doing the best we can with what we're given!
When it comes to being a mom, I want to be able to do everything. But that, just plain and simple, is not realistic. When it comes to being a toddler, Anabelle, my 2-year-old, has a mind of her own and wants all the freedom of the world. Sometimes she wants to be helpful. Sometimes she wants to be obstinate. Sometimes she just wants to make me super happy. And sometimes she wants to do whatever she pleases. So as a mom, it's my responsibility to teach her balance and get those little helping hands to help me in the tiniest way. I want to teach her to be generous, loving, caring. At times she's a help, and at times, it'd really be faster for me to do it myself, but then she'd never learn. So this is how I have taught my little free spirit to be helpful!
1. I ask her to bring me the diapers and wipes, or toys for Betty [Leigh's other daughter].
It's amazing how much this helps me sometimes. She only comes back with everything I ask for about 50% of the time, but sometimes I just need to get her out of my hair, hold Betty on my hip, and finish what I was trying to do.If she comes back with both the diapers and wipes, then I don't have to go all the way upstairs to change Betty's diaper. And if she comes back with toys, then I can set Betty down and she saved me a trip!
2. I bought her a Swiffer and I give her a dust rag.
This doesn't help me out much now, except for the fact that on cleaning day, she actually wants to help me clean! I mean, it's like a fun game for her. But what she sees, she does. So why not use this to teach her to clean and make her think it's a fun activity to do together?!
3. I praise her!
I always tell her she is doing such a great job! The more I get excited, the more she wants to do it again. At least, that's usually the case. Of course with a toddler, there are always exceptions!
4. I don't bribe!
I am not against bribing! We went through all our Christmas candy when we were potty training. But when it comes to helping around the house or chores, I don't bribe. Anabelle is smart and she connects the dots. If I bribed her, she would only help when she wanted candy. But since bribing doesn't occur, it's all about helping and cleaning together.
5. I taught her to clean up her own mess.
This is always a working progress, but before we turn on the TV, I will have her help me pick up her mess. We have tons of baskets where we keep all her toys, so it's not hard for her to put her goodies away! Getting into this habit is such a huge help, especially after the kids are in bed. It's less mess for my husband and I to clean up, and more time to spend our energy on other things.
I'm still learning how to best teach her and she's still learning to be mommy's little helper, but on our good days, we make quite a team! How do you teach your toddler to be a helper?