Sometimes you look back and realize you made life harder on yourself than it needed to be. After having a second kid, there have been some little and big changes we made to our parenting. I look back and wonder why in the world I made so much extra work for myself. This is what I would have done differently when my kiddos were babies and toddlers.
Bath Toys– Bath time turned into a spa day for my kids partly because of all the bath toys. These bath toys became such a hassle. Half the time, I had to search for an errant toy that fell under the claw foot bathtub and the rest of time was spent inspecting toys for mold. This was crazy because both my kiddos love the bath. They didn’t need any enticement to get in. I finally ditched the toys, and, if they really want something to play with, they were content with a plastic cup.
Showers not baths– Along the same line of bath times. I should have switched to showers earlier with BeBe, like preschool age. It’s so much faster.
Declutter the toys before the second kid– I got caught in the trap of thinking I needed to save every baby item and toy from the first kid for the second kid. And then, because fate loves to laugh at you, my second kiddo liked different toys than the first one. Not to mention there are still holidays and birthdays when the second kiddo gets presents. We should have dramatically cut the clutter of toys and only held on to the big items and maybe five baby toys before the second baby came along.
Wait to buy clothes until the season started– Planning ahead, I bought clothes before the season started. However, by the time the summer season rolled around, my kiddos had a growth spurt and their clothes didn’t fit. By waiting until the start of the season their clothes fit, and I saved money on sales. The one exception, if there is a great deal, then I will buy a few items to put away for next season.
Lose the big diaper bag when my kiddo turned one – My beast of diaper bag was causing some serious back aches for me. With a baby, I often put the overfilled diaper bag in the stroller basket. We had everything we needed for full day excursions, and I didn’t have to carry it myself. But with a toddler we didn’t bring the big stroller and the bag was overstuffed. Often, I was lugging a gigantic diaper bag with items we didn’t need. With the second kid, I just threw an extra diaper, wipes, shorts, and crackers in my purse and called it a day.
Work Part-Time – This isn’t about day to day hassles, but lifestyle. I love(d) being a SAHM, but oh wow does my brain get starved for intellectual pursuits. I should have pursued working part-time earlier, even if all the money went to childcare. Once the toddler stage hit, and I was getting a good night’s sleep (or good for life with little kids), it would have been nice to balance out my day with part-time work. I definitely enjoy using my brain and degrees now that my little guy is preschool age.