im still figuring out life with a toddler in Vancouver. I definitely don't consider myself an expert in this department- some days i wake up and i'm like YES! and there are definitely days when i literally roll out of bed and am like ALREADY? ALL READY?! I wasn't a stay at home type of person before baby, and although some adjustments needed to be made after baby, im feeling like im rocking my old self again lately. Early days still are a killer, but just doing SOMETHING anything besides staying at home really adds quality to the hours of our day.
I thought i'd share a few little tricks ive learned as a new mamma of 1 for living life out and about. They really aren't genius by any means, in fact, probably your every day type of thing for some, but man alive it sure has made my life easier!
1) prepare frozen meals:
Before having a child, my husband and i were appalled at the thought of having frozen meals stored in our freezer. we werent great cooks, but we cooked at least 5 dinners out of the week. Through some simple meal planning a week ahead of time, we ate fresh and we ate well. Max is a clingy toddler, it's nearly impossible to prep or cook if you are with him alone. When im working day shift, im gone from 6am to 8pm and my family needs to eat. So a few days in a month, i set aside a time when i make a whole bunch of meals for freezing and for the next few weeks of day shifts to come, Gene can defrost food once they wake up --> the rest of the day to play --> heat and serve up food at dinner time with a simple turn of the oven knob. this really saves us from having to turn to fast foods for our family.
2) wear comfortable shoes
pre-baby, i wasnt a shoe freak. however, i did wear shoes that were not comfortable and required some breaking in processes (like blisters the size of nickels!). post baby, as my feet are vital to activities of daily living, i dare not buy shoes that require some pretty severe breaking in time or i'd be hurting and slowing any possible healing processes meant to occur! good supportive shoes are a must for long walks and fun in the playground and grass fields. on a stylistic note, not all supportive and comfortable shoes are runners or ugly nowadays. For the spring/summer season, ive been recently loving Saltwater Sandals!
3) babywear, babywear, BABYWEAR!
im not sure about your toddler but once mine hits the ground, it's a game of hide and seek where he's off running and hiding from me, and my time is spent chasing him, picking him up, him upset, i put him down ...and the cycle goes on and on. im babywearing Max wherever it's appropriate to keep him contained so i can 1) keep him safe and 2) do what i need to do within a reasonable amount of time. furthermore, im finding a lot of places are just not wheels friendly, and having Max attached just makes travel so much more simple. maybe because i started him on it from when he was a newborn, but It doesnt take much or anything at all to get him on the Ergo, in fact once he sees me buckle it on his arms raise up automatically! on the flip side, wherever it's appropriate, fly like the wind baby boy!
4) never leave home without snacks for baby
there are a few things i carry with me when i go out with Max coin purse (with plastics), phone, keys, pacifier, bus pass, and a snack for Max. as a transit user, my outings take nearly 1.5x longer in commuting time and in that span, Max won't have anything to eat from lunch hour to dinner hours. often Max is ok without eating, but i dare not risk not bringing him something to eat as a hungry baby is inconsolable! believe me, a hysterical hungry baby in a packed bus or sky train is not a pretty site.
5) find a way to nurture yourself
my way of nurturing myself is through plenty of retail therapy. i dont have to buy anything per say, but just walking around keeps me up to date with what's popular and kills 2 birds with 1 stone as babywearing is a workout all on its own. i achieve this time for myself by working around Max's poop time, feeding time, and nap time. The most ideal situation is we have lunch --> wait about 1/2 hour for Max to poop --> change diaper --> Max is ready for a nap --> up on the carrier --> zonked out! --> mama time!
let's hit the road mamma!