Sometimes you’ve got to shake it up, toddler P is at that age where she’s changing all the time, we get over one hurdle or phase and it opens up a whole new can of worms. What once was a tight nit, established routine can suddenly been chaos because she’s hit a new milestone and developed a new interest (polite ways of saying she can now climb up onto something herself or knows where my make up is kept) and these new things upset the status quo.
This past week I’ve made some tweaks to our routines, I used to previously get myself ready for work then her, but she was a lot younger when that allowed for a slick getting out of the house agenda, now it results in a mad dash panic which involves lots of bribery and fake leaving the house without her. I now get her dressed and ready first, leaving her to play and drink her milk whilst I get ready. Total game changer, made for a calmer, smoother and more fun morning, for both of us. I enjoyed her again, I was able to laugh and sing with her whilst I straightened my hair and she gave me a running commentary on Paw Patrol.
Bed time has been mixed up too. I used to have a rule that once we went up for bath we didn’t come down again. But as we all know from my previous posts, little miss P hates sleep, of any form, at any time. It’s like she’s allergic to snoozing, we get every excuse under the sun from needing a drink to having to put teddies in time out, and believe me her stuffed animal friends end up sat there a lot! Bath time is now earlier, then we come back down, allowing her time for a drink, a little supper an episode of waffle doggy whilst I plait her hair. This calm time then means story and sleep are a little smoother and less giddy and less fought by my bolshy little madam.
The thing is though, it’s all well and good changing these processes and practicalities but the main thing that needs to change is my mindset. I always do better when I focus on me, little miss P and what we need and what works for us. The minute I start to get boiled up about outside opinions and pressure (which are usually a fabrication and pressures I’ve put on myself) then I actually fall into the trap of being the mum I don’t want to be. I get stressed, things become disorganised and neither me nor toddler P have the fun and games we like to have, we’re stop being the little double act with our inside jokes and become flustered, fraught and usually running late with something forgotten and left on the kitchen side. So actually the biggest game changer will be me stopping myself from trying to be the perfect everything and just being ok and good enough, accepting that if we’re not ready on time for a play date then we arrive late or don’t go on that occasion if it’s too much that morning. Accepting that sometimes it’s ok for her to have fish fingers and chips for tea (and me for that matter, I love a good fish finger butty) that it’s ok to not attending every social event with nice French braided hair with matching bobbles, tights and t-shirt, that we can have shoved her in some clothes, dragged a comb through her hair and rolled with it just to play with our friends. I need to accept that good enough is called good enough for a reason.
Good enough is my new game plan, not being the best, not being perfect, not pleasing others, not worrying about irrational pressures. Just being good enough, good enough for toddler P and good enough for me, because she loves me, just the way I am.