In my free time (HAHA!), I like to cook/bake. Some of you may be thinking "Um excuse me? Don't you have 3 kids under 2 1/2? How does that even happen!?"
My answer is, Yup I do! And here are some of my secrets to being able to do something like cooking/baking when you have little ones:
**Move in with your amazing parents who are as dedicated to your kids as you are and support your parenting flawlessly.**
Okay, so I realize that's not a reality for everyone. But I was able to get stuff done even when I just had Eve and we lived by ourselves. Here are some of my REAL secrets:
1. Learn to do things fast! (Setting a timer for yourself helps with this. See how much you can get done in 1 minute) I naturally do everything fast but I had to learn to be precise and accurate with my speed. If you can do your tasks fast you can do what you're trying to accomplish, tend quickly to your babe and go back and forth. See #2!
2. Multitask! It's something I highly recommend for all moms. But know how and when to turn it off and on. If you're not a natural multitasker, there are some great books out there. Or chances are you have a friend who is ... call her!
3. Get used to letting your kids fuss. They WILL BE OKAY if they cry for a minute while you finish something up. Especially if they are clean and fed and all they want is your attention.
4. Your high chairs aren't just for mealtime anymore. I discovered this trick with Eve. A lot of the time she just wanted to be a part of what was going on, so I'd put her in her high chair, give her something to play with (if you're in the kitchen, plastic dishes work great!) and set her within site of the action. This way I could interact with her as well without worrying about her getting into what I was doing. Also, get your high chair out of the kitchen! This is a great trick for any room in the house.
5. When at all possible, involve them in what you're doing. Okay, this might go against #1 and definitely won't work with everything. I involve Eve (not so much the babies yet) in almost everything I'm doing. If I'm baking or cooking in the kitchen, I give her a bowl and spoon and let her do her own thing (usually it's make muffins or birthday soup). Or I sit her up on the counter and let her stir, pour, or supervise whatever I'm doing. This works best when you're not on a time crunch and you don't mind a bigger mess. This can also be applied to anything! I have her help me "fold" clothes, dust, do my makeup, sweep ... you can find a 2 year old version of just about anything!
This is probably the hardest one ...
6. Encourage and teach your kids to play independently and be patient. I understand this comes more naturally to some kids than others. I do think it's something that can be instilled in every child. With Eve, it's hit or miss. Sometimes she'll do one activity by herself for 30 minutes to an hour ... play in her room, draw, color, play outside. When she's "in the zone" I try to leave her alone :) or poke my head in and say "You're doing a wonderful job playing!!" I've also started to play a "game" with her where I set my timer for 15 seconds and we have to be really still and quiet. From the time Eve was old enough to start asking/demanding things, I started using the word "patience" with her. I know a patience song, too, that I would sing to her. Oddly enough, she would stop and listen. When she was started talking, "patience" became part of her vocabulary. Now she says "I'm doing a good job being patient." :)
Do you have any secrets?