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6 Ways I Stay Sane at Home With a Toddler


I've been working from home since 2011 but took some time off when Henry was born. I started work (from home) again when he was 3 months old in June 2013. I enjoyed having something other than child-rearing to think about and from which I could gain another sense of worth. I worked through to February of this year and since then I've started to take it easy. Believe it or not, being pregnant and looking after a toddler is actually hard work!

Here are 6 ways I keep my sanity when I'm at home with Henry:

1. I let the house get messy. I'm not going to be anal about it. I'm lucky in that I have help twice a week, but in all honesty, it's an everyday job to keep the house to a standard deemed acceptable by society. I've lowered my standards considerably and I'm A-OK with that. I love that Henry has the whole house to play around in, and while the toys covering every inch of the floor may get on my nerves sometimes, I just remind myself that it really, REALLY doesn't matter. I've had to retire my perspective of a tidy home = a tidy mind.

2. I let Henry play on his own. I need my own time. It's not healthy to give him constant attention. It's important to let him discover things on his own - including potential dangers. Our house it relatively childproof and it's small enough that I'm always within a close distance of Henry.

3. I hide old toys. I put away old toys, only to bring them out at a later date so that he can rediscover them. You'd think a child with so many toys would never get bored, but they do. So I like to put some older toys at the bottom of his toy box and bring them out only occasionally so that he can rediscover them. Keeps him busy for a while.

4. I've created a reading corner. Henry loves to read so I've put all of his books in a low shelf that he can easily access. I feel so proud watching him go to that corner as often as he does and spend so much time quietly turning the pages, looking at the pictures and pointing at things. Now that he's learned to climb onto the sofa, I keep some books in the nook of the L-shape so that he can climb up on there with us and read while we do our work.

5. We have a routine. Henry is like clockwork. He'll nap at exactly the same times every day. At the moment it's a total of two naps a day - one nap at around 10am until 12pm and another at about 4.30pm until 6.30pm and then he's asleep by 8.30pm. This gives me the freedom to plan my day around his schedule.

6. We go out as often as possible. We're lucky in that we live in a country where the weather is warm and sunny the majority of the time. I take Henry out for about 2 to 2.5 hours almost every day. We go to the park, for ice cream or just have a wander around the high street. There's always something to see and do and it's nice to meet up with my cousin for lunch every once in a while.  2.5 hours is his limit though as he starts to get cranky for his nap, and this child (weirdly) does not sleep in his stroller. I think he's only ever slept in it twice!

Pictures of Henry and his grandpa have been edited with the A Beautiful Mess Lightroom presets.

Do you have any tips for keeping sane at home with a toddler?

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