1) Buy a really good coffee machine if you can afford it because sometimes a decent cup of coffee will get you through a day of tantrums and hysteria.
2) Install a padded room in your house so when your toddler is throwing a hissy fit, there is a room you can put them in where they can’t get hurt. If a padded room is out of the question, maybe put all the pillows in one room and let them have a hissy fit in pillow land.
3) Act as crazy as they do and watch their reaction. When all else fails, act like their three year-old friend who is as bananas as they are. Start screaming whilst throwing everything out of the plastic drawer. They won’t know what to do. This confusion will lead to silence. Silence is good.
4) Put water and a tiny bit of washing up liquid into an empty spray container and give them something you don’t care about to clean. You will be surprised how long they spend spraying and cleaning the crap table you are going to fling the rubbish anyway. This will give you time to have a coffee or a cup of tea.
5) If the weather’s good, tell them there are fairies living in the garden and that if they find the fairy house they will get a treat. This can also buy you enough time to make a tea or a coffee.
6) Music. The Trolls soundtrack is embedded in my brain forever more and it will haunt me till my dying day but you know what, blaring those songs at high volume saved me on the days when living in toddler-ville was just too much to handle.
7) Hide and Seek. I know this can be painful but I had ten minutes of peace hiding where I knew she wouldn’t find me. There was even enough time to do a mindfulness exercise including deep breathing, which prepped me for the worst time of day, 5-7pm.
8) Let them binge watch their favourite cartoons on the days you are struggling. Especially if you are one of those moms with a toddler and a small baby to look after. Who cares if they watch 25 Peppa Pigs in a row, our parents never paid any attention to us and we turned out okay.
9) Don’t stress if they don’t eat meals. Toddlers are obsessed with snacking. If all they have eaten for the entire day is cheese and a few crackers, its okay and this does not make you a bad mom. They will survive. They will get bigger and eat you out of house and home. I have an eight year-old that I can’t seem to fill and a three year-old who survives on grapes and babybels.
10) If you ignore them for long enough they will entertain themselves. I gave so much of myself to the first two and guess what? I don’t think it’s going to make them any better a human being than the kid who was left to his/her own devices. My third child has been more or less neglected, meaning I haven’t played with her even half as much because I don’t have the time or the energy. And she is fine. In fact she is the most chilled out of the lot and doesn’t expect as much as the others. I got it right on the last one. Better late than never. So don’t beat yourself up about the fact that you haven’t read them ten books or built a tower or sang nursery rhymes. They will be fine and they actually don’t need you as much as you think they do.