This list of 6 Tips When Stuck at Home With a Toddler will hopefully encourage those moms who are unable to get out of the house easily.
1. Plan one fun activity or event a day. Days start to become mundane and extremely long when you are stuck at home all day and the weather isn't so nice. Not only will your toddler get antsy, but you will as well. For every day of the week plan one thing that is different or exciting for that day. Whether it be to invite a friend over, play with edible paints, bring out a new toy, or come up with a different game, your toddler will be stimulated and excited amidst the 'boring' day. This in turn will give you a little 'umph' to the day as well... a happy toddler is a happy momma ;).
2. Invite. Don't hold back inviting family, friends, neighbours over. Whether it is for tea, or lunch, or a playdate -- initiate!
3. Ask and Take. Don't be afraid to ask others for help. Then take the help that people give you. If someone offers to drive you to the grocery store say yes! If someone wants to take you and your toddler to a play group --- embrace that! People will be more willing to help than you think!
4. Find out what is close. On those days where it is possible to venture out for a walk, make sure you know what is close to walk to. Is there a library or an Early Years Centre that has kids programs going on? Find out the times, and make sure to keep them handy. Are there stores that you can grab quick groceries or things needed? Is there a coffee shop just to get you out? Make a list of all the places you can find that are within walking distance and keep it handy for those days that you are able to get out for a walk.
5. Plan days. I feel like I am a broken record when I talk about planning and scheduling days -- but it is only because I truly believe it helps make your day more purposeful and enjoyable. Plan your days with time blocks so that you do not find yourself sitting hours on end watching your toddler get into trouble after trouble. Having structure in your day will help you as well as your toddler.
6. Make a 'perk me up' list for self and for toddler. Have an ongoing, visible list of things you can do to up your spirits and keep you motivated. Examples of what could be on this list are: make an extra coffee, bake cookies, read scripture, work on a DIY project with things around the house, set timer for 10 minutes and clean something, call a friend, etc. When you are feeling stuck, and at a loss as to what to do next, looking at this list will bring you back to focus and remind you of how you can make that day a positive one. Then make one also for your toddler. If he/she is not having a good day, have a list handy as to how to up their spirits. Examples for this list are focused play with Mom for 20 minutes, 1 treat in high chair, bring out toy that he/she hasn't seen in a while, put on music and have a dance party, watch a favourite show, etc. These lists will simply readjust your focus and hopefully perk you up for a little while longer.
Be proactive in making your days purposeful -- even when stuck at home.