Devotional Time

5 Things I Do Everyday (to keep my sanity with a toddler)

By Lindsay Barnett

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If you have a toddler at home, you know that you can never really prepare for what kind of a day lies ahead. Between spontaneous temper tantrums over the wrong color sippy cup, cleaning pen marks off your white cabinets, and the never-ending snack requests, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing all sanity.

There are a lot of great blogs out there from moms who share their toddler’s daily schedules and list certain things they do every day with them. An example of this might be: read every day, get out and enjoy nature, encourage independent play, etc. I turn to these often to help come up with new activities to keep my 3-year-old busy and off a screen. But these 5 things are less about what my kiddo is doing, and more of what I need to do for MYSELF every day.

1. COFFEE WITH JESUS

I wish I could say that every morning I dive deep into the Word and spend a said amount of time in prayer. But in reality, my morning looks more like this: nurse baby, change diapers, feed toddler, clean up after toddler, run errands, repeat. The quiet mornings are few and far between. While I’ve accepted this season of survival mode and I’m learning to give myself more grace in that, I couldn’t use that as an excuse to stop connecting with my Savior. Just as I need that cup of coffee to keep up with my 2 little ones, I need those few moments to simply just pause and say Thank You Jesus.

2. CALL A GIRLFRIEND

I didn’t really appreciate the gift of having girlfriends until I had my first baby. Before I became a mom, friendships seemed effortless. It was easy meeting up with a girlfriend after work or for brunch on the weekend when I didn’t have tiny humans needing me. That shift in priorities became isolating, and I longed to have those deep, meaningful conversations again. I am so blessed to have found some incredible godly women I talk to almost every single day, who push and encourage me to be a better wife and mother. And mostly just remind me that I’m worthy and my identity lies in Christ. “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”- Proverbs 27:9.

3. SING

Worshiping through song is when I hear God’s voice the loudest. You won’t ever hear me on the radio, and I’m not trying to win any singing competitions. But as I’m getting older, and hopefully wiser, I’m caring less about my ability and more about my heart and giving it all in worship daily. “I will sing to Lord all my life I will sing praise to him as long as I live.” -Psalm 104:33

4. FLIRT WITH MY GUY

My husband and I were married 7 years before we decided to start our family. We got to have a lot of fun together during that time, but right now is our messy season. Sure, we have a 3-year-old who gets into everything and a 6-month-old who is just starting to explore eating solid foods; but the mess that we get into is when we give each other the leftover energy at the end of the day. It’s not likely I’ll be able to stay up late after the kids go to bed to snuggle up and watch a movie without falling asleep, but a simple text or phone call during the day goes a long way to keep us communicating so we can make it out of the messy season without any built up resentment, and enjoy our time together again when our kids become more independent.

5. FAMILY BEDTIME

My favorite part of the day is after dinner, right before lights out. As a family, we crawl into bed and talk about our day. Some days we may have had a rough day of temper tantrums and frustrations. But no matter how the day ended, it is always said, “we don’t always love the things you do, but do you know why we love you?”…. and she replays, “because I’m your daughter!” Just as our sweet girl doesn’t have to earn our love, we are reminded that our Heavenly Father loves us the same and we end the day in love.