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How to Win The Toddler Hour | My 7 Day Game Plan

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How to Win the Toddler Hour. How to survive your toddler's worst hour of the day. We all know which hour of the day this is…. The Toddler Hour is that one magic window of time each day, when your tiny cherubs are replaced by miniature monsters and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Short fuses, flared tempers and “Mommy Hold ME!” {a thousand times over} make your eye twitch this entire hour.

You begin the count down until your spouse is home… ticking off every minute. You have tried every schedule,  switched nap times, skipped nap times and even gone to extreme measures to avoid this hour in your day with bribes and maybe chocolate… in vain.

It is truly unavoidable.

Coping with this Hour is a rite of passage that parents everywhere must endure, survive and buckle down for when it arrives day after day. But I have a plan that might help you. Let’s turn this massive Mom Problem into a story of #MomWinning.

What is a Toddler Hour?

My Hooligans, Cash & Wyatt each take their afternoon nap, which ends at approximately 5:00pm every day. This is when our carnival ride of terror begins. Up until nap time they were angels, polite, intuitive, pleasant and even chimed “no thank you” to decline my requests.

But I know its coming. I have done everything in my power to beg and negotiate this hour of my day out of our schedule completely but no manner of spreadsheet sorting works… it’s going to happen. At 5:00pm in my house, all hell breaks loose.

If nobody has cried all day, floods of tears break the dam right now, as soon as I open the bedroom door.

Why you ask? Most likely because I’m wearing a shirt WITHOUT The Hulk on it right now, or perhaps because I opened the door too fast or too slow. We all know the cause for chaos is not the point… it could be the angle of the moon throwing them off…. therefore Mommy must hold everyone who is crying for the next 90 minutes and she may not move unless she wants an upgrade to super sized crocodile tears….

The countdown begins… Exactly 90 minutes until my husband walks through the door! But wait, reality check. I actually can’t sit down on the couch holding two screaming Hooligans for the next 90 minutes…. I could quite possibly lose my mind {along with my waistline… and that’s just too much to ask}

How to Win the Toddler Hour

This post is definitely NOT about eliminating this Toddler Hour but how I build a 7-Day Game Plan for surviving it. You can too. No matter where your Toddler Hour shows itself, you can implement these seven simple strategies for up to 90 minutes each day. It’s true, you CAN do this!

So here I go… my 7-Day plan for surviving beating this Toddler Hour.


Mondays

Mondays are the worst. We’re just coming off of a weekend where they had Dad all day. The first question uttered to me through the 5pm tears is “Where’s Dad?! I want DAD!” so my game plan:

Screen Time

I pull out the big guns and we watch TV. Yep. Screen time. They didn’t get TV all day today because we did the Mess Mat and other great stuff in our schedule. I SAVE the power of this magical, glowing, plasma box for when I truly need it: Mondays at 5pm.


How to win the Toddler Hour every day of the week. My 7-Day Game Plan for the time of day when my toddlers are at their worst. Parenting Survival Strategies RevealedTuesdays

Don’t ever come over to my house on a Tuesday. Well actually, if you want to help me clean come on over…. We’ve survived Monday. We were all happy Monday. On Tuesdays, to remedy the fact that it is no longer a fun Monday we do Toddlers in the Kitchen so everything is a complete mess. My game plan:

Vacuuming

If you do come over to my house on a Tuesday be prepared to step on some food. In fact, today I just may have let my toddler eat a bowl of rice in the living room ~_(:})_/~ Don’t judge. I wouldn’t. {More ammo for my Toddler Hour buddy!} Both kids LOVE the vacuum. The magic spinning vortex of crap they forgot to clean up. Oooh and Aaah! They are delightfully distracted {or at least I can’t hear them} for the entire hour. And, yes, you may also catch me vacuuming my entire house with just the hose….


 Wednesdays

This is a much better day than Tuesday and even Monday. We leave the house. On Wednesdays I work {seemy WAHM career here} so it is a car day. The boys go with me to the Post Office to ship Etsysales, we go to my storage unit for clients, yaddah yaddah. We come home, get out of the car and go straight into nap time. They have not played in the house  with any toys all day. This makes my game plan easy:

Noisy Toys

You know all those toys you tell the grandparents SPECIFICALLY not to buy because they make obnoxious noises and blink strobe lights? Yep, all of those ones. I keep them all together in one tub up in the attic. On Wednesdays they come out. I drag them down at about 4:30pm and place them front and center on The Mess Mat. I have even set one of those bad boys {one of the real juicy ones that plays for a long time} off right before I open the bedroom door so that they can hear the incessant sweet sounds of Elmo’s singing and come running. They hardly notice I’m there… except for the occasional “Where’s Dad?” question tossed in my direction.


Thursdays

Thursdays are great days. We go to our Library for a dance class which wares them out for nap time. They sleep long and hard, usually later than normal. We get home about Noon and then we workout in our living room for 2 hours until nap time which also tires them out. Yoga, dancing, Wyatt likes to jump up and down right now… whatever floats your boat dude. I can usually prolong my Toddler Hour to 5:30pm, which means I only have 30 minutes of it to survive until Dad walks in the door so my game plan:

Escape

On Thursdays, I retreat behind some closed door as soon as Dad gets home. Thursdays are NOT the days he mows the lawn, dawdles in the garage before entering, etc. As soon as he gets home he takes over. I shower, take a LONG soak in the bathtub or go up into our attic loft to organize something. It’s another magical thing about motherhood… when they can’t see you, they forget how to whine!

I recently read this completely true and accurate, fictional article about why children are 800% worse when their Mothers are in the room, which totally proves my point.

Dad has a great time with them and the Toddler Hour just seems to evaporate when he shows up… I’m just the lucky one I guess!

Fridays

This is my husband’s day off work. HOORAY! So I go to work. All of my meetings are scheduled these days as well as all of my errands so I am literally gone all day on purpose. I don’t come home for the Toddler Hour, so I am strategically not home for it. Which makes my game plan:

Total and Utter Avoidance

If for some reason I am home and not working that day I actually leave the house. I find somewhere to go that is not home. I may walk around the DollarTree building upcoming themes for Toddler School or
just casually stroll up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart looking for things I could stick a label on. I’ve survived the week, so I’m outta there. And guess what, there have been no reported Toddler Hours with Dad on Fridays… yep, as I mentioned earlier, I’m just the lucky one.


Saturdays

It’s the weekend! Weekends are wonderful. We do fun things as a family or I get to go to work! I’m probably at a wedding, which means the boys are probably with a grandparent or two. They may also be on a golf course with Dad or playing in the sprinklers… They’re having an absolutely great day out of their normal routine and they’re enjoying every minute. My game plan:

Bliss

Me twirling and spinning like Julie Andrews in a field. Enough said. I’m present but more like hiding behind a bush so nobody can ask me any questions… mute, fly on a wall style. I’m sure they’ll survive without me from 5pm to 6:30pm. Every other minute of this day is pretty amazing though and I don’t like to miss them… just from 5pm-6:30pm {you know what I mean}

Sundays

This is the day where we must regroup, have a family staff meeting and strap on our parenting helmets for the upcoming week of Toddler Hours. I must soak in a few last minutes of quiet time before Monday hits. My game plan:

Family Movie Night

We’re all home and we can schedule an early nap time if necessary which means we can start a movie at exactly 5pm and skate through the worst of the Toddler Hour until they get hungry. I make a bigger dinner than usual because the kids are distracted and I can stand in the kitchen without a miniature body between my legs and the counter pulling on my elbows. {Which is obviously one of my absolute favorite things in the entire world}

I did it!

Another week through! Phew, this parenting gig is hard from 5pm to 6:30pm!

Is your Toddler Hour in the evening too?

After nap time? Or are your Toddlers more favorable of the morning for their Special Hour? How do you handle the mini struggles of Mom Life and create your Game Plans for survival? I would love to know.

You can never have too many Game Plans for Motherhood. {Advice, yes, you can receive too much advice} But I love to see how other moms are winning their days.

In fact, this post just so happens to be a part of a Blog Hop with other Mommy Bloggers from Blogs and Business:Moms Who Do it All Facebook Group who are sharing their Mom Life Game Plans! You might find an awesome story or two:

Hi There! I’m Kandice
Wife, WAHM and mother to 2 Hooligan boys making the most out of my Sweet & Sticky {not sure who is who yet… they change daily}
Life is what you make it and when you accept your Sweet & Sticky you can regain control of your chaotic #MomLife.
Before Motherhood I was never late, preached efficiency and even color coded my closet. Life changes after 2 Toddlers {obviously} so now I’m building new Small Systems, Organizing Mom Routines and Charting Schedules that keep our Team productive.
Join me for Toddler School with Cash & Wyatt
Follow along as I solve Mini Mom Life Problems
Keep up on my Mommy Money Online Income Goals!
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