So, before I became a mom, there were things I promised myself I would never do… and then I did some of them. Nothing major, you know…. things like “Oh, I’ll never change my child’s diaper in the car….” Yeah, that happens frequently. Or, that my house wouldn’t be a miniature Toys R Us…. yeah, I pretty much can’t keep track of Harper’s toys (and 90% of the times she chooses to play with items that aren’t even considered toys….). All that being said, I can only imagine all my “I will never’s…..” that are going to come crashing down around me as little miss moves further into toddlerhood. Given that, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to how I’ve been navigating being out and about with little miss in this new toddler stage……
1. Comfort: Always. My numero uno requirement for a day is that I can run and move in anything I wear. Which is why, for the most part, everything I share is just that (with a few exceptions for that special occasion). On days when we have nothing planned, I opt for tennis shoes, my favorite leggings, and a sweatshirt/hoodie of sorts (so easy to toss on and off….). A cap pulls it all together (well, actually, it pretty much just covers up hair that hasn’t been washed in 5 days…) and makes me feel cooler than I am….
2. Gear: While what I wear is important, what I bring is equally as paramount. Recently, we’ve been using this umbrella-like stroller. It’s not as small as a true umbrella stroller, which is nice…. and it’s definitely sturdier. Yet, it’s incredibly lightweight, collapses in one easy step, and has a good amount of storage for its size. We’ve taken it to the zoo, on our short weekend trips (perfect size for a hotel room), and to the park. It’s such an easy stroller to manage, and perfect for everyday. I’ve also been alternating between my favorite diaper bag (same brand option here) and this blush colored tote. The tote is incredibly spacious, and can hold a variety of items. I usually place my cell phone in the outside pocket, and my keys, wallet, and sunglasses in the interior pocket. It can fit diapers, wipes, a changing pad, lotions, snacks, sippy cups, a few toys, and a change of clothing (for both of us) easily (I also use it as a gym bag….).
3. Snacks: In all honesty, we don’t snack that much. I tend to use snacks as a great “distraction” option when we are out and about (of course, if she is hungry she can eat whenever!!). Yet, there are a few “treats” that I reserve for when we are out and about (i.e. at a restaurant, in the store, at the mall….). The ever popular puffs, in this little container, keep her occupied for quite sometime. I was asked which snacks I found to be successful in keeping little miss occupied. So far, I’ve found the aforementioned puffs, organic ritz-like-crackers (these things are her weakness…. I reserve them for those desperate situations…. because when they’re gone…. well, you can only imagine….), string cheese, and these little granola bars (I love these as an option!). She’s also a huge fan of Lara Bars, RX Bars, and Perfect Bars (like, she’s obsessed)!
4. Modify Expectations: I think without this ability, any outing will seem like a failure. Let’s be real. A long leisurely lunch just isn’t going to happen with a little one (and if you have them, please tell me your secret….). So, going into it with that expectation gives me a little bit of perspective. That being said, I try to bring novel toys when we go out to a restaurant. Something she doesn’t play with often, or hasn’t seen in a while, so that her attention will be slightly captivated by that toy. Sometimes we get the crayons and color with her (not that she does much coloring, but she does like to watch)…. and other times, one of us runs around with her a little bit outside before it’s time to eat (that way we all eat at the same time, and she releases some energy). Is that situation ideal? Not really, buuuuut, again, modify expectations. We also find that bringing a book to the restaurant, and actually reading it to her, can help……
The other day we were at the mall and this little boy was playing with his iPad in the stroller ahead of me in line. He was perfectly content, and the mom was the complete antithesis of frazzled. The much older lady in front of me turned around and stated, “What’s with parents and electronics these days?” I probably looked like a deer in headlights and didn’t really say much. I learned a while ago not to judge moms. We all have moments, we all have our way of doing things, and we all care about our children. That being said, I am not opposed to an iPad, or electronics, when out at a restaurant, traveling on an airplane (what would you prefer as a passenger??? A toddler running up and down the isles or one peacefully watching a cartoon?…..), or grocery shopping. I haven’t done it yet (I’m waiting for that day though….) and am a firm believer in moderation (hence, the premise of the blog). My child using a form of electronics once in a while is not going to do permanent damage to her social skills. There’s a time and place for everything, and every mom has to decide what that is for them……
Oh, we also try to choose places that are relatively kiddo friendly…. with the exception of our blunder here…..
5. Timing: When we head out, I’m always sure to schedule the outing immediately after a nap. That typically gives us ample time to do what we need to do, without the potential meltdown from fatigue.
As we go into the weekend, you can 100% guarantee we’ll be employing these techniques!! I hope you all have a great weekend! I’ll be sharing an instagram roundup of all my outfits tomorrow morning (a rare Saturday post!).