Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: 5 Steps For Managing Life With A Toddler & A Tiny!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

5 Steps For Managing Life With A Toddler & A Tiny! perhaps I'm not exactly the most qualified person to be writing this post just yet.

I've only been playing at this Mummy Of Two game for a month so I've yet to properly earn my stripes.

But every mum of two has to start somewhere - and even after 4 short weeks I've already found myself figuring out various ways of doing things to make life that little bit easier on myself while balancing toddler and tiny! So I thought...why not share?!

Here are my Top 5 Tips (so far!) for balancing life as a Mum of two!

Step 1) Be More Elsa

That's right...let it go!!

The house isn't going to be as clean as you want it to be.

The laundry basket WILL resemble the leaning tower of Pisa.

You will not eat a hot meal for a while without at least one or two re-heatings in the microwave.

If you would like to be sitting on the sofa drinking a cup of tea at noon...make it at 10 am and accept that you'll be drinking it cold.

As much as it probably pains you like it did just have to accept that you have less time now, and somethings got to give. 

Step 2) Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail! (But also you should actually plan to fail a bit too....)

I'm a Virgo so I have lists all over the house to organise every last little detail of my life but never has having a schedule been more important than in the last 4 weeks!

I have lists in every room I go into...there are shopping lists, there are (many many) To Do Lists, there are lists next to the phone of appointments to be made/cancelled/re-arranged (WHY do newborns require SO MANY APPOINTMENTS?!)...anything I can put down on paper is one less thing to carry around in my muddled up brain.

Equally you need to be prepared for these lists and schedules to NOT be set in stone...if anything they should be set in some more jelly-like substance...because something is going to crop up and interrupt your perfectly planned schedule at some point so you need to roll with the punches.

See Step 1 above...activate Elsa mode!


There will be endless times that you find yourself feeling guilty about something or other in the coming weeks/months/lifetime... 

There is always someone who could have done with more of your attention, there's always a situation you could have handled better, there's always that niggling feeling that you're just not trying hard enough...

Personally my guilt has been largely focused around two main things...

1)That I'm not giving Noah enough attention because I'm so concerned with making sure that Tyne doesn't feel pushed out

2)That Tyne has enjoyed far too many Mealtimes of McShame since Noah came along because I didn't plan the meals out properly or left it too late to start cooking...

It's easy to beat yourself up over these things, but at the end of the day...what's done is done.

Sure you can try harder tomorrow to divide your time up better but try not to dwell on it...babies rarely hold grudges, and Happy Meals come with fruit these days could be worse!

Step 4) Celebrate The Small Stuff
Super Busy Mum

Once upon a time I was a woman with big ambitions - I set my targets by the year and I set them high - these days, it's all about setting smaller more achievable goals.

Not because I'm any less determined to achieve bigger things in life, but because setting smaller goals and actually achieving them on a more regular basis is much more satisfying and it perks me up!

For example - last week I reached the bottom of the both of our laundry baskets - the grown up one and the kids one! Once upon a time this wouldn't have been such a major breakthrough but after weeks of the washing pile being so high that I was beginning to wonder whether we might need to inform the council, it felt like a small miracle - and so I marked the occasion with a celebratory Instagram snap and enjoyed the comments from other Mummies who know how it feels!

What I'm saying is that the daily tasks can be tough when you're getting to grips to life with two any achievement is an achievement to pat yourself on the back for.

Step 5) Remember...This Too Shall Pass

I know these types of sayings are thrown at Mums all the time and they usually come with a hefty side-helping of that good old mummy guilt too...

Yes we all know that these moments are fleeting and that one day we'll miss these times, blah blah blah...

But, as annoying as it is to hear, it IS true. And personally it sometimes does help to remind myself of the fact that one day - when these boys of mine are grown up and gone - I'll miss the days that they needed me to do everything for them, I'll miss the days they wanted non stop cuddles and stories and playtime with Mummy, and I'll even miss the messy toy-strewn living room and piles of dishes in the sink...

So, as stressful as it can be, try your very best to take a few deep breathes and just live in the moment.

Do you have any tips for managing the stressful times as a mum? As always, I'd love to hear from you!

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  1. Will definitely be referring back to this once baby is born! It does go so fast though, and luckily these babies are SO worth it xx

  2. The first few weeks were hectic for us but it has passed on and I'm able to do more now with toddler and baby as she' s been sleeping through the night the last 2-3 weeks.

  3. So ture even 18 months later with a not so tiny any more. Enjoy every mad hair raising moment!

  4. These are some of the reasons I'm waiting another year or so before having another one (my daughter is 20months)! At least by then she will be at Nursery so I can have a bit of time with the little one! #sharewithme


  5. These are exactly my coping strategies now with three, and I have to add don't be afraid to bribe!

  6. Great tips, thanks for sharing!! 3 will becoming 4 literally any hour now in our household so in will definitely be taking note! Let it go is probably the biggest one for me!! Xx

  7. You're doing amazingly well to cope with two, I'm wondering how I will manage with one! lol. You're right though, we must remember to enjoy it while it lasts xx

  8. I am so envious you managed to get to the bottom of you laundry baskets, i have not seen the bottom of mine for months! x #brilliantblogpost

  9. You're doing great with 2 children! I go by some of these and only have one. The Let it go and list making more so! Like my boyfriend comes home and is all annoyed about toys being every where, I'm like we have a 2 year old that's what life is like now! Haha! Totally like to write lists, I'm a Virgo also, so totally something in that, haha!

  10. Loved this Hayley, for obvious reasons really. I'm going to have to practice the let it go advice quite a bit when baby number two arrives! x

  11. You sound like you're doing a fab job! I only have one child and my laundry basket is always full! xx

  12. Great list! Sounds like you are doing just fine. Lists are your friend :)

  13. Great tips! :) I will keep this in mind for next time!

  14. Great tips. My children are 8,7,22 months and 8 months. Planning is my key to everything. I have systems for everything and as long as I follow my systems it all works :) Also the phrase "It won't always be this way" is important #TheList

  15. OH I love this so much and I can relate too with only 22 months between my two it was a toddler and a tiny for a while and now with two toddlers I let EVERYTHING go including me. hahahah Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  16. Great post - getting to the bottom of the laundry basket is a massive achievement for me even now, and my kids are 2 and 3 years old! #TheList

  17. Awesome post - "be more Elsa" haha! I'm going to totally steel that and make a mum joke out of it on a regular basis :) I LOVE the photos too, just brill! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

  18. Love this post and all very true. Our second is now ten months old and it does kind of get easier. I say kind of because now number two is on the move, meddles with EVERYTHING and is generally a hazard to himself who can't be left out of sight for more than ten seconds unless he is in some form of restraint (highchair, buggy, cage...). I have found the lack of time to myself quite overwhelming at times and I need to get better at embracing Elsa. But when all is going well and my toddler girl and big baby boy are giggling together like this morning, then nothing could be better. Loving your blog design too by the way, will definitely be back to read more. #MMWBH

  19. "Be more Elsa" HaHa! I love this! What an honest, funny and light-hearted post! I especially love your photos, what a gorgeous little family you have! Congrats on your new bundle of joy and thank you for linking up to the #MMWBH :)


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