How to Keep It Together With Kids Under Five

It's OK, it's normal

keep it together wth kids under five

I am at home with two kids under the age of 5. I am struggling to keep it together! Any advice for me? I am exhausted.  Asked by Mary 33 – Calgary, Canada

Sometimes in motherhood you feel overwhelmed. It’s normal! Every mother alive has felt frustrated and overwhelmed. Some days your hair could grease a wheel and you begin counting kitchen tiles. Have a good cry and read on…

Marjorie“I feel like it was just yesterday when I was in the same position with young kids, a spouse who traveled a lot, and limited family nearby. What got me through the toddler years with my kids was a support system of friends and playdates for the kids. A bonus is having friends with kids of similar ages so you can swap playdates and childcare and try to get a little time for yourself. Even having an hour or two each week to run errands, or even take a nap can help to recharge you and get you through the tough days. Try finding a Mom/Toddler group or class in your area if you need help connecting with other mothers of young children. Chances are, they feel the same way you do and are trying to ‘keep it together’ as well. You’re not alone and one day (sooner than you’d like) you’ll miss these years and wish you had them back.” Marjorie – 30 something


Life CoachI sure do understand the daydreams of having both your kids in school, especially when they are under the age of five. You so much want a break! As I raised my children I could never see what was to come in front of me. Now that mine are in college I can tell you this. Treasure these younger years with all the spit, crying, temper tantrums, diapers and feedings. You will miss them! You still have a front seat to their lives. As time marches on you will not be in the front seat. Friends, peers, coaches, teachers and others began to sit in front of you. It is a normal progression but you began to realize how precious those early years are. Put the vacuum away, let the dishes sit and mow the lawn tomorrow. Enjoy those little ones every minute; you will never regret it later on.  Jamie – 40 something


heleneTozierTake it one day at a time.  These are really special times and you can never get them back.  Watching a child run in the rain and wanting to help Mom bake cookies is gone before you know it and you will have to wait for the grandchildren to experience the joy.  If the house isn’t in perfect shape and there is extra laundry that needs to be done, it will all happen in time but the little ones only know the now and only want Mommie.  Enjoy each day.  Helene – 60 something


Marge G.Hmm. Sounds as if you are at the end of your rope. Well, you can either tie yourself up in knots, or cut yourself some slack. I suggest the latter. You are not alone in your feelings, so smile, stay positive, and do not lose sight of your goals. Make this your daily affirmation. Motherhood is a lifetime commitment, and not one to be left at the office at 5 pm. It is the most important of jobs, and the most difficult. It doesn’t get easier, just different, and each rung up the ladder requires new strengths to meet new challenges. As you face them, you will discover new things about both yourself and your children. It can be the most delightful of journeys if you don’t let the work and the frustrations overwhelm you.  Marge – 70 something

tracyIt’s hard to see how precious these years are when you are combing spit up out of your hair or spot cleaning the crayon out of your shirt. But here’s the thing. These years are preparing you and your children for what is coming. The conflicts at the playdate are a precursor for the conflict at the school yard where you are not present to help. The terrible twos with a talking back toddler is a training session for the teenage years to come. The worry you feel when your child goes to preschool is a precursor to him driving someday.   You will make it through these years. The foundation you are building now with your children will keep your family strong and resilient for the years ahead. So keep plugging along! Reach out for support from friends, family and other mothers. As mothers around the world say, “Everything is going to be ok.”  Tracy Heins- 40 Something