I always knew that women wear many hats in the home but I never realized until I had a son of my own just how many you can wear with one person.
As The Kid's full time, Mommie, Teacher and part-time friend I found myself a bit overwhelmed at first. It can get difficult and exhausting being so many things to one little person. I mean how do you get the lines to not blur, when do you put on which hat???
There were many days I wanted to call it quits but I did not Thank The Lord and here is why I was able to keep going and not throw in the towel
Tip 1: Hierarchy
I know this may sound weird but it worked for me. I had to decide which role was the most important the one that was non-negotiable? And which came after and which came last. Not only was the order important but I also had to decide what the functions of each would be. Once that was established by me for us the other stuff became manageable.
Tip 2: Dedicated Time
I realized that I could not be all things at all times. So I scheduled things because kids like familiarity and routine. The Kid knows that between certain hours Mommie is Teacher not just Mommie and just like he behaved in class or daycare he needs to during this time as well.
We also take breaks and have meals at the same time everyday, I try to incorporate this one on the weekends too; though that doesn't always work.
Tip 3: Visualization
I don't know about your kid but mine is very visual. Just like sticking to a routine with our time is helpful so are having visual cues that reinforce what I am trying to get across. We put a rug in the living room near his desk to mimic rug time that he used to have at school. We actually took one whole wall that surrounds the rug and placed all of our school time stuff there. So The Kid knows that even if we are in the living room when we are on the rug it is time for school.
Tip 4: Boundaries
Not just for The Kid but for myself. It is easy to fall into the full-time friend category when you both feel the need for a little break. I try to give us both me time during the day, he goes to his room I hang out in the living room doing both of our quiet time.
Let your yes be your yes and your no be your no. Kids sniff out weakness and mine is in that establishing himself phase of life. He wants to take it to the limits. While I recognize that he needs to have increasing freedoms I also know that at the end of the day my number one role is his mother and I must have boundaries for him. Just like in real life there are consequences for crossing boundaries we have them at home and during school time.
Bonus Tip: Keeping Naptime
This one is debatable. I have seen pros and cons to this. I personally feel that for the younger kids the pros outweigh the cons (which can be them wanting to stay up later). Mainly because they still experience growth spurts. Now I am not the firmest in this area I'll admit just because I do not have a set wake-up time for The Kid. Naptime sometimes turns into extra quiet time in his room with no electronics. But as always do what works for you and your littles.
Kids are not cookie cutter so neither should our approaches be