When you have kids, you know that your entire lifestyle has to adapt to accommodate them. From no longer staying out until midnight at your favourite restaurant to spending your weekends at play centres instead of music festivals, there is nothing that changes your lifestyle quite like having children. When it comes to your home, even that changes hugely. Your needs for your living space become different, so you need to adapt. Here are some tips on how to do that…
Of course, safety comes first at all times. When you have a newborn, it might seem difficult, but as time goes on and your baby learns to roll over, crawl, and finally walk, you’ll appreciate how nice it was being able to put your child down for a moment and to know they’d be in the same place when you came back a minute later. With toddlers, things get a lot more dangerous. They get into everything and they are endlessly curious as they learn about the world. This means that sharp edges need to have curved fittings stuck to them, that heaters and fires need to have guards against them so that little hands don’t get burned, and kitchen cupboards – particularly those containing toxic substances like cleaning products – need to have child safe locks on them to keep them shut.
When it comes to kids and mess, you may just feel as though you’re fighting a losing battle constantly. Toys are everywhere, the table is constantly covered with paper and crayons and other detritus from various art projects, and it seems as though your laundry room is constantly full of stacks of small clothes, which somehow always seem to be more freshly laundered than your own garments (which seem to have your kid’s lunch from yesterday caked on there somehow). So thinking about your storage options is hugely important. In your kids’ nursery, have a series of baskets that they can put their toys in when they’re done playing with them. If you have more than one child, it’s okay to have colour coded baskets for their own toys. Although sharing is important, it’s also completely fine for each kid to have toys that they know belong to them. You should also remember that it’s a good idea to sneakily collect a few toys and keep them every now and then before pulling them out a few weeks later – the novelty will make them seem almost new and intrigue your kids.
When you have kids, everything gets incredibly busy. There’s an infinite amount of laundry to do, you’re constantly tired and barely ever sleeping, and you’re exhausted just trying to keep up with the changes. So it’s time to make things easier at home wherever you can. You may love your real log fire but electric heating is much more convenient. Natural living is excellent but you can buy chemical-free products instead of making your own from vinegar and other natural substances. Be kind and generous with yourself, and make things easier.
It’s important to make sure that part of your house is adults-only, whether that’s your study where you work during the day or your bedroom. Having a place to relax that isn’t full of brightly coloured plastic toys is absolutely imperative – and if you work from home, having an office that isn’t full of kids’ stuff is important so that you can focus on doing your work and making your money. Although you may sleep with your baby in your room initially, it’s a good idea to try to endeavour to encourage your older kids to sleep in their own beds instead of crawling in with you at night, so that you both get a good night’s sleep. Everything seems to be harder when you’re tired, including parenting, so you need to try to preserve that nighttime peace.
Although life is, of course, mostly about having fun, it’s also good for your children to have some space at home where they can calm down and spend some quiet time. The world can be overstimulating and exhausting if you’re tiny, so having some quiet space, whether that’s a bedroom, a playhouse, or a bottom bunk, is a good way for your kids to calm down and relax if they feel as though too much is going on around them.
Making your home a safe and enjoyable space for your kids may just be easier than you think with these tips.