Violetta Reum’s pregnancy was such an easy one that she figured she and husband Micah would continue doing the same things they did before baby Dominik arrived.
“I just felt like … I’m going to have the same amount of time and I’ll just figure it out. I’m so organized, I’m so active,” she says she remembers thinking. “Then he came. And life was absolutely and totally different.”
Rather than fight to hold on to her old life, she says she embraced parenting with intention. “As much as you think that you can make your life be the same, it just won’t be. And it’s OK, and it’s a good thing.”
Now at 18 months, Dominik is now very much in the throes of toddlerhood, says the Royal Oak mom who was born in Ukraine and met Micah at college.
“I think my favorite thing is just watching him grow and discover. I think every day he either learns a new word or a new skill or climbs a new piece of furniture or figures out a new puzzle,” she says, adding the couple decided early on to let Dominik lead his growth and learning.
Earlier this year, they started their own business this year, Reum Consulting, to be more fully present for him while helping other moms and dads do the same. “I have a huge heart for moms and especially for moms who are spinning a hundred plates in the air,” she says
Her best three tips to wrangle all the stuff of toddlerhood:
- Limit the toys. The Reums use a Montessori philosophy and display his toys. However, since there is no way to display all the toys, he has seven in the seven-slot cubby in his room and six in the living room. “This has worked really well, it looks minimal, tidy and appealing and he doesn’t get distracted because there’s not that much stuff out.” She keeps a bin in the closet of other toys and rotates them out every so often. If a toy on display is noisy or annoying, she jokes that she switches it out more quickly.
- Reset often. Tidy up at least daily or twice a day. They do it at naptime and bedtime. It gives Dominik a clue that a clean space helps him rest and a cue for them to get the home back in order. It’s also a reminder to the couple that the family play zone becomes an adult zone at the end of the day.
- Simplify your systems. Reum says all the TV shows about organizing are great, but reality is that things do get out of their bins and things do get unfolded. She urges moms to be realistic about what they can do and not feel guilty or ashamed when scrolling through Pinterest. Your organization might look different from others, she says.
Reum Organizing currently offers face-to-face and virtual consultation.