Mommyhood Tips and Tricks
from a mom of three…and her village of mommy friends
With the birth of my third child I was introduced to a syndrome called “Alwaysbehinditis”. The symptoms include- being perpetually late, forgetting at least one item at the grocery store every…single…time…, being short one hand for every project I need to do, and a strange obsession with finding 10 minutes of complete silence. There are awesome benefits too though. For example, single women in the grocery store dressed to the nines buying expensive bottles of wine and brie, often give me a look that is partially awe, but mostly pity and terror, and more often than not allow me and my brood to cut in line getting us out the door 4.5 minutes sooner than we would have. Another benefit: I now have an unofficial degree in caffeine medication. And I can spot a parking spot close to the cart stall from 10 miles away. My husband calls it cart ESP. (By the way cutting off a minivan headed for that spot in your 2-seater is totally grounds for me not noticing my kids drawing all over your car…. Just sayin’).
For reals though (People still say that right?!?!) Having 3 kids has taught me more than I thought it would. My youngest child’s sweet quirkiness has made me a better mom, a more relaxed mom, and a less worried mom. A mom who just doesn’t have time for matching socks to matter anymore, and a mom who thinks that is totally OK. I have lots of mom friends…some with less kids and some with far, far more…. The ones that have 5 or so – and are living to tell the story? Yah, you are my heroes. For me- my third child was my limit of sanity. For every mom that number is different… for me it was 3.
There is one lesson I want to share with you today and that is the lesson on “it takes a village”. It really does. There always seem to be things I don’t know how to “fix” or handle and I have found that usually some other mom out there (or dad if we are being fair), has ‘been there done that’ and had the presence of mind to figure it out. There is something to be said for asking for help now and then. Genius is often brought on by necessity. Here are some of the mom gems I have been given over the last couple of years I have found useful. I bet you have some too! Let’s share the wealth.
1: Pick your battles with at least as much discretion as you pick shoes. You don’t pick every pair of shoes you like up and buy them. You try them on and stick with the ones you know will have the longest lasting benefits, at least the majority of the time. Do the same with your kid battles. The ones that count are the ones that will have long lasting consequences. Only pick the “pretty” battles once in a while.
2. Let them be superman/princess fairies or whatever when you go to the grocery store. It really doesn’t matter when you are in the grocery store with kids you are going to feel silly at some point anyway. It may as well be the “Oh that is adorable” silly vs. the “Oh that poor thing” silly.
3. Those really little containers of play dough fit wonderfully in your purse/diaper bag & are an excellent distraction for the kids at restaurants when waiting for your food to come.
4. Tuck a pad of post it notes in your purse for those kiddos afraid of the automatic flushing toilets. If you put one over the sensor it won’t flush without warning.
5. Park near the cart return every time you can. It saves the craziness of getting everyone where they need to be in the cart before you are adding all the pretty temptations of the store.
6. Toothbrushes are dishwasher safe.
7. Remember that no two children are exactly the same…therefore no 2 punishments / rewards / rules and/or behaviors will be interpreted the same way.
8. Find the funny in every situation. There is usually something to laugh about and if you are laughing it is harder to cry.
9. When someone (in this case your kids) are the most unlovable it is when they need your love the most.
10. Never underestimate the power of a nap- for yourself.
The above are just a few of the little gems I have been told through the years. Many come from friends I met years ago who had children first. All of them have some experience. I would LOVE to hear all about your little gems of wisdom….and now for my one thing I tell new mom’s: My one gem.
“You are the best mom in the world because it is important to you that you are. Someday your kids will see it.”
A special thank you to Kayla Wells, MOPS momma, steering member and all around awesome gal, for sharing her story and experiences…something all of us moms can relate to. Thank you Kayla!!!