I’m just a girl in sweat pants with a period stain and a luke warm cup of coffee. The only thing I am an expert on is spot cleaning yoga pants, dry shampoo, and keepin’ it real. I know you’re probably wondering what I did to win at life like this and I have to break it to you; IT HAS NOT BEEN EASY. You cannot just get these dark circles under your eyes all easy peasy. This has taken a lot of hard work, determination, and unprotected sex.
Sometimes I legit wonder how it is that I’m in charge around here.
Though I don’t know much, here are six survival tips for motherhood:
Laugh as much as possible.
The only thing that makes the most disgusting, horrifying, exhausting parenting moments funny is a glass of wine, a basket of garlic fries, and some friends who have a sense of humor. Suddenly tantrums, bodily fluids, and marital spats are enough to make you cry laughing…instead of crying real tears alone on your bedroom floor (I have done both).
Shut the door.
I am not even sure what is happening in my kids’ rooms right now. There is stuff and trash and toys and food and a chameleon jammed into one stinky, stress-inducing space. THEY ARE HOARDERS AND THEY NEED HELP. I noticed that it was really messing with my mojo, so I did something revolutionary: I shut the door.
Now my coffee tastes better and all is right with the world.
You cannot do it all; sometimes you have to TAKE A DEEP BREATH… and shut a door or two or three.
Take time for you.
One of my friends said being a mom is like Groundhog Day (the movie with Bill Murray where he gets stuck repeating the same day over and over). It is so true. A lot of the time motherhood is life on repeat, and IT NEVER ENDS. Feed, wash, cry (kids), cry (me), sweep, feed again, bed, repeat. Listen, the bottom of the laundry basket is a pipe dream. We have to take time for ourselves when there isn’t actually any time. A night out with the girls is therapy for me; a run is sanity, and a trip alone to Target is vacation.
There have never been kids just like yours, and there never has been a mom just like you. You do you because you are the perfect one for this job. Your kids need YOU, not someone else (no matter how perfect that person might seem). I have friends with ALL kinds of strengths that I admire, but I’m never going to be like them…that’s okay. My little fam rocks this hot mess proudly. You can’t have strengths without also having weaknesses. WE ALL HAVE BOTH. You do you.
Coffee is my secret (not-at-all-secret) weapon. I was particularly grumpy the other morning and my eleven-year-old asked if he could get me a cup. I’m a die hard fan of strong coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at night. Even if you’re not into either of those things, it’s good to have something to look forward to start (or end) your day, cuz…mornings and evenings are hard.
Own the mess because it’s beautiful in its own way. Some of my favorite family photos are the ones where one of my kids is sobbing in the corner. I’m learning (slowly, but surely) that the best times are often full of dirt and chaos.
You are going to make mistakes. If you feel like a failure, forgive yourself. If you aren’t the mom or wife you thought you’d be, forgive yourself (is anyone the mom or wife they thought they’d be???). If your house looks like it was ransacked by thugs, let yourself off the hook because children are basically thugs. If you lose your cool, take a deep breath and think of me and the millions of others who have been there…you are not alone.
So anyway, I just said yes to three popsicles for each of my kids and now they are acting like a bunch of psychos. So, if you’re looking for parenting expertise, you’ve come to the wrong place…BUT if you’re looking for a safe place to be you in all your glory and your mess…WELCOME. We are in this together.