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7 Certified Mommy Tips That Will Really Boost Your Sanity

Motherhood does strange things to otherwise rational people. We worry about our four-year-old getting a driver’s license in 12 years. It is what makes us parents. While I am not exactly low-key, I do find myself striving to be the best, rational parent I can be. I have learned I am not alone in this. You aren’t either. Parents of all temperaments need to refill their energy banks. Below are a few mommy tips I use, to stay sane in the middle of the chaos:

1) Laugh at yourself

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My own mum used to ask rhetorically, “If you can’t laugh about it then what can you do?”. Laughter comes in handy when you’re drenched in day-to-day parenting challenges. In our house, it was the great sippy debacle of 2011. I proudly bought sippy cups with coordinating lids. It was like I invented the sippy cup purchase. K-Hubs, however, had no time for this coordinating business. He slapped a lid on a sippy and fed his child. The horror. He didn’t know mismatched sippys are the gateway to under-performing offspring who make a career out of living in the family basement. With child two, color coordination went out the window, along with complete sets of puzzles and stain-free clothes. The first time K-Hubs caught me not matching, he gave me side eye. Duly noted, K-Hubs. But look how we can laugh about it now. No? Too soon? Okay.

2) Prepare to swing on the pendulum of parental emotions (and know that it’s okay)

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Take sending kiddos off to school for the first time. We just sent our oldest, Toodle, to kindergarten. I’m not nearly as basket-case crazy as I was when we sent her to preschool. However, one minute I find myself thinking, oh, thank God, because she is so ready, and the next moment I start weeping internally as I realize my first baby isn’t a baby anymore. What’s a mother to do? Well, I have Aretha Franklin’s “Freedom” and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” on shuffle. The struggle is real.

3) Allow your olfactory priorities to change

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Or is that just me? I once told K-Hubs, I could only work on so many self-improvement projects at a time, and the one that was bothering him wasn’t one of them. I think it had to do with toothpaste. In this case, a friend had her third child around the time I had my second child, Twinkle. We got our children together and took turns holding each other’s sweet newborns, who were also taking turns spitting up in our hair. With my firstborn I would have excused myself to shower because spit-up, even that of my own child, would have been too much for my nose to handle. The second time around? I totally forgot about it until bedtime when I searched for a hair tie. “Should I wash it out?” I wondered aloud. Nah, I’ll just wash the spit-up out tomorrow. I need sleep. Priorities, mums. Priorities.

4) Be kind to yourself

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The act of parenting can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was how much I would love holding my baby in my arms and how physically tired I would be afterward. I don’t mind crouching down multiple times a day to manage snacks and toys or listen to tears and elation. Running up and down the stairs umpteen times a day is fine. I love helping my two-year-old with her “schocks”; however, once both girls are in bed, I am drained, ready to binge watch “Castle” or “Murder, She Wrote.” Caskett and J. Fletch revive my energy level. On the flip side, the role of parenthood is incredibly rewarding. When people say they are tired, but wouldn’t trade parenthood for the world, I get it. When parents say their world opened up with the birth of their children, I get it. When parents feel guilty for not loving every single moment of parenting in the actual moment it occurs, I get that, too. Be fair to yourself. Not loving every single moment of parenting isn’t the same thing as not loving your children unconditionally.

5) Get ready to learn a new language

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One of the joys I have about parenthood is how K-Hubs and I have become bilingual. Or maybe trilingual. Is that a thing? We not only understand what our girls are saying, but we have also developed a language of our own. “I’m going to that place to do the deal” is code for “I’m going to go have fun without the girls“. We have learned to navigate the maze of raising our daughters in a language only we understand.

6) Keep your kids close and your girlfriends closer

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Seriously, the only way I stay sane is over a cheese platter with a few of my nearest and dearest close by. It is so much easier to talk about life over dairy products or a glass of wine. Or seven-layer dip. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Friends matter. Preferably the kind who listen to you and celebrate your chaos and share their own. Because we are all in this together. Parenting is the great leveler.

7) Have faith in your children

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When your 5-year-old says, “Mom! There’s poop on the floor!” believe her. “No, no, we don’t talk like that at lunch!” will get you nowhere. Because you will then look down and see the trail of diaper droppings leading from the family room into the kitchen. You will then clean up the mess while the sweet cherubs claw through their food, selecting only the good parts like the discerning eaters they are. Isn’t lunchtime precious?

 

When all is said and done, sanity will elude us some days more than others. But each of us is doing the very best we can with what we’ve got. So laugh and keep your chin up. You are doing better than you think.

What are your mommy tips to stay sane?

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Morgan Leu Parkhurst
By day, Morgan is a home-based business owner. By night she is a teacher. Somewhere in between Morgan is a published author who relishes the time she finds to write. She is also wife to K-Hubs and mother to two spirited daughters, affectionately nicknamed Toodle and Twinkle. Now navigating the world of autoimmunity, food allergies, and clean eating, you’ll also find Morgan laughing about mauve telephones and pining for glazed donuts over at Spirited And Then Some or on Facebook.
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