Sometimes life gets the better of you. You’re exhausted, stressed, pulled in 28 different directions and bombarded by kiddie germs, and you need a proverbial—or literal—reboot.
I certainly needed one this week…and then I found this post, which I wrote a few months ago. It’s kind of cool when you stumble upon something you wrote a while back—in a happy, non-stressed state loaded with perspective—right when you need it.
In fact, I think I’m going to print it out and tape it to my fridge. You might want to do the same, with your own additions scrawled alongside it. Here are 10 rules that help to keep me sane. Or, as sane as any mom can ever be.
10. Understand that there are just not enough hours in the day. Acknowledge, accept, move on.
9. Don’t parent half-assed. If you’ve got to watch Frozen for the 385th time, you might as well do it with gusto—in full costume and at full sing-along volume. Your life might be ridiculous, but your kid will remember that she had an awesome mom who loved being her mom. Still, maybe close the blinds.
8. Keep wipes, at least one snack and a toy dinosaur in your purse at all times. Just like that Lotto slogan: Hey, you never know. And trust me, you will feel like you hit the jackpot if you’ve got these on hand when you really need them.
7. Remember that your partner is working with you, not against you. This one can be easy to forget when you’ve been up for more consecutive nights than you can count between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m. But if you need a break, tell your significant other—loudly and clearly.
6. Advocate for yourself. We are our children’s biggest cheerleaders, but what kind of examples are we really setting for them when we don’t take the time that we need for ourselves? So make sure you find a way to take that nap, get that pedicure or have dinner with your friends. It’ll help your kid in the end.
5. Keep it in perspective. Yes, small children need you all the time. But in a few years, when they’re not so small, your kiddos won’t want to be seen with you, let alone talk to you. It’s the world’s biggest cliché, but clichés are clichés for a reason: Try to enjoy it now, because it won’t last forever.
4. Keep it in perspective, part 2. I added this one the other day. Our kids are just that: Kids. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea that the mini life decisions we make for them now will put them on the right or wrong track for the rest of their lives. I really needed this perspective when I was in the middle of deciding on a “serious” preschool for my 3-year-old for next year. Sound nuts? Welcome to life in New York City.
3. Have a cookie. Sometimes you really need one. Sometimes you need more than one. Sometimes you need an entire batch fresh out of the oven and ice cream and hot fudge and a side of Kahlua and milk to wash it down.
2. Blame your kid for your messy house. You can do this for 18 years—longer if you have multiple kids. By the time you’ve reached your golden years, everyone will think you’re a crazy old lady and expect the mess.
1. Remember that you are doing it right. You really are. Trust me.