23 Exceedingly Helpful Tips For Maintaining Your Sanity While Living With Children
Recently I had the mother of one of my son’s friends ask if I ever get mad or yell. You seem so calm and peaceful all the time, she had said. I laughed. My children laughed even harder. It was a great illustration of how we all think everyone else has it more together than we do. I yell. We are a loud family. We talk loudly. We make grand gestures with our hands, occasionally smacking someone by mistake, which results in more yelling. My kids run and bounce through the house like balls in a pinball machine. Yet somehow, I have managed not to run screaming from the house dressed only in my birthday suit. At least, not yet.
Here are my tips:
1. Lower your standards for cleanliness and order.
2. Did that? Lower them even more.
3. Your house will never look like a magazine spread, period. Embrace that.
4. No matter how many baskets you buy to contain toys, they will always be visible. Embrace the Toys ‘R Us/ frat house-chic decor.
5. You can never have too many popsicles in the freezer. How many bad moods have been fixed by a simple popsicle?
6. If you can’t change them, change your perspective. For example I read recently– probably on Satan’s website Pinterest– that toothpaste is great for cleaning things like faucets. So now when I go into the bathroom every day and see toothpaste splatter all over the bathroom faucet I think about how my children have done half the chore of cleaning for me. How considerate of them! Then I wipe it off while cursing.
7. Those chores that no one ever wants to do. Decide if you would rather do it yourself, badger your child to it, or let it go. If you are confused about what to do, see Number 1 on this list.
8. No one cares what is stuffed under your child’s bed, why should you. Unless it is old food. In that case, you should get a dog.
9. If you have boys, your bathroom will always faintly stink like pee. Invest in some Febreeze and count down the days until they move out and you can go visit them and pee on their bathroom floor.
10. Don’t buy white furniture. Unless you enjoy screaming at your children every time they go near it.
11. However bad a situation might seem, one day it will be funny. I have a few for which I am eagerly awaiting for the funny to kick in. Any time now….
12. When your child is a young teen there will be nothing more embarrassing than your very existence. Use this to your advantage. Start planning early.
13. Do not paint any walls in your house with flat paint.
14. Be okay with letting your kids stumble sometimes. Whether that is turning in an assignment late because they didn’t do it or wearing an outfit so hideous you have trouble looking at them without laughing.
15. Noise canceling headphones are great for blocking out whining, bickering and the endless episodes of Sponge Bob.
16. Socks do not have to match. Every day is Crazy Sock Day at my house, which is infinitely better than Crazy Mom Day.
17. The crayons will break and it is okay to throw them away rather then save them to make some sort of craft that involves the hair dryer. In fact, I give you permission to not feel guilty about all the crafts you know you will never do.
18. Your children will not die from eating the occasional hot dog or frozen pizza. And by occasional I mean more than you are really willing to admit.
19. If your children are driving you crazy arguing with each other, start an argument with them. Then your children will bond over their mutual hatred of you and be quiet.
20. Children do not appreciate top sheets or high thread counts. Buy neither.
21. Homework time is the worst time of the day. Help your kids and yourself by having a designated time and a quiet place to do homework. Preferably in a neighbor’s home.
22. Just say No to ironing.
23. Last, but not least, a glass of wine and some really bad TV makes everything seem a little better.
What tips do you have for staying sane while raising children?
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