My 11 Sanity Saving Hacks for Moms with Littles

My goodness. If you know a woman with small children, do an act of kindness and send this list to her. Us trench mommas gotta trench together. Every single one of these hacks I've used multiple times. They truly work. And I would know. I've nearly lost my mind in every flavor possible since I started staying at home.  And I generally think we should avoid that cliff. "Laura, don't go over there. Becky went that way last year, and we haven't seen her since." 

Paul travels a bit. Then you throw in me as a homebody, our homeschooling, a set of identical twin boys... I mean. I've been at this. I've rounded this block a few times. 

Without further ramble,

I warmly welcome you to feast your eyes on these delights and choose your medicine as greedily as you wish:

 

For when the days are all running together... 

1. Get in the car. Perspective comes at a small price: $5 in gas (and maybe $3 for a coffee as you loop around the city in search of something, something...) 

For when you feel like a mess...

2. Turn on the t.v. & find your lipstick. You probably are a mess. Did you remember your bra? That's your oxygen mask, so no skipping that. Dig into your bathroom drawer for that face scrub you got last Christmas. Paint your nails. While you're in there, give yourself a Rocky speech--mama style, something about you not going down without a fight. 

For when figuring out one more activity for the kids = your death...

3. Clean the room with all the toys. The kids will gather like moths to the light. They will shout thanks for that piece of special cardboard and that truck with 3 wheels they dearly love. None of it will make sense to you. It's all more junk. But to them? NO! The heavens have just rained down (abandoned) delights. 

For when you long for a put together life...

4. Get one room super clean. This is truly the tip for the momma whose life is deeply steeped with littles. Go ahead. Let them do their thing in the other room stringing shoelaces across chairs and swinging plastic figurines through an obstacle course of various objects that weren't well beyond their reach. But you shine that end table with polish until you can see your face in it. And tell yourself, "this is not forever. one day! yes, one day!!"

For when you are feeling alone...

5. Phone a friend. Social media is not enough. Text a friend. Call a friend. Confide to her about the puke / toddler tantrum / dry shampoo you forgot to comb through before greeting the plumber at the door. She will likely say "me too!" She will likely tell you a similar story. She will get you to calm down, cheer up, or laugh at it all.  You are not alone, momma. You can message me. I keep it REAL. ;)

For when you feel disillusioned...

6. Write a "these things are not working" list. Literally pull out a sheet of paper. Seasons turn on a dime with kids. Systems have to be retweaked all the time. Clothes change. Behaviors change. Kids turn new tricks something ridiculous. Stay on your toes. Yes, you've done a million good things. Time to do it again. You've got 99 problems. Now write them out. 

For when you are "done" but you already tried the t.v. thing...

7. Plug in those headphones. Of course this isn't standard practice. But if it's what it takes for you to keep smiling at those sweeties...by all means. 

For when you've found yourself angry or yelling...

8. Sing, dance & be silly. Meet the crazies where they're at. If they can't handle one more minute waiting for eggs, sing about eggs while they are waiting. If they can't handle the way Batman doesn't fit in his car, sing the Batman anthem as you fix it. Join in. Shout the songs. Shake your booty. You're hard pressed to find a human who doesn't lighten up after doing the hokey pokey. Plus, the kids keep tugging on you because they love you so much. You're a freaking rockstar, so go for it. Sing a ballad for them. Dance a jig. Laugh at yourself. You are being fun now and not yelling! 

For when you hate all the kid stuff everywhere all over the place...

9. Grab a bag. Stuff it with junk the kids never needed anyway. Walk it to the car. Now breathe easy momma. That took 2 minutes and you can go back to business as usual. 

For when you lust after escape...

10Schedule it. You are more likely to truly leave for a little time away if you already scheduled with a friend or for a hair appointment. Put it on the family calendar. Carve it in stone. I can't tell you the dozens of times (just did this last week) where I was DY-ING to leave the house upon Paul's return only to cling to his handsome side forever and always once he walked through that door. This is why I schedule my run aways.

And for when you are truly at the end of your rope...

11. Clasp your hands together. Smile. Look at those cotton balls the kids dumped in the bathtub. Look at that toddler who just stuck his hand in his poopy diaper. Look at the projectile vomit your baby just shot out with expertise aim onto your sofa. Look at the play room that is something of a horror short story waiting to be read. Look at that kid who is losing it because one tiny corner of his bread is ripped and so his life is OVER. OVER!!! And repeat this born-from-experience prayer of mine:  "Oh Jesus, I know you see this."  That's it. Now go do your thing.