In all of my mothering life, the one thing that has continuously brought me down, like sitting-at-the-bottom-of-the-stairs-scented-with-poop-and-barf-and-two=days-no-shower-funk-ugly-crying-like-I-just-watched-a-Ryan-Gosling-movie-marathon down, is lack of preparation.
Preparation is the mom’s key to parenting success.
Without it mom fails are to be expected and wins are unlikely.
Sometimes my hips lie, but facts never do, and fact is, when I don’t prepare, bad things happen.
The kids come home from school, starving from the fact that they-didn’t-eat-anything-alllll-day-because-lunch-doesn’t-count-somehow and wind up with a dinner of graham crackers and Cool Whip.
Because I didn’t prepare dinner.
And we have to go to soccer and football. The exact moment they finish their after school pee. And it’s graham crackers or Mc Donald’s only really we don’t even have time for McDoanld’s. And worst. Mom. Ever.
Or, I go into their room to wake them up for school and am hit by the distinct smell of hot pee which reminds that they haven’t bathed for THREE days??!
Because I didn’t prepare dinner.
And they had to eat graham crackers and Cool Whip before we rushed to practice. So when they came home from practice they were ravenous. And I had to make them a real meal at 8:30pm so they could hurry up and get in bed. And that same exact thing happened three nights in a row. Because (see above) worst. Mom. Ever.
Although, I’m still not sure why they smell like pee, because dirty doesn’t necessarily have to mean peed on. But, whatever, a shower with high powered soap is totally in order.
All of this ugly could easily be prevented with an ounce of preparation.
I learn from my mistakes. Maybe not quickly, but eventually, for sure.
Let me help you prepare (and by me, of course I mean the Unstoppable Moms I asked to weigh in on this post along with the whole team of Children’s MOTRIN® Unstoppable Moms* who are a part of this amazing campaign with me).
Simplify Your Mom Game: Parenting Tips to Help Moms Be Unstoppable
Two Words: Meal Planning. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a billion times, meal planning saves lives. I can’t commit to it year round (I find it exhausting and I’m fine with ice cream for dinner at least twice a week in summer), but during the fall when we’re adjusting to our new school schedule, and all of the sports, and work is crazy, it’s the only reason my children don’t actually eat graham crackers and Cool Whip for dinner every night. –DudeMom, Mom of 3, Ages 12, 9, 6
Don’t be afraid to throw stuff away. Clutter is evil and if you can beat it out of your house I guarantee you will be happier. I throw away stuff people probably think I should keep every day, and if I didn’t I would literally lose my mind. Or drown in terrible pieces of “art” my kids only made because their teacher told them they had to. –DudeMom
Keep it real. Stop using the baby voice. Don’t say “good job buddy” if whatever he just did was actually terrible. Don’t lie to your kids about stuff they can handle. They can know that basketball isn’t their sport, and that you actually sound more like Barry White than Vanna White when you talk. Keeping up with your stories will be hard later. And they won’t trust a thing you say. Most of the adults in your life might not be able to handle the truth, but your kid probably can. –DudeMom (yep, I get to say more because, duh, my blog).
Have a go to recipe. This one for Mediterranean turkey subs is a great on the go recipe because we can eat quickly at HOME, or pack and take to practice, which is really nice when we have back to back practices and games. –Angie, Seven Clown Circus, Mom of 5, Ages 14, 12, 10, 8, 8
Be flexible. Have a very loose schedule and plan and know that it will likely be changed. –Krystyn, Really, Are You Serious, Mom of 4, Ages 7, 5, 2, 7 months
Use an electronic calendar. People ask me all of the time what’s the best way to stay organized– and that’s actually a passion of mine- helping busy Moms feel more organized and in control of their schedules and households! I have a couple of big tips that I like to share… for one thing, you absolutely should be using an electronic calendar. Whether it’s Google Calendar or Apple’s iCal- you want a calendar that you can access on your computer, syncs to your phone and tablet, and can be shared with your spouse and even your kids. And even if you are keeping everything in an e-calendar- you can still print it out weekly (I do!) and have it physically in front of you to use while planning out your week. –Sharon, Mom of 6, ages 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 (I swear!)
Let it go. Every day we get another chance. Don’t hold on to the mistakes that were made yesterday. Yes there are going to be days where we drop the ball and forget a meeting or that we promised someone we would meet them for lunch. We will feel guilty and come home and apologize profusely only to hear, “You were coming to lunch today? I forgot.” Every time you feel overwhelmed or like things are slipping out of control, stop, breathe, and start over. –Jennifer, Jennifer P. Williams, Mom of 2, Ages 9 & 6
Make fun easy. The best party activity I came up with was pizza making at my son’s Muppet themed birthday party. I bought premade pizza crust, set out sauce, cheese, and toppings and let the kids build their own lunch. I also found adorable mustaches and chef aprons so the kids could dress like the Swedish Chef. They had a blast and it was super easy to put together and clean up. –Mindi, Simply Stavish, Mom of 3, Ages 5, 3, & 14 months
How are you unstoppable?