Yep, I'm an expert... an expert at being a smart ass, of making just about any situation humorous, and of having a crazy ass life. Those, I'm an expert at. Parenting? I don't think anyone is an expert at parenting, but if there was anyone who was close to it, it would be that lady on the TV show with like 19 kids. So far, none of her kids have ended up in jail or on drugs, so, her statistics are pretty good. Go ask her if it's better to use a pacifier or not use a pacifier with your newborn.
There are some things I've learned in my time, that, if I'm asked, I'll share.
I haven't been asked this time, but dammit, I'm sharing. Just random Mom Tips from me.
- Keep your car stocked. I don't care if you never go on road trips. Keep a bag in your car with some food that won't really go bad (granola bars or fruit snacks), a blanket, maybe a pillow, bandaids, wet wipes, napkins, paper and a pencil or colored pencils (crayons melt). If you want to be really prepared, throw in a shirt for you, and a change of clothes for the kids, but I've never gotten that far (and regretted it, seriously). Hell, I did use to carry a pair of flip flops and jeans in my car, too, but I think that was my subconscious run away bag. Anyway, all of this will come in handy, one day. I promise. And what's best is if you forget you have it, and then the kids are all, 'I'm Starrrrvinnnngggg,' like my kids do, and you remember you have it and shove granola bars at them. It's amazing how much respect they have for you at that one second.
- Don't feed your kids before after-school functions. Okay, I'm not talking about sports games or plays or formal events or award shows, for crying out loud. I'm not cruel. I'm talking those open house, wander around the school and look at everyone's projects, type of after school functions. The ones we, as parents, really don't want to attend. If you don't feed your kids before them, then they'll beg you to leave and go eat dinner. No guilt because you did make an appearance, but, oh, sorry, you have dinner waiting at home and must get these 'starving' children there (perfect when that mom that you'd rather shove forks up your nose than talk to catches you and tries to start a conversation).
- Eat at least 2-3 spoonfuls of brownie/cake batter or cookie dough before baking. There's no guarantee once they are made that you'll get as many as you'd like, so go ahead and eat the batter raw during preparation. I steal my bites before I add any eggs, just in case, and what's amazing is if the kids come into the kitchen with, 'Oh, wow, can I have a bite of the dough?' you can say, 'Heck no, there's raw eggs in that. You don't want salmonella poisoning.' As soon as they leave, shovel it in... nothing beats it.
- Let kids throw temper tantrums. Don't pay them any attention. If they are putting themselves or someone else in harm's way, then deal with that, but other than that, just let them scream and holler it out. The more they see they aren't getting your attention, the more it will bother them, at first, and yes, they'll get louder. Then, they'll see it doesn't phase you, and eventually they'll stop. It'll take practice though, practice I recommend that is performed at home instead of a crowded grocery store. And, if you feel they need a little help in the quieting department, then turn and glare at them, holding a huge wooden spoon, smacking it against the palm of your hand. Their eyes will get big. They'll shut up.
- Add berries to your gluttonous desserts to add some nutrition. I learned this trick one day when I felt really bad that Hubby and I were making this amazing dinner with fresh ingredients, and I had dirt pie planned for dessert (you know, chocolate pudding, oreos and gummy worms). So I bought some blackberries and added them as a middle layer, and the family went crazy. They absolutely loved it. Take another look at your favorite dessert recipes. Is there anywhere to add some berries or other fruit? If so, jump on it.
- Have something in the house that is just yours. It doesn't matter if it's a container of ice cream, a bag of chips, or a place to sit, but make something in the house just yours and fight for it. No, you can't have any of Mom's chocolate because it's mine. I bought it, I earned it, it's mine. Some people think this is cruel, but I've never understood that. It not only teaches kids boundaries but you always have something to look forward to, that's all yours. This is amazing when you've had a crappy day, and my special items have saved my sanity some days. Moms deserve the right to pamper themselves, even on the smallest level. And, if you have a nosy family, then hide the item. Bring it out when you want it or need it most, but don't give in to 'Can I just have a small bite?' It's yours. Keep it that way.
- Use banana peels for splinters. I saw this on a morning show one time and thought, 'Yeah, whatever, like that really works.' For really stubborn splinters (or a stubborn kid that doesn't want you digging around in their foot with a needle and tweezers), cut off a small piece of banana peel (it has to be turning brown), place it, inside of the peel down onto where the splinter is, and wrap and ace bandage or something around it to hold it in place for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. When to go to remove it, either the splinter will be on the banana peel, or at the surface for you to get it out easily. Two applications may be necessary for deep splinters. There are enzymes in the banana peel that not only soften the skin to make it easier for the splinter to come out, but pull the splinter to the surface. I had glass stuck in my foot. Numerous attempts at getting it out, over the course of a month, yielded nothing, meaning that I was crazy for thinking there was still glass in my foot. Hubby taped the banana peel to my foot, and the next night, I squeezed and a shard of glass shot out of my foot. Get the f*#k out of town, it actually worked. Highly recommend to all mothers.
|Blackberries added as a center layer in dirt pie|
|Yum! The berries are a surprise inside.|
So, there are my pieces of wisdom for the day! Sometimes the tips are helpful, sometimes they are crazy, but they are what I've learned since becoming a mother!