Sneezing with your eyes open, that’s “hard.” Parenting is monumental. It’s considered to be one of the most important jobs in the world. So important, in fact, it makes us doubt, second-guess, and overthink the things that we do. We could be at this parenting gig for 18 plus years, still, we’ll never feel like experts.
And we’re each our own worst critic. Parents hold themselves to unbelievably high standards, so it’s important to put things into perspective.
We’re not always going to end the day feeling like super mom, but it’s a good idea to start celebrating the small wins. There are plenty of them out there if we just give ourselves a break!
With just a butter knife in hand, you managed to cut the crusts off notoriously soft bread—and you didn’t even destroy the sandwich. Yum yum in their tum tum without a tantrum!
Sure, you gave in to your kid’s demand for a new iPad game, but this one satiates their frenzy without in-app purchases. You bought yourself 40 minutes of peace and quiet without spending any money.
You successfully built a 700-piece LEGO princess castle from a single pile of bricks and pieces because an over-zealous child opened all the numbered bags coinciding with the assembly manual.
It might be all singalongs, swimming, and sports, but packing for summer camp is no joke. You can fit a lot into a single backpack: lunch, snacks, water bottle, sunscreen, bug repellent, extra clothes, sweatshirt, beach towel, swimsuit—everything shy of the kitchen sink. The big question is, will it all come home?
Prime time is parent time but tell that to kids, especially during summer! Instead of feeling all Blue’s Clues about it or shooing the kids away, you turned on closed captioning during Dateline. This cold case won’t solve itself!
You dote on your kids and work hard to make all the big days in the year magical. But thanks to Halloween candy, winter holidays, Valentine’s sweets, bunny trails, and birthdays—they’ve come to expect “surprises.”
It takes a strong person to get through a holiday weekend without wrapping something. Flex those muscles because you’re the woman who can say no to constant gift giving. And, hey, a little infrequency will amount to a whole lot of gratitude for the stuff your kids already have.
Any day (or week) you can wash, dry, AND put away a load of laundry is a great day. It might seem silly to feel empowered by the “GAP fold” but who cares! You’re sick of digging through baskets of clean clothes to make an outfit. So give yourself a trophy for seeing a dirty sock through its life cycle.
Was “Don’t stress the mess” coined by someone who never lived with kids? Every day parents wipe down, pick up, and throw away messes left by other people. And it starts to feel like a fool’s errand! Another meal means another go-around with the Dyson.
So sometimes (ok, most times) this feeling of impending doom encroaches upon playtime. We’re so distracted by the what-ifs that we can’t live in the moment. What if paint spills? What if Play-Doh gets stuck to the carpet? What if water seeps under the bathroom tile and grows mold? Warding off anxiety until at least playtime ends is a huge win-win for parents and kids.
For better or worse, anything you can think of probably exists. Need a slicer shaped like a banana for cutting bananas … because a knife won’t do? How about a sequined pillow that reveals Nicholas Cage’s face? It can be yours for only $10.99—nightmares included! There’s a lot out there and kids take notice. But sometimes an easy solution (click, buy, ship) isn’t what a problem calls for.
What sets children apart from adults is their boundless imagination. And that’s something worth nurturing. So, every time you bring wonderment to your kids by taking the road less traveled, give yourself praise. It’s easy to buy a Halloween costume but arguably more fun to make one together.
There’s an unspoken rule that siblings are supposed to lock horns … to the point where silence immediately sends up red flags. If the rivalry under your roof could match the greatest in history—Gates & Jobs, Coke & Pepsi, Tom & Jerry—you’re not alone.
We’re fighting fire with fire: “Cut it out!” … “Knock it off!” … “That’s the only brother you have!” And it’s exhausting to remind two or more people that they love each other. So, when you catch your kids sharing a purely organic moment of affection, that’s the biggest win of all.