Life is challenging. Here are real life hacks I use in order to keep my sanity as a mom of four. You can read this list two ways. One, read just the headings. These are real things that I do to keep our house under control. Or, two, read the descriptions. These explanations may have come from the edge of sanity.
Keep plastic bags and towels in the car.
I have a towel for each kid in our van. These are used as blankets or for catching vomit. They are awesome. The Ziploc bags are for emergency pee, stinky diapers, wet clothes and a thousand other things. They need to go potty the minute you get in the car. No more delays, just hand them a Ziploc bag (sandwich size for boys and gallon size for girls). Be sure to buy the good brand. This is not the time to bargain shop or your van will smell like a litter box.
Only the basics on the bed.
A fitted sheet, blanket and a pillow. Get rid of all that other stuff. That’s all they need. Think of it like prison. You aren’t running a bed and breakfast for those little moochers. They can earn a stuffed animal for good behavior.
Each kid gets one cup to use all day.
They don’t need a new cup for every sip of water. In fact, just use paper plates and cups. Mother Earth will forgive you. She’s a mother after all. You can make it up to her by raising the person who will solve global warming and clean up our oceans.
Each kid has their own laundry basket.
When the dirty basket gets full, wash and return all the clothes to their drawer by dumping them in. Never ever fold or iron. Seriously. If you have kids clothes that need to be ironed, throw them away. In fact, let them wear just a diaper or underwear. It will save you all the trouble of washing. Consider moving to a nudist colony for the least amount of stress.
No toys in the bedroom.
This keeps the floor clear so that if there is a fire, your children can escape. Alternatively, put all the toys in their room. Then never enter their room. Pretend it does not exist. Out of sight, out of mind. Teach them how to climb out a window in case the piles of toys spontaneously combust. Hide their door with a bookcase when friends stop by.
Get a dog.
A dog will eat all the crumbs off the floor so you don’t get roaches. Make sure they are also good at catching flies in midair (also known as sky raisins). See! Cleaning can be easy. Also, when they run away from the torture inflicted by your brood, it will force you to get out of the house and feel the sunshine on your face.
Always take the easy way out.
Don’t make it harder on yourself. Buy cupcakes rather than making a cake. Buy a gift card for the teacher rather than spending hours on a homemade gift. No one will notice that you didn’t work your fingers to the bone. Only do the things that make you happy and fulfilled. Like drinking four cups of coffee in silence while the kids watch TV. Man I love that thing. It’s the best baby sitter ever.
Let the kids make their own simple meals.
In fact, stop feeding them. Let them scavenge from the pantry and the bottom two drawers in the refrigerator. It will teach them survival skills, and prepare them for the coming zombie apocalypse.
Always have a presentable bathroom for guests.
Clean the bathroom and then lock the door. Only use your second bathroom or use the nearest public restroom. Your guests will be amazed and will wonder how you do it.
When you feel like screaming, sing instead.
I have an entire operetta composed. It begins with the aria, “Don’t touch your Penis.” The libretto includes ” Get your thumb out of your Mouth!” and “Don’t Jump on the Couch!” There’s the wildly popular duet “Poop nuggets” and the famous choral number, “why isn’t this room clean!” And my final cadenza, “oh Lord, how did we get here?!?”
Laugh all the time. Laugh at them. Laugh with them. Laugh at yourself. Laugh when you feel like crying. Hug those babies and thank the good lord he gave them to you.
It’s a beautiful life in all of the chaos. It’s worth all the trouble. But don’t take my word for it, try my tips in bold. Your life will be easier in no time.
*No children were harmed in the creation of this blog. They are clothed, fed and loved desperately.*