Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mommy of 3, Genius in Parenting

Ok, 9 years and 3 children. I am pretty much a world renowned authority on child rearing. You don't need to pay for silly books or listen to childless 'experts'... you have me. Here are a few tips that I have gleaned from my experience thus far...

Seriously, I had babies with and without drugs, if you can get 'em- do it! Don't be a hero... drugs rock! Your husband, the doctor, nurses and your family waiting patiently in the waiting room listening to you spew forth profanity they have never heard before, will thank you.

You can never have enough thermometers, Tylenol, Band-Aids, pacifiers, diapers, granola bars, matching mittens or clean underwear.

No matter how many children you have and what sex, just buy all white socks of the same style. It will save you years of sorting socks!

You have to live with good enough. Even if you are perfectionist, after children, your house will never be perfectly clean, your schedule will never be followed perfectly and your children will never be perfect in any manner.

Children will never, ever have the capacity to shut a light switch off when they leave a room... but they will gladly call attention to it if you forget to.

You will not have a pleasant experience at an eat-in restaurant for at least 10 years. Come on, why do you have to be those parents who bring in the wailing 3 year old and stay just because it is a family restaurant and everyone has some nerve looking at you in that condescending manner?

Before you have children, you think snack time is 10 minutes somewhere around 10am... little did you know that it is really from about 8am-12pm and will be on ongoing bane of your existence if you stay at home with your children. They will never eat enough breakfast, lunch or dinner, but will always be hungry enough for a snack. Just invest in locks for the pantry, fridge and cupboards now and save yourself

Keep a backup diaper in your trunk, glove box, purse, pantry, fish tank... you will run out some day, somewhere and it will suck. (Baby wipes as well.)

No matter how many times you have the kids go potty before you leave the house, they will need to stop somewhere along the trip. And if you live in more rural areas with 38 miles in between stores/McDonalds/rest stops, you should add a roll of toilet paper to that backup diaper stash.

Really, $50 sneakers? Super cute for the 2 weeks they last on kid #1... but by kid #3- hand-me-downs and Goodwill works wonderful if you don't want to work 3 jobs to clothe your family.

Plan on replacing lots of remotes, cell phones, Wii controllers, DVD players... from baby drool, loss (possibly to be flushed down the toilet), breakage and general misuse.

Come on, any gifts before the age of 5 are an absolute waste! Buy a couple of trinkets and then save the money for college (or to pay for the sitter to actually get out of the house once in awhile.)

If everyone waited for the perfect time to have a baby (financially secure, stable job, done with schooling, traveled the world, perfect home... etc, etc.) the world population would come to a screeching halt.

For the sanity of all adults involved, never introduce your child to a CD with any number over '15' in the title (i.e. 50 Funtastic Tunes for Toddlers, and the like) Unless you want to hear an incessant version of Fingers and Toes 8,678 times over the course of 2 years, stick to stuff you love... say the Beatles, Grateful Dead, Jackyl... whatever.

You can NOT eliminate electronic devices from your child's life. Turn off cable, they'll go online. Take away the laptop they'll play with the DS. Take away the DS, they'll play on the IPod. Limit use of the Ipod they'll talk on the cell phone. Take away the cell phone and they'll go to a friends house.

Any attempts you have to discipline/ feed healthy food/ keep your children clean... will end at the Grandparents front door. As I was informed by Grampy, "Our house, our rules." Which means, up to and including, Oreos for lunch, bedtime at 11pm, R rated movies at age 5... and whatever else comes along with the pleasure of getting away without your children for an extended amount of time.

If your job has late meetings on Wednesday afternoons and you sign your child up for soccer, practice will absolutely fall on Wednesdays at 3:30.

At some point (Mom) you will look in a mirror and think, "Holy shit. When was the last time I plucked my eyebrows/ shaved my legs/ colored my hair/ bleached my facial hair... or something of that nature. Hopefully your husband/ significant other loves you unconditionally while you come back to reality and get yourself back in order.

If you start acting as a short order cook, they will expect that you are a short order cook. Make one meal for everyone and that is that. A child will not starve to death, no matter how much they allude to that fact. We had to eat what we were served as children and I am quite sure we all made it through just fine.

Honestly, this could go on forever... do you have any sage advice to add?


  1. Oh girl----you are SO wise! Everything that you say is right on the money!! I have done all of those things and more----after raising 4 kids and am on my 5th....

  2. My sage as long as you can before having children. When that time comes, have them, love them, pass on your legacy, then get them out of the house as soon as possible!!! Don't ever let them move back home after high school.

    Shawn, sweety. Birth Control is free now.

  3. I like anonymous' advice. snark, snark, snark I love, love, love.

    Poor Shawn. I can't even remember to feed my cat and I only have one kid running around. I don't know how people do it.

    I realized this morning that I had 8 moustaches. That doesn't include the ones below my neck!

  4. My advice: don't preach about how you will parent your kids better: only organic food, no sugar, no tv, no formula, etc. You will only look like a fool later when your kid is sucking down a bottle of formula in front of the tv while you make Spaghetti-Os for dinner. (This happened to me.)