Fellow Mamas, listen up. We all know that balancing work and parenting is a great way to feel inadequate in every aspect of your life. Isn’t it fun to rush through every moment of your day, hoping your boss forgets about deadlines and your toddler magically toilet trains themselves?
To help you out, I’ve collected some actual real-life tips (or “hacks”, as the young’uns call them).
- THE NIGHT BEFORE
You have few precious hours without kids running underfoot, and while you’ll be tempted to lie on the couch in a state of semi-consciousness, chocolate in hand and bra undone, spend a few minutes preparing for the day ahead.
– Pack the kids bags, or something
– Put a fresh bottle of wine in the fridge. And a couple of beers, just in case.
– Brush your teeth twice – its unlikely you’ll have a chance to in the morning.
– Layout clothes for the next day. Whatever you choose for you toddler to wear, will be the opposite of what they want to wear.
I’ve heard some people also use this time to “catch up on housework”, but I don’t know. Seems like a lot of work.
- MORNING ROUTINE
This is VERY important, so obviously, you’ll never stick to it.
– Set your alarm to wake up about half an hour before your children wake. You can have a quiet shower, do some yoga and give yourself a solid foundation for the challenging day ahead.
– When the alarm goes off, you’ll tell it to fuck right off and fall back asleep, until woken by a crying child.
– Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! You’re running late now. You shower in under 90 seconds with one foot precariously keeping the shower door closed as your crying toddler attempts to enter.
– Put on your underwear, but DO NOT GET DRESSED until the moment you leave home. Kids are messy, gross little creatures, and because you love them so much you’re vulnerable to sloppy breakfast kisses, toothpaste cuddles and something that someone found in their belly button. Ideally, you’ll want to buckle them into their car seats while still in your underwear, but your neighbours may object. WHY DONT YOU LANDSCAPE YOUR YARD, NO. 22?!
– You’ll likely haphazardly be applying make up at the traffic lights while you drive to day care. Good on you! But avoid applying mascara until you’re at work. That way, when you inevitably cry after dropping the kids off, you don’t need to worry about wiping away black streaks from across your face.
Regardless of your frightening to-do list, or the looming deadlines, or the panic that sets in every time you look at your inbox, you have to leave work earlier than you’d like to pick up your beautiful children. After reunion cuddles, the childcare educators will tell you how lovely your kids are, that they are calm, play happily, eat everything presented to them, and even manage to squeeze in some crafts.
The moment you’re all in the car though, SHIT WILL GET REAL.
– To try minimise the sound of satan’s roar emanating from the backseat, make sure you have some snacks on hand. As above, the snacks you have will be the opposite of the snacks they want.
– Discreetly insert some headphones and play your happy music of choice. Compared to the screaming echoing hellhole you’re in, heavy metal will seem like a lullaby.
– Once home, feed them dinner as quickly as possible. TV is an excellent way of doing this – let the dulcet toot toot of Thomas and his Friends seduce your little ones into sitting still and mindlessly scoffing their dinner. Yes, you know this is the opposite of optimum parenting and you can feel guilty about it later.
– In a pickle, breakfast = dinner.
– If they smell, give them a bath, or at least a quick rinse under the sink.
Hey gorgeous! You’re almost there, okay? You got this. Take a deep breath
– At this point, you will do whatever it takes to these kiddos into bed and fast asleep. They will be over tired, over stimulated and will develop a sudden and urgent interest in reading every book in their collection.
– I recommend a big cuddly tickle off, with extra kisses and tummy raspberries. You’ve all had a tough day, make sure they know you love them and need them desperately.
– Then the yelling will start. Them, you, them. Threats, bribes. Crying (them). Crying (you). Eventually sleep will come, and you’ll stagger out, shattered.
– I mean, you could eat something healthy and restorative, but cottage cheese and Cruskits work too.
– Cry, again, regretting the yelling and the threats.
– Remember the bottle of wine in the fridge! Drink 1/4 glass, fall asleep on the couch.