Survival Tips for Motherhood

Photo May 22, 12 09 20 PMThe following tips are for any moms in any walk of motherhood. Newbies, toddlers, tweens and all the in between… I’ve got you covered. However you should know… this is just if you want to survive. Like for real tho – surviving is all you’ll be doing here. These tips are for the days where you just can’t anymore. Survival is all that is gonna come out of this day. There will be days like this… a lot of them. And when they come, just embrace it and be proud that everyone survived the day. They may be gross and your kitchen is a wreck but there is a glass of wine waiting for after bedtime and that’s all yours, girl. Congrats on survival.

  1. Mac and Cheese… you’ll need a lot of that.
  2. Parks – I know it sounds like a lot but once you’re there they’ll most likely leave you alone long enough for you to sit and scroll on your phone in silence and if you’re lucky they’ll tire out and go to bed early!
  3. Either a garage you can go into and scream where no one will hear you, or a good pillow will do. We don’t want to scar the children but sometimes we need to let out a lil scream or two.
  4. Diaper Genie. This is God’s gift to new moms. Get that. Make the man take it out tho cuz ew.
  5. Wine. I mean duh. Hopefully you’re already on your second glass by the time you get to this one.
  6. Wipies – these are universal cleaning wonders. Poop? Wipies. Peanut butter? Wipies. Dropped the paci? Wipies. Last night’s makeup still on? W I P I E S.
  7. Netflix. This is an $8/month babysitter. INVEST INTO THIS.
  8. Laundry baskets – I’m assuming you already have at least one for the dirty clothes but think ahead… where you gonna put the clean clothes, girl? Get another basket for those to sit in until you can get your shit together long enough to fold it and (dare I say…) put it away in the dressers that you spent money on. 
  9. Delivery. Thank god for those little zit-faced hormonal teenagers whose only job is to bring pizza to your door. Not all heroes wear capes, right? Tip them well, momma. They’ve got moms out there wondering where college funds are coming from, too.
  10. Paper plates – we don’t use them enough as a society. As moms, we should only function on disposable items for everything. They’re going to ruin it anyway? Might as well feel okay with just throwing it in the trash. Also – less cleaning. We can recycle and take care of the planet in all sorts of ways. This isn’t one of them, yet. Mother Earth gets it…

 

It’s a mess out there, momma. I hope this helps. If I need to add anything, feel free to add it in the comments. It takes a village! 

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Dear Netflix

First off… on behalf of mothers everywhere – thank you for giving us at least one episode’s worth of extra sleep. We sincerely appreciate your ability to retain the toddler’s attention on our phones while we get just a sweet 21 more minutes before the day really begins.

But… we need to talk.

I think you’ve heard us by now… and you have ignored it for long enough. Stop judging us, Netflix. Stop asking if we’re still watching after 3 episodes automatically play. The kid freaks out when that screen pops up and we have to stop the cleaning/folding/sanity composing/coffee reheating/wine guzzling to push “continue watching”. Also… of course I’m still binge watching my garbage TV show with cuss words after bedtime. I’m only on my third glass of wine. I’m not a quitter!

Besides all of this, Netflix, why on earth do you have random nonkid’s shows on my kid’s profile? Seriously. My daughters share a “kids” profile. At first I selected the option “little kids only” and that caused literal riots in my home as that option does not contain Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell, Netflix… my six year old daughter needs Tinkerbell. Come on. So I upgraded her account to “for older kids and below” and wow, Netflix. Chill. Once Upon a Time is hardly kid appropriate. As is Hater’s Back Off and Star Trek Voyager just to name a few that are way above her level. What gives? I’ve gone to the website and tried to figure out how to change this but to no avail. The only “Parental Controls” you have is for me to add a pin for their profile… my two year old also needs to be able to work Netflix on her own, guys. I mean that’s literally why I own you. For the two-year-old. We all know toddlers run this place, anyway.

With all of these frustrations, it’s important for you to know that no matter what happens, I’ll always have and appreciate you. You could literally jump your prices through the roof and I’ll still be loyal. Like I said, the toddler runs this place and she needs her Netflix… sooooo it looks like we’re in this together. Just hoping you could get more on my mommy level and stop catering to the millennials who really are just using you to Netflix and Chill… I promise you, more moms are using you than you will ever know.

I’ll leave you to fix this. I trust you will. But I mean either way you’re still getting my money so this isn’t a threat or anything… just a tired mom.

Love always,

the world’s okayest mom.

Woman! What are you doing???

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Are you doing anything for yourself? Besides sitting on the couch scrolling thru this with your thumb on your phone while holding coffee in the other hand with the sound of fighting children or a mind numbing kid’s show on the TV in the background….

Are you actively pouring time into your goals and dreams?

Do you know what your goals and dreams are? Or have you not had enough sleep to dream?

Who were you before you had kids? Were you a daughter? A student? A wife? … those things are all given to you by other people. You didn’t chose to be the daughter to your parents, you ended up with them. Sometimes that’s super shitty. And we have to grow up way too early and then we realize when we’re parenting our own little ones that we in fact were never really parented ourselves. That is a hard day. Or a student, a good one or a bad one… but you went to school for something, right? Are you doing what you had in mind while you were this young wide-eyed twenty-something with ambition? Did you marry your dream partner or are you stuck with a complete stranger? Are you taking to time to love your partner and date your partner, not just live with them like the two of you are roommates?

Who are you, really? Was your end all, be all to be a mother? Is being someone’s mother your goal? Girl… that’s a lot of pressure to put on a tiny human. How can they possibly be the entire source of your joy and completion when they don’t even know how to tie their shoes yet? Honestly, I fear that making motherhood your ultimate goal is more dangerous than living without goals. Kids grow up. They get married, they move, they have their own kids… they leave. Then what? Is your entire purpose in life gone? This is why most Empty Nester’s end up divorcing. They spent their entire adult lives focused on this one thing that leaves. When it leaves – they don’t know who they are. They don’t know who they married. It’s lonely, it’s sad… and frankly I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

So where are you, girl? What do you want? When was the last time you sat down and asked yourself what it is that you want out of your life? What are some goals?

Write a book?

Run a marathon?

Get a job outside of the home?

Go back to school?

Whatever it is – it’s going to take work. Work, time, and a commitment to yourself to just do it. It’s going to take daily work – even if it’s just five minutes to set your intentions and break old habits. It’s going to be exhausting. It might be the hardest thing you have ever done… but oh the feeling you will have once it is complete. Girl I promise you. If you take this time for yourself – think of the lessons you will be teaching your children. Do you want you children to grow up knowing their mom never reached her full potential and believe that it’s just not that big of a deal to take care of themselves or have any goals of their own? I have two girls. I want them to be taught how to set intentions, goals, create healthy habits, S O A R … who better to teach them than me? Can I be the one to give my daughters the fuel they need to become whatever it is they want to be? I tell them to chase their dreams constantly. Am I no different? How hypocritical is that?

When was the last time you got a pedicure? One hour. I’m saying one hour a week can you vanish? It can even be during nap time so that whoever is with the kid has it easy. And girl… your husband is NOT their babysitter. He does not babysit his children. You aren’t a babysitter. He isn’t a babysitter. The only thing you have to ask him is if he will be home… you are a grown ass woman. Tell your partner that you are leaving the house for one hour. Remind him where the diapers are and then G.O. Just go. If you are married to a man child who you do not trust to watch your children… then you need a whole different blog post. He is just as much of their parent as  you are and he has his part just as much as you do. He is not your babysitter.

If we are at our lowest of lows, lonely, depressed, missing what we love, lost our identity… how can we be parent our children the way they deserve? When they are old enough, they will thank you for following your dreams.

We are women. Who aren’t we? Who aren’t we to run after our dreams? Who aren’t we to have opinions that matter? It’s 2018… what do you want?? Tell us! Tell us what you want. Write it down! Put a timeline on it! GET IT. Get what you want and what you deserve, my love. You are a fierce woman who brought precious life into this world …. what can you not do?? Nothing! There is nothing you can’t do. Stop limiting yourself. Tell your family! Tell them what your plan is. Don’t ask. Tell them. This is not up for discussion. You have given up so much for the other people in your life to follow their dreams… they can do the same for you.

Get out there, girl. What are waiting for? It‘s never going to get easier. Now is the easiest moment. Now is the time to make the decision and LEAP.

Now.

Today.

Get it, girl.

How To Be Happy (Really)

There is a common misconception in the world, that if a person is sad, they have no happiness, and vice versa. If a person is happy, then they are never sad. I think for moms this misconception is even more prevalent than for most others. If a mom is struggling, having a bad day, or even if her house has one iota of dust lying around, she must be unhappy. She isn’t doing her job, she may even be -dare we utter the word- *depressed*…. Or if a mom has everything in order, her kids perfectly match, her own clothes are immaculate, and her hair and makeup are done beautifully, she is obviously the picture of what it means to be happy. The truth is most of us have our good days and our bad. Some days we are happy, and some days we are sad. Sometimes we have depression, or anxiety, or are just so exhausted we can’t even identify what we are feeling. Sometimes that exhaustion is how we know that everything we go through, everything we do, is worth it.

Moms have so much going on. Other people, even other moms, may not understand what you, specifically, are going through. You have hormones, and lord knows every kid is different, not to mention differences in circumstances, and husbands, and personalities, and even the way you yourself were parented. I need you to know that you are not alone. There are other moms out there, who although they may not be going through exactly the same thing as you, they do understand. Somewhere out there, someone understands. And really, chances are, somewhere out there, someone really has been there too.

Now being happy, and I mean really, truly happy, is a hard thing. It is difficult to even know exactly what “happy” is, or what it feels like. Personally, I think happiness is different for everyone. There are so many versions of happiness. You have to figure out which one is your real, true happiness, and then figure out how to keep making it happen. Is your happiness a euphoric feeling, is it pure joy, or maybe bliss? Is it the feeling you get when you look at a beautiful sunset, or when you drink a glass of your favorite wine? Or maybe it is that feeling of holding your baby for the very first time?

Whatever it is, find it, remember it, and hold on. For me happiness is a little of all of those things. It’s nostalgia, and remembering how things used to be. It’s letting the sadness in just enough. It is also remembering to put away my selfishness (because I am a very selfish person, who likes things my way), and remember how good it feels to just be nice to other people. It is looking in my husband’s eyes and knowing how much he loves me, or spending the day wrapped in the embraces of my kids. It’s even letting go of my frustration, and letting my kids get away with something that would normally make me mad, just because (like them playing soccer with our Christmas ornaments, don’t worry, they are plastic).

I have to give a little nod to the Disney Pixar movie Inside Out. They really hit the nail on the head with that one. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly encourage you to make it a family night. It is well worth it. The thing is, all of our emotions are important, and the only way to be really, truly happy, is to find the balance. Let your anger out and feel the sad with the happy. One of my favorite, and completely hormonally controlled, feelings, is when I nurse my son. I don’t feel a rush of euphoria, like some people. I also don’t experience a deep sadness like some others. I am filled with an overwhelming love for my son and that makes me laugh and cry all at the same time. Yes, my husband looks at me like I’m crazy… however, it is one of the happiest times of my day. I get the same feeling every time one of my older boys tells me “I love you mom”, or when my husband looks at me and tells me even after giving birth 3 times, and even weighing drastically more than when we got married, he still thinks I’m beautiful.

I guess what I am trying to say, is that to be happy, and again I mean really, truly happy, you have to take it all. Find your balance. Figure out the calm inside the storm. To paraphrase one Charles Xavier in X-Men First Class, true focus lies between rage and serenity (yes, I’m a nerd, I know). I believe true happiness lies somewhere in there also. It is a fine balance, but without the sadness and the anger and the gloppity gloop of hormones and other emotions, true happiness wouldn’t be attainable. You may suffer from depression, or anger, or anxiety, or maybe even something like chronic joy. Just remember that real, true happiness is out there, and it may look a little different than you expected.

-Written for you by Okay Mom Brittany Rice

We all kinda suck

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My bad.

I am totally the worst.

 

A hypocrite to the MAX.

I spend my entire time worrying about how moms are being judged or shamed – trying to give okay moms a voice. Trying my hardest to tell moms from every walk of life that it’s okay to be okay – to ignore the perfect instagram mommies because there’s a lot we don’t see behind their perfectly filtered pictures.

 

But at the end of the day – I took that voice away from the okay moms and used it for harm.

I digress.

My eyes were opened to my hypocrisy because of a peanut butter sandwich.

Not just any peanut butter sandwich… but a peanut butter sandwich made from a professional. It was for a peanut butter ad and it was targeting moms who pack their kid’s school lunches. The ad showed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with perfect tiny star shapes cut out of the top of the bread so you can see the perfectly smeared thin layer of (I’m sure) organic jelly and the thick layer of the protein packed peanut butter. No mess. Crust not even cut off – because of course this kid eats crusts. Perfect little lunch packed for a perfect little kid by a perfect mom. Every time this ad popped up on my Facebook feed, I wanted to throw my middle finger up. OVER IT. STAHP. No one is that perfect. No one takes the time to do this. And if they do take the time to do this – it is for a filtered instagram pic and not for their kid. Right??

 

Well I wasn’t the only one who felt that way.

 

For nearly a year I have ran a mommy support group on Facebook called the World’s Okayest Moms and it’s pretty freakin perfect. We’re coming up on almost 2,000 members and it is a well oiled machine – so far there has been very little drama (WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE HELLO) and a huge support from all over the world… literally the world. It’s amazing and encouraging and I couldn’t be more proud of it.

A few weeks back, one of the world’s okayest moms took a screenshot of said peanut butter ad and posted it in the group with a caption along the lines of – who actually does this. The comments were hilarious. A bunch of woman, including myself, got on the thread and bashed the ad for being so fucking perfect and not messy. It was exactly what I thought would happen. Until a mom commented something I hadn’t thought of :

 

I won’t quote her directly but basically she was hurt. She said that her child had the hardest time eating and would go through bouts of refusing food for days on end (who doesn’t have that every once in a while). So in a desperate attempt to get her child to eat some protein, she made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Perfectly, no mess, cute shaped cut out of the center of the bread, and it was beautiful. The kid ate the sandwich and she finally found something that worked. It became a ritual for her to make these special sandwiches for her kid who she was worried wasn’t getting enough nutrients. She said that the comments on the post hurt her directly and she was debating leaving the group over it – she thought this group was a place without judgement and here she was, feeling completely judged. She was hurt. We hurt her. Suddenly a memory hit me that four years ago I had an extremely stubborn two year old refuse to eat for days on end with the exception of cheerios. So I did this! I used cookie cutters and cut her sandwiches into shapes for months. It was the only thing she ate and I was relived she was getting some protein so it didn’t matter to me that I had to go the extra mile for my typical two-year-old.

 

I wrote her back an apology and validated her hurt. I thanked her for not leaving the group but I think my apology was too late. I never got a reply back.

I felt terrible.

I had set out to create this environment for mommies who felt like they didn’t belong and here I am shaming mommies.

Is it possible that we are so worried about not judging and shaming okay moms that we end up shaming and judging the instagram moms?

We hate their perfect yoga pants and their skinny bodies and their avocado toast. But aren’t they doing what they need? They need the marathons, they need the cookie cutter sandwiches, they need their protein shakes in the morning. Some of them even need the likes. They need to post their filtered devotional and coffee pic in the morning so that they feel validated and noticed. It’s their way to feel creative and appreciated. Who doesn’t want that?

 

I am a creative but not with my instagram pics… I am not a photographer and I don’t spend 15 minutes working on the perfect placement of my latte on the cafe table for the perfect picture. But these women who do are only expressing their creativity in a different way than I would.

Point is – we don’t know. There is no way we could ever possibly know their life. We don’t know why they feel the need to post Breast is Best or Fed is Best posts. We don’t know why their house is pristine and their coffee always hot. We don’t know why their kids wear name brands and eat their perfect organic sandwiches every day. Just like they don’t know us.

Isn’t it time we push through that divide? Can’t a mom just be a mom? At the end of the day – we all have the same end goal…

 

don’t raise an asshole.

Right??

Let’s chill out, mommas. It’s okay to be okay and it’s also okay to be sub par and it’s also okay to be spectacular. You do you. That’s the best we can do, right? We all kinda suck – there’s some common ground!

 

Mommas – we need each other

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Every once in a while there comes a morning where you just don’t know how you’re going to move. Your eyes are already bloodshot from the lack of sleep due to a colic baby or kicking spider ninja kids who have to sleep with you after a bad dream. You literally have to drink a pot of coffee in order to make the pot of coffee brew a pot of coffee. There is spit up on your shirt that you’ve been wearing for two days and there is no future shower in sight. You decide to commit to lazy parenting and give them the pop tart instead of cooking scrambled eggs and oatmeal. You shuffle your way to the couch and stare at the TV which is playing the 24587023rd episode of whatever annoying kid show has been on repeat for hours. Stupid Netflix keeps asking if we’re still watching. YES. DON’T STOP. HE WILL LOSE IT.

On these mornings we forget who we used to be before we had kids. I used to wake up to the sound of the first alarm without snoozing, took my daily shower, brushed and dried my hair, had painted nails, put makeup on, put on pants with a button!!!! How did I get here? What did I think would happen? I’ll tell you. 

I thought I was going to have all of this parenting thing figured out before I became a parent. You cannot prepare yourself for parenting enough. Like, just chill out. You won’t have it figured out for years. Just be okay with flying by the seat of your yoga pants. That’s all you can hope for on so many days. If homeschooling your kids is driving you insane and your kids are starting to hate learning – take them to school! If your kids won’t go to sleep on time at night and become total sleep deprived assholes when they wake up, then give them some melatonin on those crazy nights so they can actually go the fuck to sleep and you can sit on the couch with your glass of wine and watch raunchy TV in the silence. If you are sitting in your pj’s at noon and are about to lose your shit, put the kid in a crib or in front of a TV and go take a shower…. shave your legs! AH! I KNOW!

But you know what is the most helpful? Having an adult you can bitch to. More than just a play date, moms. Because I don’t know about you but play dates can be just as stressful as sitting in front of Cailou for the millionth episode. I’m talking about making a girls’ night happen. Even if it’s after the kids have gone to bed and she brings her sleepy kids to pass out on a pallet on the floor and as soon as everyone is passed out, bust out the tequila and Sex and the City binge! 

Adult time is crucial. And other women who don’t have kids are fun and all but you’ve gotta find your best mom friend. She really gets you. She hasn’t showered in days, either. Don’t only ever talk to your friend who can afford Starbucks every day and will actually go inside the Starbucks instead of the drive-thru because she isn’t toting a million children and her hair is brushed enough to appear in public. You can talk to her every once in a while and sometimes it can be a nice break to not talk about being a mom and hang out with single girlfriends. But I’m telling you – get with another hot mess mom. You need one. We all need one. We need to find a judgment-free zone where we can say to each other “You do that, too?” or “ohmygod I have no idea when the last time I bought a bottle of wine instead of a massive cheap box”.

Your husband will survive watching the kids one night a week. Make it a priority. Put a standing appointment in his calendar. Demand it. Because momma, if you don’t take care of yourself, your whole house will fall apart. Trust me. I know. I’ve seen it so many times. Look your husband in his eyes and tell him that if he needs weekly sex then you need a weekly break. Meet your hot mess mom friend at a Barnes and Noble to sit in a comfy chair for free. This does not have to cost millions. But for what it’s worth, ladies – you cannot put a price on peace and sanity. If spending some extra money on yourself for a night out once a week will save you from becoming a murderer —- then DO IT. JUST DO IT. Women have literally killed themselves, mommas. Suicide. Over silenced depression. Spend $5 at Starbucks and don’t sit in your depression. If you’re a single mom, budget for a sitter or get a relative on board for free sitting. One of my mom friends and I babysit for free for each other all the time! We barter! It works. Get out there and do it. It really is that simple. 

We need each other. Find a hot mess mom. Like now.

Bye.

10 ways I was just an okay mom today.

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  1. I taught my five year old nothing today. I let the letter app on my iPad do that.
  2. I gave my two year old my phone to watch Netflix so I can type this.
  3. My kids asked me for something right before nap time and I told them I would get it with the full intention on not getting it, banking on the fact that they will forget they ever asked.
  4. One of them dropped some food on the floor… ate it… and all I did was say a lil prayer to the immune system gods.
  5. One of them keeps saying the word fish, but it sounds like they are saying “bitch” so I keep pointing as fishes and asking them what they are. Good times.
  6. My five year old knows full well what Snapchat is and constantly asks if she can get on it and send her dad some snaps.
  7. Snack time was cheetos. Straight from the bag. Not even organic.
  8. I microwaved their meal so I allowed the radiation to penetrate their food.
  9. I tried to say “shit” under my breath but it didn’t work out too well and I know they all heard it.
  10. I did not take them to to park today because it is too damn hot and I am too damn lazy.

 

Good parenting advice, right?

Feel free to pin.