Thanks to MinuteforMom.com for picking up this article! I wanted to share it here as well.
People tell you how becoming a parent will change your life. They tell you about the abundant love and the extreme exhaustion. They’ll tell you how they did it, or how they think you should do it. What they don’t tell you is how to survive YOUR child. No one can. Each is different from the next. So, I’m not about to give you all the answers, but I am happy to give you 5 life hacks and survival strategies that helped me, in the hopes they may help you.
1. Drink Caffeine. Not a big coffee drinker? Well say hello to your new best friend. The pick me up will help you wake up in the morning and pull you through the sluggish afternoon. Need to pick up toys? Tackle that pile of laundry? Coffee won’t do it for you, but it will help you do it.
2. Bathroom Breaks. Sometimes you just need 5 minutes. Now, this only works well when someone is around to make sure your kids don’t poke their eyes out, but when you can sneak away and actually close the door while you use the bathroom, lock it. Lock it and savor the solitude. Sit on the toilet and take some time to breathe. As long as the person watching the kids thinks you’re in the middle of a #2, depending on their level of competency, you’re probably safe to take a few extra minutes and meditate. Serious sanity saver.
3. TV as a tool. Now, I’m not suggesting you leave the TV on all day. Every child needs play. Whether at the park, in the yard, indoors with toys or pots and pans. TV can be a distraction from play and life lessons and too much of it just isn’t healthy. With that said, TV can be a great tool! Need 15 minutes to do the dishes without a toddler pulling at your leg crying from being splashed by the steaming hot water? TV. Need 30 minutes to run through the house to pick up all the junk that’s been tossed everywhere before you have company over? TV. Need 50 minutes to get yourself ready to leave the house? Sounds like a great Sesame Street opportunity to me! Get videos or DVR shows you want your kids to watch and make sure they are watching quality programming for limited amounts of time, while you use your time wisely. Even if that means running a Super Why while you relax on the couch to save your sanity. Because, sometimes, that’s just necessary.
4. Cry It Out (CIO). Sometimes your kid just cries that tired cry. You know the one. Not hungry or in pain, but a dead tired cry. Perfect time to try it out. You have a list of to dos and nothing is getting done if your kid is holding your body hostage with a lap nap. Put the baby in their crib and close the door. The crying will get worse before it gets better. So before running for the baby monitor, go do a chore, the louder the better, like dishes or vacuuming. Wait 15 minutes before getting the monitor and 20 minutes before going back to collect your crying child. If it’s the middle of the night, it’s even harder. I remember thinking how horrible the first 10 minutes were (for me) and how I didn’t think I could survive the remaining 10 minutes, only to find by minute 18, the crying completely stopped and everyone enjoyed the rest of the night, sleeping comfortably in their own beds. 20 minutes of crying never killed a kid and it won’t kill you. At the very worst, your kid cried for 20 minutes while you got a chore done.
5. Stop judging and stop caring about others who do. Guess what? You’re always doing something “wrong”. Everyone has strong opinions on sleeping, feeding, diapers, manners and screen time on BOTH sides, so you’ll never impress every mom out there. I’ve always said that each parent gets to screw up their own kid in their own special way. All mommellahs are different, each child is different and you may say, “I would never…”, but you don’t live in that person’s home and you are not raising that child. So stop judging others and stop caring about what those mommies are saying behind your back. The ones who are talking, will talk about you no matter what you do or say. So do what’s right for you and your family to increase maximum happiness for everyone in your household.
May the Schwartz be with you