If I had a bag of Burger Rings for every time someone exclaimed: “I have no idea how you cope with three children?” I’d be living in a home entirely made of Burger Rings.
Sometimes, people even look at me hoping for some pearls of wisdom, but I am too tired and harassed to help anyone else. I’m just glad to get through each day without running naked through the streets screaming: “NOOOOOOO, I can’t give you something to eat”. The truth is, no matter how many kids you have, there are times you want to lock yourself in the toilet with a block of chocolate and cask of cheap red wine and NOT COME OUT UNTIL THEY ARE BOTH FINISHED.
So, here are some tricks I’ve learned along the way to help survive parenting. Some tips for novice parents:
– When you need some “quiet time” just pretend to blow dry your hair. It drowns out the whinging.
– Kid’s music is for kindy and playgroup, not your car. Don’t start doing it or you will be driving around listening to The Wheels on the Bus on high rotation FOREVER. Don’t be your own worst enemy.
– Always have a secret stash of chips and chocolate. And by secret, I mean – DO NOT let your partner know where it is or chances are it will be gone when you need it most.
– Glitter is strictly for emergencies. So too is painting, play doh and gluing.
– Invest in a pair of large rimmed, dark-lensed sunglasses. Once your children learn to speak they will ask you to watch them “do things” ALL the time. With sunglasses on, it makes it easier to – and let’s put this is a caring, positive parenting way – LIE. They will help you lie.
– And while we are on the topic of lying, you will find it difficult to navigate this parenting caper without it. To be honest, I find it hard enough to get through half an hour without lying. And I’m not lying. For example:
Kids: “We want to go to the playground.”
You: “Not today my loves, the playground’s closed.”
Kids: “Can we have an ice cream?”
You: “No, I don’t have my wallet on me.”
Kids: screaming in public
You: “Does anyone know whose kids they are?”
Kids: “Are you eating chocolate?”
You (covering your mouth with your hand): “Who me? No, I’m eating vitamins and broccoli.”
Kids: “Why is the door shut?”
You: “Mummy and Daddy are just getting some jobs done”.
See how lying comes in handy.
– You will not burn in hell if you ditch the “routine”. Sometimes the whole “bath, book, bed” palaver is just that. Some dick-head created it to make us parents feel inadequate. It is also ok to let your kids wear their pajamas all day and then put them to bed the following night in the same pajamas. They will survive. You will feel guilt, because parents always feel guilt, but they won’t care.
– And yes, guilt. Get used to it.
– Go lock shopping – for the inside of your toilet door for unexplained sobbing, for the pantry door for necessary secret chocolate eating and for your bedroom for those moments you just want to have sex with your partner like the “good old days” or get some “jobs” done.
– And for those days when all you want to do is jump in a nearby spaceship and shoot up into another galaxy, far, far away – it’s never too early to *insert vice here*. It’s also never too early for your kids to share a large packet of light and tangy chips. Five minutes quiet time guaranteed.
Good luck with parenting it can really suck sometimes, but mostly it’s amazing. Do what works for you.
Have you got any tips to add to the list?