I really don’t think I would be enjoying motherhood as much (or have gotten through the intensity of new motherhood as well) without the tips and advice from other mamas. There’s just no way I would have figured certain things out on my own. In fact, most of my tried-and-true favorite methods of managing the mayhem (of motherhood in general, and now of single-working-mom) are tips and ideas I’ve ripped off of other way-more-seasoned women. Everyone has a few of their favorites that likely come to mind were someone to ask you for your very best mom-tip, and I sure can think of a slew of my own that I’d love to share with you here. But for now, here are 5 motherhood tips from 5 awesome famous mamas via Clementine Daily. Not all of these are for everyone, but there’s something here for anyone. Enjoy!
From GABRIELLE BLAIR: Use smaller blocks of time. I might have an hour’s worth of laundry to wash and fold and put away, but I don’t have a full hour to dedicate to it. Instead, I grab 15 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes during the baby’s nap, 5 after dinner and another 10 minutes when the baby is in bed. It’s not ideal, but for me, it has become second nature.
From HATCH Founder Ariana Goldman: Make a game out of life’s errands! If my daughter Charlie’s singing and playing through clean-up, dressing and getting out the door, she’s not likely to tantrum or cry.
From CAMILLE STYLES: Get up early! I love to set my alarm for an hour before anyone else in my house wakes up, which leaves me with a blissful sixty minutes to do whatever I want: work out, catch up on emails with friends, make plans for the weekend, think about my dinner menu (yes I’m the type who likes to plan dinner during breakfast.) It leaves me feeling calm, centered and ready to take on the day… which is a good thing, since once my 18-month-old wakes up, it’s “go” time.
From PARENT HACKS Founder Asha Dornfest: When the schedule balance tips toward too full, I immediately scale down my dinnertime meal plans. I fall back to 3-4 quick meals I can prepare without a recipe AND with ingredients I have on hand (ex: veg/chicken stir fry + rice). Dinner is a particular sticking point for me right now, so having 1-2 meals stashed in the freezer works like an insurance policy. When I KNOW, no matter what, we’ve got something good to eat for dinner, I can relax and enjoy the spontaneity of my day.
From our very own Managing Editor AMANDA CARTER GOMES: Everything is temporary. The good, bad and ugly. Today’s tantrum is as fleeting as tonight’s bedtime back pat requests (though I do hope the latter practice sticks around for years to come). This helps keep me a little centered during trying moments and reminds me to appreciate the endearing phases even more.
P.S. One of my favorite tips: keep kids busy and involved in any event by getting them setup with something of their own related to whatever it is that is going on. Thanksgiving meal? Set up a kids table with butcher paper and crayons. Date Night? Leave the kids a new puzzle to knock out with their babysitter while you’re gone. Cross-country flight? Set kids up with their own backpacks (“luggage”) filled with slews of in-flight-entertainment options. Dinner Party? Let the kids put on a show (they usually practice for hours letting adults mingle happily together before becoming the audience). I got this concept from Cookie magazine in 2008 and I’ve been using something to this effect ever since. It takes a little thought and minimal effort, but it really works! Occupying children will always keep them happy. At least for a little while. :)
On erev Pesach in Chicago we set the kids up with a little craft table using a kit of Passover Plague Puppets and some glue. They were busy there for hours, and left us to cooking and holiday prep in the kitchen and beyond. Then they practiced their “show” all afternoon! And it was the highlight of the Seder on both nights. It kept the kids awake and excited for maggid, and it was some fun and humorous entertainment for all of the adults in attendance. Thankfully we managed to get them to put it on one more time after the holiday so that we could record their cuteness!
(I got such a kick of the “death of the newborns” plague. I guess dancing around the graphicness has it’s price – confusion! :))