I’ve “officially” been a parent for over seven years. And in those seven years, I’ve learned a number of time-saving, life-affirming, world-changing tips that will both save time and affirm life while simultaneously changing the world. Add them to your bag of parenting tricks and see instant results.
Start your parenting engines, because here… we… go!
1. Always pack a snack. Seriously. Your kid is going to get hungry. When they do, slowly open the granola bar you brought along and methodically stuff it into your mouth. Then turn to your child and say, “That’s why you should always pack a snack. Just like your smart father did.” Instant life lesson.
2. Never skip nap-time. You’ll pay for it later. And it’s helpful to stick to a scheduled nap-time. That way, your kids will know that from 1-3 every day, they’re on their own. Clever mommy is sleeping.
3. Baby wipes are god’s napkin. You’ll want to keep these around long after your child needs them for butt wiping. Sure, the occasional butt wiping will still need to happen. But when you’re not butt wiping, (and trust me, you’ll be doing a LOT of butt wiping) you can use them: to wipe dirty hands; to wipe dirty faces; to wipe down your car; to leave on top of dried cat vomit while you wait for it to soften; to scrub the now-softened cat vomit from the floor; to wipe your stinky armpits prior to re-applying deodorant; to wipe your caked face prior to re-applying makeup; to thoroughly clog toilet drains resulting in an emergency trip from the plumber because everyone seems to forget that baby wipes aren’t flushable, or more accurately, everyone remembers that they aren’t flushable but do so anyway because what’s the worse that can happen after all the dealing with butt wiping and poop carrying and well I’ll tell you what’s the worse that can happen… but I digress. Baby wipes. They’re useful.
4. Bring a change of clothes. As kids get older, keeping an extra pair of underwear “on hand” is always a good idea. Though it should probably also go “on butt.” But extra clothes should be considered on a kid-by-kid basis. For instance, my four-year-old needs a full outfit. My seven-year-old probably only needs an extra shirt and some underwear. Whereas I always have extra underwear (multiple pairs), a full change of clothes, a tuxedo, and scuba gear on hand. Side note: this helps perpetuate the myth that I’m a Secret Agent… a myth I’ve cultivated since the birth of my first child.
5. Download Notabli. And I’m not just saying that because I’m intimately involved with the product. (No, not that kind of “intimate.” Jeez. Don’t get any ideas. Though, I will say this… Notabli is quite the looker.) Use it to capture memorable moments, like the time my daughter intoned, “A fart is like a burp from your butt.” Classic.
6. Learn to… um… uh… Listen. It’s straight-talk time. I had plans to make this list a solid 10 points. But I’m a parent, so only got to the first five of them. Sorry about that. I’ll tell you a story to help ease your mind. When I was five years old, I convinced my mother to let me go to school clad only in a pair of He-Man underwear and a white sheet with eyeholes cut out. Needless to say, I pooped my He-Man underwear. I had no baby wipes on me (see point number 3 above). I had no change of clothes on me (see point number 4 above). Had my mother taken the advice in number 2 above, she would have been well-rested enough to understand the folly in allowing me to take charge that morning. And if Notabli had been invented when I was a child, she could have documented the He-Man Underwear Incident of Nineteen-Eighty-Five properly.
7-10. Finish what you started. It’s important to follow-through on what you set out to do, even if you cut corners. Happy Parenting, folks.