Momness

I know there are a few moms out there that are overwhelmed. There are new moms, old moms and all types of moms.

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There are a bazillion mommy bloggers, and I guess I’m one of them.

The difference is I don’t try to gain popularity through my blog. It’s for my immediate friends and family and for…ME. Surprise surprise.

I don’t take fancy pictures, try to boost my SEO with tags, or cross promote. I don’t intend to go viral and it’s as simple as that.

Just a few words here and there.

This post is just a little different. I started making a list of my MOM-ness. Or, more specifically, the things that make ME a MOM. The secrets I have discovered that work for me and my kids. I don’t have a parenting book, a degree in child development or anything that makes me qualified. Instead, I have 5 years of experience. The parenting books are all over the map. The child development can go one way or another, but experience stands the test of time.

Each child is different. Every mom is unique. I just wanted to share these mom tips so I can remember them someday.

Momness of Jill:

Enjoy!

  • If you have little kids close together, put both kids in a restraining high chair during a choke-free breakfast for your 20 min shower/get ready
  • Hate unloading the dishwasher? Hate the question of “is this clean?” Lame excuse for putting stuff in the sink, if you ask me. I start the dishwasher at dinner every night and unload it while prepping breakfast when I feel most energized. SAME ROUTINE. If it’s not the morning, they’re dirty people.
  • Every time I say no to my kids it’s because it is a potentially messy activity. Let it go get messy and your kids will be more creative and happy. Sand, water, play dough… Ahh stressing me out just thinking about it
  • Vacuum as your kids are getting settled in bed. Can’t hear their complaints, no running over lines, making messes, etc. If you ask me, the sound soothes them to bed.
  • Cold applesauce when teething. And chocolate for you. Lots of it.
  • When your kid wants to grab the spoon when she’s learning to eat food, give her one of her own to hold. aka two spoon trick
  • No snack rule before dinner. Stick to it and this will make you happy
  • Make company phone calls in car. Seems backwards to call important people like credit card companies, utilities, etc. when you’re driving. But my kids actually happen to do better when they’re restrained and can’t ask me to open a huge pack of Oreos when I’m distracted and vulnerable. Plus, 20 minutes of elevator music doesn’t bother you as much when you’re just driving anyway.
  • Pick up messes one time before dad comes home, starting at 3:45 ish. Makes it a reward and fun! Turn on music, final countdown, etc. House is clean, then turn on a show or other play reward while you make dinner. BAM, food is ready, house is clean. Everyone wins.
  • Sign off from all JOBS when hubby is home. Family time.
  • No phone zone from 5-8pm find myself starring at phone not their faces
  • Bedtime routine. Song, etc. if you have a wiggly one, scratch back
  • Brush teeth get “sugar bugs out” talk about what you ate that day
  • “Hop to it” to get kids to listen and obey. Find a stuffed bunny and pretend he is watching. They have to do it right away. It’s an easy expression for kids to remember. ‘
  • I love spending one on one time with my other child during one is in school. I call it Mom school.
  • Get on their level when you talk to them. Can you imagine talking to giant that you can’t even see what they’re saying?
  • When they’re crying don’t downplay, over play. Just hold them. Need attention. It will help it blow over more quickly.
  • If you can’t take them, put them in the tub. They’re confined, clean and happy. I always love my kids more after bath time. Even if it’s 12pm.
  • Put your baby down as they’re sleepy not asleep
  • Change a diaper with the other diaper underneath it. Seems common sense, but trust me…it’s not for everyone.
  • Put diapers and all that stuff in your car. Stop hauling it around. I hate diaper bags.
  • Put a pacifier on a clip. You’ll thank me later
  • But diapers from Amazon. No one has room for a big box in their cart, and they’re cheap
  • Give kids a job at a store. Look out for the bananas! Don’t let me leave until we find the tissues. They’re all about helping if you give them some responsibility! Imagine your mom just starring like a mad woman for aisles and aisles without paying them any attention. No wonder they freak out. There’s no eye contact.
  • Prep kids about what’s going to happen when you walk in the house. (Get to a place, etc) “when we get home we are going to unload our shoes and then put our dirty clothes in the bin” I always have a plan for the SECOND we get in the door. If I don’t all heck breaks loose.
  • Get everyone ready for the day, every day. We do this at the same time regardless if we plan to leave the house or not.
  • Have shoes in a plastic drawer. Don’t line them up. Catches dirt and it’s easy for them to throw them in there.
  • Take family pictures lots!
  • Categorize toys so then you can assign jobs. For example, “I’m in charge of stuffed animals” or “You can play as soon as you put the lego box away. This teaches them organization, categorization and responsibility.
  • Set timers for things. Let them pick the ring tone when it goes off.
  • Do hair while in high chair during breakfast when little
  • How you talk to your child becomes his inner voice
  • Listen to how you talk to your kids
  • If you want them to COME or DO SOMETHING right away, you pay attention to how many times you say “JUST A MINUTE” to your kids. Just saying..
  • Respect their boundaries and what is importantย  to them (band aids, monsters)
  • Don’t always think a step ahead. Sometimes just live in the moment. I have a hard time with this one.
  • Tickle fights, pillows, forts and snacks!
  • Taylor Toast time. If you HAVE to feed kids after you’ve already made and cleaned up dinner implement a simple go-to snack. For us it’s Taylor Toast time. Meaning, I toast bread and everyone is happy and things it’s extra special.
  • To get them to do something make it a secret mission (check on the baby, clean the room) or explain a certain way “I want you to tip toe on your toes all the way to put this in the drawer”
  • When you want to scream, just walk away.
  • Talk about what makes you frustrated. Use phrases like, “It hurt my feelings when I asked you to do this and blah…” Model what you’d like THEM to say.
  • Talk about trust
  • Talk about privileges
  • When they ask for something “ahh mom can I have this I love Elsa” Instead of saying NO right away, try this. “wow.. What a gorgeous doll. Her hair is awesome….” Avoid the question and just keep walking
  • Give them chances to earn money and talk about work
  • Quiet time alone is important, especially after high stress (school, outing, etc)
  • When they come to tattle, just listen and empathize (oh no, she said that? How did that make you feel? What should we do about that?)
  • You’re so smart I bet you can figure it out
  • Just hold your baby for that second longer
  • If your milk is drying up during breastfeeding, try fenugreek
  • Play with your girls’ hair
  • Have things to look forward to
  • Teach them about patterns and solids when dressing little girls. They love to pick out their own clothes. I’m all about teaching independence, so let them. To help them avoid looking like a crazy person, you can suggest one pattern and one solid. Flowery pants go with a solid shirt. Or black pants can go with a striped shirt. So easy for them to understand.
  • When everyone is bored or angry or you’re in the car just sing a primary song
  • When you settle down at night talk about your favorite part of the day, what made today so fun, recap it all, talk about happy choices, to leave things on a good note.
  • Explain what is happening in the morning and why you need rest.
  • Role play meeting strangers and the things you can say to make others happy
  • Talk about service often. Point out ways others have served you (opening your door, letting you go first) and ways they have served each other (sharing cracker, taking turns)
  • Explain that you love your children. When they fight talk about how as the mom you love them and want them to be friends
  • If you have an important phone call scheduled or computer work, explain what they will be doing during that time and what the plan is after. If they comply expectations!
  • Quickly obey, but I use the 3 strike rule, and explain the consequence. (Sit still or you will need to take some time in the other room) you’re not sitting still. That’s strike 2, etc. They know what happens if you don’t obey and it’s easier for you!!!
  • Don’t go off and off when you’re mad. State it in a calm voice. Don’t word vomit all over their little souls. “I only asked you to do one thing. I can’t believe we can’t just pick up or dolls. Some kids don’t have dolls. I do everything around here..”” ahhh So easy to go down that hill but it’s so sad.
  • Tell them they can cry but they have to go somewhere else. “I don’t want to hear you cry but you’re welcome to go cry in your room”
  • Give them something to hold in the store so they can’t pick up anything else. Free hands at the store are a Mom’s worst nightmare!!
  • When they cry, hold them
  • Plan the week at Sunday dinner. Calendar and ask about expectations
  • Ask them throughout their day how they’re doing just for fun
  • Explain why you like things clean. When it’s clean, you can play easier. You don’t get overwhelmed. You can bring out new toys. Say things like “sometimes I can’t think when it’s all crazy messy. What do you think?”
  • Give them specific items to pick up when cleaning. Break it down in manageable chunks. Hey Nora can you pick up that shirt and hand it to me? Not.. “Clean your room!”
  • Natural consequences. You like to change your clothes? Then we need to help fold them and put them away…Let them be a key player in their choices and doing.
  • Don’t helicopter them out of a problem. My shoe doesn’t fit. It’s broken. My toy came undone. I can’t reach the pretzels. Say “you’re smart. I bet you can figure it out.”
  • When they spill, give them the stuff to wipe it up. I make my kids vacuum up cracker crumbs.
  • Don’t be referee. If you don’t get involved they’ll stop coming to you to solve things. Give them the tools to work it out. Express feelings, emotions and get space if you need to. That’s what happens in real life.
  • Teach them that being beautiful comes from being nice
  • Basket in the car for stuff that goes inside… One place. Shoes, papers, etc etc they carry it in and put it away
  • Keep a Book of Mormon by their bed
  • Favorite picture of Jesus by bedside
  • Talk about Jesus every day. Be a Christian
  • Talk about scripture words like kindness, obedience, service, repentance, forgiveness in examples of your day they can understand. “Wow that was so kind of her to share her cookie with you.” “I think we need to say sorry and repent so we can make things right.”
  • Say yes more often than no. Can we ride bikes? If it’s not that big of a deal, shoot, let them ride bikes. Explain what happens if we say yes. “You know, I’d be happy to have you ride bikes but I’ll be busy making dinner. This means you’ll have to put them away on your own. Can you promise to do that?” Same goes for playing with play dough or other annoying things. Expectation!
  • If you want your kids to listen and obey, take a step back and think about what you’re askingย  them to do. They may be in the middle of something and you want them to come bring you the remote? Are you lazy or what? Use your “will you please” with caution. If you want kids to obey, make it easy for them to do so.
  • Always say please.
  • Roll down the windows and sing!!!
  • Hold their hands. Stroke their legs. Tickle their toes!
  • Laugh when they laugh. How sad is it to have a fun sucker around. “You’re wearing my nice high heels and think its hilarious? Ahhh well, hehe.. You’re so cute…” Even if you’re dying inside. Kids find joy in perfect places
  • Do yourself a favor and buy all plastic cups and bowls and plates in the same color “I want the blue one…” Blah!
  • Be a happy mom at the checkout. Talk about how fun it is to have your kids with you
  • Call other moms when you need a boost
  • Call your own mom
  • Talk about what you were like when you were little. Kids love that.
  • Show them pictures of themselves when they were babies
  • Remember that the stage passes so quickly
  • Remember that there is no way to be a perfect mom, but lots of ways to be a good one!
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