So, I'm not an experienced mom with over twenty years of experience, or a mom of eight kids. One might say I have no expertise on motherhood. I'm fine with that. For those of you who like to learn a little wherever you are (like I do) I will share some things that have made my life and sanity a little bit better.
1) Don't check Pinterest too often. I try to only check Pinterest and Facebook once a week. Enough to get cute and creative ideas, but not enough to obsess over the ways I am falling short (I mean, everyone knows that people only put the best of their lives on there- you don't see the warts and the amount of time and tears it took to get to picture perfect).
2) Still have fun doing creative things for your kids, but it's fine to take shortcuts. On Valentines Day I kept seeing cute pictures of parents making homemade waffles and pancakes for their kids in the shapes of hearts. So cute and precious! I knew that with the other things I wanted to get accomplished over Valentines Day, I would have to pick making a wonderful homemade waffle (and the cleanup that goes with it) for my son over delivering valentines to the elderly in a hospice home. I chose to throw an Eggo in the toaster oven and smack a heart cookie cutter into it. My son loved it and still prefers his waffles without the crusts. "How mommy made it with a heart," he started insisting to my husband (we have graduated him to a baseball mitt cookie cutter now). I'm pretty sure when he's older he will remember his mommy made heart waffles, and won't remember that it came out of the freezer.
3) Delegate. I have come to the place professionally and personally where I am learning to delegate. Professionally, I'm still pretty Type A (when animals lives are in the balance, I can't help but want to be in control), but when it comes to other stuff, I try to delegate. I had gotten tired of seeing my son's baby book that I just never seem to have the time to put together. It's one of those things I want to do for my son, but I know I'm not very artistically talented and my scissor skills are not the best. I decided to tell my sister the best birthday gift she could give me was to put it together for me. She's a teacher by training and has awesome scissors and creative skills in that area and just the feeling that I don't have a huge project that I'm probably never going to get to is a weight off my shoulders.
4) NextStep Toilet Seat. I actually fell upon this little invention when I ended up crashing a friend's Rosary Group (we were supposed to meet for lunch but I got done with what I was doing a little early and she asked her group if my son and I could come over). It was great to be surrounded by other faithful moms with young children, who don't judge you for saying a "Hail Mary" while wrestling your kid. It was also cool to see this solution for people who have small spaces. It is actually a replacement seat that has a smaller seat that goes on top. The big people in the house don't have to move a dirty little training seat on and off the toilet and the toddler has a nice sturdy seat that just pops right down and magnetizes to the top. It's pretty cool!
It's kind of funny- though I haven't been a mom for that long (4 years), I feel like some of my experience of being a pet parent and of being a supervisor to young people has kind of prepared me a little bit. My most important mom hack is remembering- do what feels instinctively right and remember motherhood is composed of many small events- it's what happens overall that matters, don't sweat the small stuff.