The old saying goes, “All’s fair in love and war,” and I am entirely convinced that phrase was coined in reference to parenthood. I’ve been momming it up hard for almost three years now and I’ve come through some arduous battles and because I am a super generous person I’d like to share some of my battle strategies. I may not be a general in the parental army yet but I’m working my way up there and this captain has a few pointers to help you make it out alive. You may be bloody and bruised but employ a few of these and you come out the victor.
- Try new food with children a couple years older than your own present at the dinner table, or wherever you can convince to consume food, present. Peer pressure is real, even if your kids can’t utter a cohesive sentence. And it’s useful as all get out. Do not be ashamed to manipulate your kids, they’re doing the same to you any chance they get. My two now love those tiny little obnoxious oranges. You really think they would have even tried those stringy devils if a four-year-old across the table hadn’t been raving about how delicious they were? If you do, that’s freaking adorable.
- Convince your toddler that the milk you’re pouring in their sippy cup is coffee. They think they’re a grown up and it makes the wakeup call that is their tiny shrill slightly more bearable.
- When someone starts criticizing your parenting take a deep breath and let your eyes glaze over while a fake smile spreads across your face. After you’ve mastered that begin to envision your favorite cinematic death scene. I like to use Darth Vader throwing Emperor Palpatine to his demise down that endless abyss. Replay it for as long as they keep talking then just sigh dreamily and walk away.
- Tell your husband you have diarrhea to get more time to yourself. Bonus points for convincing groans and splashes. I used this successfully for two years until I spilled the beans online to win a free pair of leggings. #worthit
- When you feel like your life has lost that “high stakes” element since procuring a tiny human you can start playing your own version of Russian Roulette called “Pooping with the Door Closed.” You never know what you’ll find when you walk back out into the militarized zone. Could be that they’re sitting quietly cuddling reading a book together or they could have managed to get their hands on the 40-ounce bottle of dish soap and put it in their hair and all over your carpet. It’s a new surprise every time!
- If you’re looking to reduce your student loan debt teach your kid a cute catch phrase. Something to the effect of, “Girl, please!” or “You don’t know my life!” Then record every waking moment of their life hoping for a clip charming enough to land you on Ellen’s couch receiving a $10,000 check from Shutterfly. Monthly payments are for the weak.
- Need to impress other moms on a budget? Poor some apple juice in to the wine glass you have used twice since your wedding (ignore that it looks more urine than wine) and take a selfie in front of your new, albeit the cheapest model that was available, appliance. Try to look as nonchalant as possible. Or don’t. I don’t know your life.
- During your fake diarrhea time make sure you to find ways to be reminded of your self-worth. Such as, but certainly not limited to, taking a test where you build a dream castle to figure out what kind of unicorn you are (I’m a unicorn of the tempest, obvs). Here’s that exact quiz because I love you.
- Master your “Don’t Even Think About It” face early. Before that kid can smile without farting have it locked down. Mine’s a cross between “Turn to page 394” and “The Lord is testing me.” See gifs for reference.
- If you feel like your family is too small and you want your kids to feel surrounded by a large extended family turn on your favorite sitcom and refer to all the characters as aunts and uncles. Do my kids have an Uncle Dwight or Aunt Leslie? That’s for me to know and my kids to work through in therapy.
Well there you have it. Battle strategies guaranteed** to help you make it through the hurricane/battle akin to Gettysburg/2016 Presidential Election that is parenthood.
**I guarantee nothing.