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Mother’s Day Payback: Love You, Mom

Mother’s Day Payback: Love You, Mom

Here’s the thing you should know about my mom and me. We have a weird relationship. I mean, she is my best friend and has been since…well, literally forever. However, as much as I want to write a long-winded diatribe about how I will never measure up to the size 7 shoes she fills, I am not. Well, that’s not true, I would never fit in a size 7 because, like many things genetic, I inherited none of her dainty, beautiful traits. I got all the big-boned German from around the world and look nothing like her.

My mom knows how much she means to me. She and I talk at least once a day every day. If I know my mom, the one wish she has had for every Mother’s Day since she had a tween, it was that I would one day have children exactly like myself. She sat smugly through every one of my pubescent tantrums, sipping her tea and awaiting her turn to say, “I told you so.” However, my kids have been bittersweet for my mother. While she loves them to the ends of time and would seriously set up a kill room if anyone so much as accidentally tripped one of them, she must be somewhat disappointed at how well behaved they all are (So far! For the love of God! So far! Don’t jinx me).

That’s why I’m convinced my mom recently adopted two dogs. You see, my mom has had the same decrepit Boston Terrier for 14 years. Suddenly, last year, my mom decided to adopt a Bernese Mountain Dog and a chocolate lab. Well, the lab was a few months ago.

Anyway, today, my mom dropped off her wolf pack for me to watch casually while she ran some errands. I was leery as she left and her Bernese, named Rookie, took running leaps against my patio door causing the house to shake. She assured me, once she was gone, all would be super swell.

All was not super swell.

First, the baby gate I had in place to keep the dogs outside was blasted into a million small shards.

Then, as I was attempting to piece together the mayhem, I went to find the lab, Spice, who was halfway under the back fence like Chance in Homeward Bound. 

As I sweatily hauled boulders to cover the holes (did I mention I am also watching four children and my own dog on top of this?), Spice squeaked through the fence and pranced around the yard. I had dirt smeared across my brow as I lunged at her and got her scared enough of the bedlam in my eyes to scoot into the house.

When I got her inside, I could hear my son screaming, “Mom! This is an EMERGENCY!” And I tripped over five dogs to get to the back door where he was covered, and I mean covered in hot, fresh dog diarrhea. Under his nail. Bottoms of his feet. Smeared all over his clothes.

I stripped him down to nothing in the backyard while he screamed, “Mom!!!! Are the POLICE GOING TO ARREST ME FOR BEING NAKED?!!!!” Over and over until the hushed whispers of my neighbor’s Mother’s Day party on the other side of the fence assured me everyone was aware of the situation.

When I got back in the living room, Spice had escaped the leash I tied her up on and pranced around with the glee of a thousand pigs in shit.

So, here I sit, awaiting my mother’s return. One glass of wine in. Four sleeping dog at my feet and thanking the shit out of my mom for putting up with 10 times this on a daily basis from my brother and me. You are an angel and I would do it again. Maybe, like 10 years from now? 20? Either way, love your guts and would do anything. You bring the wine next time.

Take On Too Much Disorder: Time to Relax

Take On Too Much Disorder: Time to Relax

One of my favorite pastimes is perusing WebMD for a new illness or disorder I didn’t know I had. Other than comparing each and every mole on my body to their cancerous photo gallery, my next favorite use of WebMD is trying to decipher what is wrong with my brain.

This week, I have concluded that while I show a lot of Bipolar or Generalized Anxiety Disorder tendencies, I truly am in a land of my own. I have Take On Too Much Disorder or TOTMD.

What are the symptoms of such a specific disease, you ask? Let me tell you.

  1. Never say no. Want to come to my Tupperware party? Of course! Join the PTA? Yep! Get another dog? I suppose I could handle that. Have more kids? Okay, I said “disorder” not “full-fledged insanity.”
  2. Do more than expected. I have this sick desire to constantly go above and beyond. School requires 10 hours of volunteering, you bet your ass I want to do 20. Plan to write three times a week. Better make that six and never sleep again. Want to start exercising? Better be ready for a marathon by spring or does it even count?
  3. Start endless “ideas.” This week, I learned about “Snackleboxes” which are tackleboxes to put healthy snacks in for the day that your kids can help themselves to. Well, I bought mine Bento boxes, filled one and it still has snacks in it from Wednesday. Our fridge has our family calendar on it from October, the one and only month I did a family calendar. Or the toybox I bought a year ago for my new minimalist lifestyle that is still in the box. Or the book club I joined because I was determined to read classic novels and I am one page into Jane Eyre and not sure I can go back…
  4. Spiral. I have been told I do too much every single month of my life. I constantly brush it off like I don’t know inevitably it all ends in my unshowered, eating Pillsbury dough dipped in Nutella and crying. There’s always a spiral.
  5.  Make rash decisions. For instance, I started getting nervous this week that I was bored in my weight loss routine and starting to gain weight. So, I decided to double down and bet $100 on DietBet that I could lose 4% of my body weight in four weeks. Obviously, completely necessary.

Let’s just say, the last couple of weeks have been a TOTMD spiral around here. Some of my spinning wheels cogged the machine and it all fell to shit. Mix that with a super bug that took out all four kids and I am barely alive.
So, I am going to continue to write because it soothes my crazies, but maybe, just maybe, I can ease the throttle around here for a hot second.

What crazy things do you do as a parent? Let me know in the comments!

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Extreme Non-Couponer: How I Suck at Clipping and Still Earn $

Extreme Non-Couponer: How I Suck at Clipping and Still Earn $

*Disclaimer- This post contains affiliate links. Read all about that boring crap, here.

When the show Extreme Couponing hit the air, my addictive personality was lit ablaze. I raced to Wal-Mart, spent $150 on a binder, those plastic baseball card inserts, dividers, ink, printer, purse coupon holder, and every single Sunday paper they had on their racks. I was desperate to save my family a gazillion dollars buying out the local pharmacy of all it’s health and beauty items.

I sat home and clipped, sorted, printed, sorted, clipped and lived on the Krazy Coupon Lady‘s site staring lovingly at meticulously organized stockpiles in a Midwestern mom’s crawlspace. I took my encyclopedia of coupons to Walgreens and sat there for three hours like Rain Man trying to figure out freebies and how many tampons I could use before menopause.

I ended up leaving with 15 boxes of toothpaste I hate, a handful of peppermints and sweat rings down to my waistband from the stress of math.

Needless to say, that was the end of my extreme couponing career. However, I am always looking for ways to save or earn a little extra money to ease the pain of all the Prime boxes constantly on my doorstep giving my husband a coronary. I love windfalls, but I don’t love putting in too much effort. Basically, if it requires me to put my phone down, I don’t love it.

So, here’s my rundown of ideas for fellow cheapskates with a Prime addiction who’d like a little extra jing for bills, wine, Prime, therapy, you know, whatever parenting throws your way.

This site will send you surveys randomly to complete and get paid for. Typically, completing a mere 5-10 surveys a month will get you a check every few months. So, the 5-10 times you get to poop in peace a month you could have that knocked out!

Sign up for Opinion Outpost here. 

This one is super cool because it’s run by the Nielsen Company. You know, the granddaddy of surveys? Also, sometimes, there are local focus groups you can attend for extra cash. That would be very fun if they actually held some up in No Man’s Land. But, you city slickers might want to check that out!

Sign up for Harris Poll here. 

This one is my personal favorite since it requires the least amount of effort. You sign up, download an app and then surf the web on that app! Pretty easy way to earn money.

Sign up for Digital Voice here. 

What other sites have you used? Do you love or hate them?

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Extreme Non-Couponer: How I Suck at Clipping and Still Earn Money | Mrs. Mommy Mack | MrsMommyMack.com
Extreme Non-Couponer: How I Suck at Clipping and Still Earn Money | Mrs. Mommy Mack | MrsMommyMack.com
The Hot Mess Mom’s Guide to Baby Registries

The Hot Mess Mom’s Guide to Baby Registries

Disclaimer: NO this is not a sponsored post. Meaning, none of these companies have paid me to recommend their products. YES, I have included affiliate links (read more about those here). Enjoy!

I have four kids. I get asked a lot about what I recommend for baby products. Let me just say, whew, babies are no joke. Like, for real. As a parent, I would sell internal organs at some points to soothe their screeches and make life at least remotely easier.

Shit gets expensive.

As a middle (lower?) class parent, having four kids requires some serious budgeting. If you’re like me, you’re extremely frugal (my husband actually is and forces it on me, but I digress) but get clouded by pregnancy hormones and the next thing you know you’re crying into $300 worth of baby socks.

Let me help.

I’m going to tell you literally all of the items you need to register for and what items you can skip to save your pocketbook (or marriage).

First, let’s start with saving money! Here’s the crap I wouldn’t buy again:

  • A crib. What the shit? This chick is NUTS! Nope. Not. First of all, there are much more ergonomically and spatially beneficial products than a crib. Sure, it’s cute and magical and all that sappy crap, but, when it’s all said and done most of my kids never set foot in the two that we have. But they transition into toddler/twin beds! Yeah, once you have your teething heathen in that bed, you won’t want to transition. It will look like someone put it through a wood chipper with all those jagged little teeth marks up and down every square inch of your precious $400 chew toy.
  • Bumbos. You know, those little chairs that make your babies look like uncomfortable piles of mashed potatoes? Skip.
  • Noise machines. Ever heard of a fan? Skip.
  • Mobile. First of all, isn’t this, like, a little noose dangling above their beds? Yep. Pass.
  • Baby clothes. Gosh, this one is painful even to write. I know the absolute heroin-like high that comes with rubbing little onesies on your face and dreamily staring at your bulging gut. Calm your tits a little. Everyone and their cocker spaniel is going to buy you baby clothes. Literally everyone. Save your money.
  • Baby toys. Again, everyone is going to use that last $5 impulse purchase to buy little rubber keys that will cascade to the bottom of you toy box in two weeks. Babies don’t play with toys. By the time they do, they will be lost and you’ll have 17 dozen more to replace them.

Okay, okay, Negative Nancy. Get to the good stuff! Let’s S-H-O-P! 

Here are the items you absolutely must register for:

  • Amazon Prime membership. Hell, your entire registry should be on Amazon. Everyone Primes everything and everyone hates going to those germ-infested kiosks at Target and printing off 32 pages of your registry and then learning Mandarin in order to figure out what color sheets to buy.
  • Huge ass diaper bag. You are going to need to shove a lot of shit in that bag sometimes. Most of the time, it’s a diaper bag and your purse. This Skip Hop Duo bag changed my life. I had it with my twins and wish I had it with the other two turds. Lots of pockets, room for a pump if you need it and, when your dog pees on it, you can easily get the urine stench/stain out of it.
  • Snap and Go stroller. Again, this was a recent discovery. It seems bizarre. Just a frame to hold your infant carseat? However, it’s genius. It takes up less than half the space of a travel system and costs way, way less. I mean, if you spring for a travel system, aren’t you getting rid of it with the matching infant carseat? So, you never actually used the seat portion of the stroller. Snap and Go all the way.
  • A good carseat. I know, this is supposed to be a cheap list, but since I saved you money elsewhere, spend it here. This Chicco carseat is: cute, easy to clean, comfy, light and super easy to use. I have had four infant carseats. This one takes the cake, by far.

  • U-Shaped pillows. I have had Boppies and the generic versions. Both are great. Go generic for the extra savings. You definitely need these for those first few months. I used them in my lap and whenever I laid the babies anywhere that wasn’t their beds. They always loved the little cocoons.

  • Rock and Play. Holy farts on fire, this is the best thing you will ever, ever, ever need. I’m not kidding. Don’t go with the battery-operated version unless you have a battery factory. Get the one that plugs in. These are so compact, easy to store and baby cocaine. No bassinets needed. This is all you need for beds for the first 4-6 months.

  • Bouncy chair. My twins had colic. For a few weeks (months? years?) I had to bounce them in these chairs with my feet in order to keep them from waking the neighbors deaf dog up in the night. Buy the chair. Worth every penny. The vibration feature was worthless to me. Mostly because we would have spent $456 a day in batteries to keep that shit running. Just need the chair and anyone’s foot to rock that beast until they graduate high school.

  • Jumperoo. No, you don’t need this right away, but they can be an expense, so I recommend having Grandma and Grandpa buy them. Get the ones that actually hit the floor, not with a platform underneath. They don’t have enough jumping fun and get pissed real quick.

  • Avent bottles. You’re going to hear people tell you to buy 14 different styles because you never know your baby’s palette. I do. They like Avent. I have four kids and they all drank just fine from them. Buy them. You won’t be sorry.

  • Lots of pacifiers. This is where I would get two options but LOTS of those two options. You’re going to be delirious at 3 am digging between couch cushions wishing you had spent the extra $20 on emergency pacifiers. Spend the money right now. I recommend the standard newborn style and the softer nipple style.
  • Fart whistleWhat’s the now? Yes. This was an urgent overnight purchase I made with my twins. You see, they had severe gas issues. This was the holy grail of recommendations in my mommy groups. It’s like a butt straw you stick in their cracks that lets all the trapped farts loose. Yes, really. You can literally hear the whistle sizzle and see their little faces relax after their monster farts are freed. Buy a box and have it on hand. You can thank me later. 

hot mess mom baby registry mrs mommy mack

Why My Kids’ Chores Don’t Make Me Lazy

Why My Kids’ Chores Don’t Make Me Lazy

Let me start by saying I can be a lazy mom. If you haven’t gathered that by now, I think you might need to seek some counsel. Either way, I was laying on the sofa this week, eating Bon Bons and watching my shows (you know, just like all of us lazy moms) and read this article about a mom chastised for showing pictures of her kids doing chores.

Sanctimommies lit their torches and charged the gates on this woman’s child-rearing techniques. She was called lazy, told to hire a maid and lambasted for being the next Miss Hannigan.

Like, I know you sanctimommies love being right, but I am going to have to tell you you’re fucking insane.

First of all, have you ever tried to teach a kid to clean something? Let me just bring you up to speed since your maids seem to be taking care of the lion’s share of things, lately.

This took place four minutes ago at my house:

Me: We need to pick up these crayons.

4: Oh man! All of them?

Me: Yes, all of them.

4: But, WHHHHYYYYYYYY?!

Me: I don’t want the dog pooping the rainbow again. It’s gotta be done.

4: Okay. *picks up three of the 347 on the floor* Done.

Me: *Deep breath* You need to get them all. You see that one by your foot?

4: Where? *Looking at ceiling*

Me: *Eyeball twitching* By your foot. That grows at the end of your leg.

4: *Looking directly at it* I don’t see it.

Me: *Sweat dripping down my forehead* Wiggle your toes. You’ll touch it.

4: …

Me: …

4: …

Me: …

4: Ohhhhhh! Got it.

 

This is what it’s like teaching a child to clean up after himself. If you think this is the lazy parenting approach, you’ve got another thing coming. I would 100000% rather pick up the crayons than have to go through that routine another 346 times.

Secondly, here’s the thing, for your argument of “let kids be kids” and play games and lay around like Julius Caesar. My plan is to not let adults be kids. Meaning, I don’t want my adorable four year old who can’t find a crayon become an unfortunate 40 year old, living in my basement and on Hoarders season 63 amongst his newspaper collection and tribe of hamsters.

It is important to teach your kids to clean. I am living proof that if your kids don’t know how to clean they become parents who don’t know how to clean. No, it isn’t fun. Yes, it’s easier to pick it up yourself, but I will be DAMNED if you’re going to tell me this is the easy way out.

Now, back to these crayons. *Cleansing breath.*

Gettin’ that Worm: The Life of an Early Bedtime Mom

Gettin’ that Worm: The Life of an Early Bedtime Mom

It’s 6:25 pm.

All four of my kids are asleep.

This is how it has been most nights since my twins were born. Hell, this is how my life has been for as long as I can remember.

In high school, my best friend was a night owl. As soon as it got dark, she would want to eat fudge, watch scary movies and carry on until dawn. I barely made it past dusk and fell asleep with a chocolate mustache. Then, I was up with the birds reading Seventeen for hours until she cracked her eyeballs open.

Not much as changed, except replace best friend with husband and life has come full circle.

There’s not much I can do. By the time 3 pm rolls around, I can barely function. It’s movie time for the kids and my brain is mashed potatoes. I barely ever follow through with the promises of dinner not out of a can and board games. We are all in our pajamas by 5 pm. If my husband’s home, the kids will stay up until 8. If not? I am crashed with them by 7.

Now, that’s not to say I don’t get up before the sun every day. My kids and I are kicking the day in the face by 5 am. We all leap out of bed like we are auditioning for a musical and seize the shit out of the day. I clean, play, sing, dance, and exercise before my husband wobbles to the bathroom.

Sometimes, well a lot of times, this can mean we miss out on a lot of stuff. Activities that take place at 6 pm make me weak. There’s no way my family of early birds can do more than watch Homeward Bound after 5 pm let alone swim laps in a pool.

There’s times when it pays off. Like for my bi-monthly mom group that starts at 845 am. I am the first mom there with all four of my kids who are dressed, fed and fully prepared to enjoy every ever-loving second of play time. Other moms will roll in with feathers from their pillows still in their buns casting me confused looks like I have a hard drug habit in order to arrive early let alone on time.

So, before you judge me for having my sugarplums nestled before Jeopardy, know that if it comes to an early morning showdown, the Mommy Mack clan has this shit locked down.

What’s your bedtime/wake-up routine? Tell me about it in the comments!

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The Year of Mom: My Happy Parenting Resolutions

The Year of Mom: My Happy Parenting Resolutions

While most of you are lamenting the year 2016, no fear! This is the last day! So, what will we do with this gift of the new year?

I know most moms are like me and asleep before the New Year’s Eve countdown even begins. That doesn’t mean that we can’t resolve to do some new things next year. I know most moms have weight loss and wild-eyed attempts at giving up our slew of addictions, let’s try and be realistic. Those pre-baby skinny jeans might just be a pipe dream, but here are a few of my realistic resolutions you might want to try on for size.

  1. Take time to scream. You know how motherhood can sometimes bubble over into a rage fueled screech-off in the YMCA parking lot? No? Either way, let’s try to take time to ourselves to scream into a stuffed animal while we get our 5 minutes to poop each day. Not only will we be scarring our children less, we also might avoid a pesky call from CPS.
  2. Eat real food. Now, this might be a stretch, but I need to eat actual meals. Ones that’s main source of protein doesn’t come from a beef stick. Now that my twins are a smidge less needy, I’m going to resolve to at least order foods that don’t have cartoon cowboys on their labels.
  3. Less Pinterest. Not because I have an addiction, no, because Pinterest makes me feel like an epic failure of a mother. It also gives me insatiable hunger that leaves me sleeping in a pile of Oreo crumbs. Also, it will save me tons of money from those wasted ingredients I buy and leave in my fridge while I eat jerky.
  4. Have people over. Maybe 2018 will be the year I leave the house more, but 2017 needs human interaction too. I need to accept the fact that my house is an absolute shit hole and have other messy moms over to snuggle my exploding laundry baskets and drink coffee. I love friends. I need friends. SOMEONE BE MY FRIEND!
  5. Stop picking at my husband. When you have no friends and sit with kids all day, something needs to be your rage outlet. I need to stop making that be my husband. The poor guy literally flinched when I reached in the cupboard the other day in fear I was going to sucker punch him. Again, maybe having other women to vent to about his inability to clean a toilet will take a little bit of the strain off him. Maybe…
  6. Do things that make me happy. I adapted this life rule towards the end of 2016 and it was the best decision I have ever made. I am no longer going to beat myself up over things that don’t matter. I am going to write because I love it. I’m going to watch movies with my kids because it makes me happy. I’m not going to wear bras most days because, duh. Happiness is something I need to function as a mother and wife. I’m sick of feeling like I am last on the list of things that need attention. I can’t pour from an empty cup.

So, here’s to the New Year. May your meltdowns be few, your bellies be full and your husbands be less afraid of you. Not completely unafraid, we have reputations to uphold, ladies.

What’s your plans for 2017? Let me know in the comments!

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Happy Parenting is this mom's New Year's Resolution | MrsMommyMack.com

Uncrunchy Mom: Why We Aren’t Always Eating Organic

Uncrunchy Mom: Why We Aren’t Always Eating Organic

I’m a ’90s baby. I blame my excessive chin hair on the copious amounts of Surge I consumed during my tween years. There was no such thing as “crunchy” parents or “organic” foods. We all ate Cool Ranch Doritos, red dye #5, Little Debbies and we loved every artery-clogging second of it.

Going from ’90s baby to Millennial Mom comes with its own set of challenges. I was extremely proud of myself for learning a new grocery shopping regime. I try to skirt more on the edge of the store (meat, produce, dairy) than in the middle aisles packed with sugar and happiness. This seemed to be a brilliant life hack and just enough for me not to feel guilty about my inability to sustain my own garden.

However, I quickly learned I am slowly killing my children during a visit with a friend. Said friend was over for lunch and quite literally gasped when she looked in my freezer.

“Is that Tyson chicken?!” She screeched.

“I know, right! Not even a nugget! Aren’t you proud?”

“Tyson?! she continued, “That chicken is packed with hormones! Don’t you know they keep those chickens in cages?!” She screeched.

I stared at her dumbly. First of all, the fact that the chicken wasn’t in the shape of a dinosaur was quite possibly a first for me. Secondly, what other option was there for chickens besides cages and coops? I grew up on a farm, if the chickens weren’t in cages they were chasing me around the yard trying to peck my eyeballs out. I could only imagine the damage Tyson’s chicken army could manage.

After my holier-than-thou ex-friend left, I took to the internet to see what all the fuss was about.

Big mistake.

I got caught in a black hole succubus of information. I sat there green around the gills watching slaughterhouse videos, reading studies on cancer-causing kids’ snacks, listening to podcasts about children hitting puberty in kindergarten after drinking a cup of non-organic cow’s milk.

I never felt so confused, sickened and irate in one moment.

What the fuck can my kids eat?

It wasn’t just chicken, I quickly found out. There were horror stories on every. damn. thing. Unless I was raising a small herd of animals in my house, singing lullabies to them each night, planting and harvesting crops, milking my own cows that I fed tears of angels, I was never, ever, ever going to raise children that didn’t have three nipples and tumors the size of watermelons.

Then, I watched an episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit where they debunked all things organic. I felt a little less guilty, but only a little since I hardly ever take nutritional advice from two magicians.

Like all things parenting, I decided to take a strict middle of the road stance. My kids continue to eat processed foods, but I also buy organic stuff sometimes too. Yes, they ride sugar highs like a magic carpet sometimes but they don’t have beards in preschool, yet.

I’m not perfect, but I’m not entirely lazy either. I’m just right.

But, really, who the hell can keep up?!

I won’t ever be the mom who gives her babies sippy cups of Mountain Dew but I also will never, ever have a chicken coop.

I care a little but not enough to be full blown crunchy and start making my own soaps.

I’m like the instant oatmeal of mothers.

What about you? Does your family do all organic? Tell me more in the comments!

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Uncrunchy Mom: Why my kids aren't always eating organic | MrsMommyMack.com

 

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4 Reasons I Love Grandparents Creating Spoiled Kids

4 Reasons I Love Grandparents Creating Spoiled Kids

The dust on the holidays has finally settled. I can look around my house and only see a few scraps of wrapping paper peeking out from the corners of the living room. All the cookies have been eaten and I’m done fat shaming myself (almost). However, the kids are still rocking a mean Grandparent Hangover. Actually, I’m going to label it the Grandma Hangover because they are the ones with their literal hands in the cookie jar most often.

What does the Grandma Hangover look like? It’s a mixture of screeching when a snowflake lands on their face and punching the cat for looking at them. It’s the result of being treated like they are the second-comings of Christ and rules simply do not apply to godlike beings such as themselves.

Since the kids had a dose of every single grandparent this past week, it’s reached a climax never before seen by human eyes. My daughter actually snarled at me when I tried to take a cookie from her that she helped herself to without asking. I pulled my hand back in complete expectation of drawing back a stub.

So, wouldn’t a normal, rational parent nix the copious amounts of grandparent spoiling in order to retain control on their feral children? Wouldn’t it just make sense to limit the time spent with their faces covered in lipstick smooches and mouths full of Hershey’s?

It would make sense, but I’ll be damned if I’m doing it.

Here’s the reasons I’m willing to live in utter fear of my offspring for a few days if it means time with Grandmas and Grandpas:

  1. Free childcare. When my mom walks in the door, I feel like I can finally let my guard down. She is the number one person who can swoop in and handle her shit. She won’t let the kids eat her alive and I can drink hot coffee and wash my hair. Win-win.
  2. Kids get to do fun stuff. Sure, I know I need to be doing finger painting, papier-mâché, glitter, and beads more often, but I can’t handle that shit. The exhaustion of buying, orchestrating, teaching, learning, cleaning, gluing, cutting and so on is enough to put me in a padded room. Grandmas? They do that crap for fun. It’s fuel for their little Grandma hearts. God bless them.
  3. Advice I didn’t ask for. Wait, this is a pro? Yes, yes, my dears, it is. If you’re anything like me, a stubborn asshole, asking for help is not in your DNA. You’d go down in a blaze of glory before you admit you need help figuring out what diaper cream works best or how much we should be putting in retirement. That’s where grandparents come into play. They are the first to tell you how you’re doing shit wrong and what the right way to do anything is. Before you let your blood boil, take it, and maybe, just maybe they know something. Or they’re crazy and tell you to give your babies whiskey (sorry, Grandma) and you just laugh and pluck your baby out of their laps. Either way.
  4. Help with crap I don’t know how to do. Once the kids are nestled or passed out in their beds, there’s time for me to get help being a grown-up. Like when I thought it would be easy to make tie blankets for the babies for Christmas since I have absolutely no idea how to craft. Since I have never even bought fabric in my lifetime, I naturally bought the wrong kind. In swooped my mother-in-law to sew that shit up like a Christmas elf and saved me just one holiday meltdown. Or when my husband was stuck in 20 below zero weather with two flat tires, my dad was there lickety split with two new tires, a jack and handled shit like only dad knows how.
  5. Endless memories. One of the truths we have to endure during life is that our grandparents aren’t here forever. There is nothing I cherish more than my memories with my grandparents. Most have passed on and those memories are all I have left of them. I want my kids to stay up late hearing about school when their grandparents were little. I want them to know life before computers and the utter rat race life has become. I want them to have that love forever. Those memories are worth whatever bloodshed I experience the next three to four days following their visits. Those memories are worth their weight in gold.

What other ways to Grandma and Grandpa make it worth having assholes for a few days?

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Grandma Hangover: 4 reasons I love my spoiled kids after their grandparents leave. | MrsMommyMack.com

5 Reasons I Let My Kids Play Games Alone

5 Reasons I Let My Kids Play Games Alone

Some days, I look at parents with one kid and think how in the hell do you do it? Might sound crazy coming from this nutcase who has four kids, but really, how do you entertain that child 24/7?

When my oldest goes to preschool, my middle child is lost and looks to me for every step in her day. She doesn’t know what to do with herself. Playing seems like teaching her Mandarin. She just doesn’t get it without her partner in crime. She’s on my heels the entire day asking me questions about ants, snakes, Rudolph, vaginas, presents, ants, snakes, Rudolph…you get the idea. By the end of the day, I am skipping to my son and my daughter runs into his arms like he’s returning from Vietnam.

Once we are all nestled back home, most of the time, I don’t play with my kids. I have trained them to play with each other. Yes, I love being able to eat without being asked where babies come from, but also I feel they are learning some very, very important traits.

  1. They learn to deal with people they don’t like. Some days, I swear, every 13 minutes I am hearing, “Sissy did this!” and “Brother broke that!” Early on, I would hold a mediation, dole out timeouts, make everyone hug and sing Kumbaya. Not anymore. Unless I see blood, they are working it out together. Sure, you might think your brother is an asshole, but you need to learn how to deal with him or you’re playing by yourself, sweetheart.
  2. They learn they aren’t so wonderful. When I play with my kids, I can’t help but be constantly wowed by everything they do. In the middle of a game of Chutes and Ladders I am smooching them up because they counted to three only after restarting six times. I just can’t believe I made that little drop of heaven. Now, their siblings aren’t going to stand for that shit. Take too long counting? Game’s over or you lose your turn. While sometimes my heart breaks when I see my daughter get snubbed by her older brother, I swallow it. Life isn’t always going to have someone kissing them for merely breathing oxygen. Some days, you’re going to have to swallow your pride and learn something new.
  3. Oh the stories they’ll tell. Playing with another kid is not the same as playing with parents. There’s more imagination, less kissing and more misbehaving. I want them to be able to have stories of each other to tell their kids for years to come. The games they played, lessons they learned and joy they experienced is the best gift I can give them.
  4. I cherish my time with them. The last thing I want my kids to remember of me when they are older is the angry way I played Candyland. If my kids were relentlessly demanding me be their puppet master, I would definitely not enjoy the games and adventures we do go on. I want them to be cherished memories and not a blur of frustration.
  5. They won’t give up on each other. I use this hands-off technique because my mother used it on me. While, as a kid, I wanted to drown my brother in the kiddie pool on a daily basis, now, as an adult, I can’t imagine life without him. He still is the one person in the world who pisses me off more than anyone, but that’s nothing new. I have been getting pissed by his antics since age three. I know how to say “sorry” hug it out and could never, ever imagine a holiday or month without seeing him. No matter what happens to me and what happens between them, I want to be sure that every holiday season, birthday and celebration, my four kids got each others’ backs, just like my brother always has mine.

What did I miss? Tell me how your kids play together in the comments!

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