10 Survival Techniques Every Parent Uses

by Toni Hammer
Originally Published: 

The well-known parent and philosopher Dr. Evil once said, “We’re not so different, you and I,” and while his career path may be controversial, I completely agree with his sentiment as it relates to myself and other parents. Your kid may be 2 or 12, a boy or a girl, an athlete or a pirate. Despite the differences, we all have one thing in common:

We are just trying to survive.

And survival requires creativity, cunning, and a handful of questionable ways of navigating our day to day lives. Rest assured that if you’re doing something which may make your mother-in-law gasp in horror, there’s a good chance someone else is doing it, too. Breathe a sigh of relief if you use any of these ten coping courses of actions because I guarantee you’re not the only one.

1. Picking up your baby and giving their booty a big sniff. This is a surefire way to check if that smell invading your nose hole is coming from your kid or not. (If it’s not coming from your kid, you may want to check your own undies just in case.) Sure, you could pull out the back of the diaper and play a game I like to call Peek-A-Poo to get some visual evidence, but what if your finger slips and you get a more tactile confirmation?

2. Eating your kids’ leftovers and considering it your lunch. Stale Cheerios? Dried out green beans? Chicken nuggets that have seen better days? So long as it’s free of drool and teeth marks, that sounds like a complete meal to me!

3. Wiping your kids’ noses with your shirt. Or your bare hand if you’re in a pinch. Sure, it’s gross, but it’s just snot. Of all the fluids your beloved baby oozes from every orifice, snot is the least toxic. I’d rather sacrifice my wardrobe if it means getting rid of the three-inch long tendril of bright green grossness.

4. Putting on a TV show so you can get some work done. Or so you can work out. Or, heck, so you can just sit down and breathe. I don’t want the TV to become a babysitter, but sometimes everyone needs to just calm down for a few minutes while I mop the pee off of my kitchen floor.

5. Giving your kid a diaper wipe bath. Some nights the idea of unleashing the flood gates and witnessing my children’s best Shamu impression is just too much for me to handle. If a wipe is good enough for their nether regions, it’s good enough to wipe the sticky from their bodies before wrangling them into their slumber straight-jackets for the day.

6. Considering a cereal bar a serving of fruit. If it says it’s apple or strawberry or blueberry flavored, then something vaguely healthy is present, right? I mean, it’s not like I’m giving them banana-flavored candy. Not before noon anyway.

7. Ripping open a bag of Goldfish crackers while shopping to keep your kiddos quiet. Someday my children will learn that the grocery store is not actually an all-you-can-eat buffet, but today is not that day and tomorrow doesn’t look good either.

8. Using your kids as a reason to get out of something. Don’t want to go to that party? “Ya know, the little one didn’t really get a nap today so I think we’re just going to skip it.” Give your kid an extra hug at bedtime and eat some chocolate to ease any guilt you may be feeling. Children daily put us through the ringer so the least they can do is help us avoid social situations we weren’t looking forward to anyway.

9. Keeping your kids in pajamas all day. I’m convinced the people at the grocery store are of the belief that my children don’t own real clothes. Whether it’s eight in the morning or three in the afternoon, there’s a good chance they’re still donning their fire truck footie jammies. Sometimes so they don’t feel self-conscious, I, too, will go in my pajamas. Solidarity and family bonding and all that. I’m making memories!

10. Putting your children to bed a little earlier than normal to save your sanity. Ask yourself what’s worse: a mommy slowly losing her mind, or your kids staring at the ceiling thinking their deep thoughts for an extra twenty minutes? Mommy’s mental health should always come first.

We all have our own survival techniques as we navigate this heart-pounding, sleep-depriving, diaper changing challenge of parenthood. Do what works for you and know that most of us are doing the exact same thing. Feel free to grab a couple crackers from my kids as we pass each other in aisle four.

Related post: This is What They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood

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