Hitting this small drum while stressed is not only very calming for you, allowing that stress to release from your body in a healthy way, but also this sound is very calming for your annoying kids, inducing meditation and that much-needed shutting up. Plus, they can learn to catch a beat in the car – bonus music lesson!
In case you’re gazing quizzically at the above photo and trying to understand what exactly you’re looking at, let us just go ahead and confirm: yes, it is a green rice krispie treat tucked into the modest cleavage of a busy yet delightfully deceptive mama. Here’s the rationale, as sent via Facebook messenger from one MOTY master to her tribe:
When you're cleaning up and you hear the kids coming so you shove the rice krispie treat you're eating down your shirt because you don't want to A. Share, B. Explain why you can have one and they can't, or C. Really interact with the kids at all during Rice Krispie Cleaning Time. It's a special time in a mother’s life.
This got us thinking, the Treat Yo’ Self movement may have all the 20-something Insta-singles ‘gramming about the crystal-infused unicorn soap they just splurged on at the hipster farmer’s market or the Thai ice cream rolls they’re feeding to their French bulldogs by the seashore. But we mamas? We have a different understanding. Take a look at our most lavish indulgences:
What’s your favorite #TreatYoSelf MOTY escape? Whatever it is, we hope you enjoy it! You deserve it. More than anyone else. More than your kids for damn sure.
Tomorrow marks dress rehearsal night for my daughter’s dance recital, and I am all a-jitter. Not because I’m worried about how she’ll perform or if she’ll feel confident on stage. Nah. She’s got this. I’m worried about me. I’m worried about this mountain of paperwork. You see this spread? All of these pieces of paper relate to the dance recital. They contain detailed instructions regarding costumes, make-up, hair poofs, hoop earring, tickets, programs, safety pins, times, orders, false eyelashes, finale tees. Note: There are paper clips and staples at play. Some of these papers have multiple sheets beneath them.
My daughter is dancing in two numbers and the finale. She will be on stage for a grand total of approximately seven minutes.
And this is one activity for one kid. I have three kids!
Mamas, come on. How are you doing it? You cheating somehow? How do you always know the color of the week? How do you know which day book orders are due? How do you know which teacher to avoid next year? How do you know when the park hosts the free craft class? How do you know when soccer signups are and what churches have bible camps this summer and when the safety patrol meeting is and how to enroll in the library summer reading challenge?
How do you know it all? All the time? There are so… many… papers. What sorcery are you dipping into?
These are not rhetorical questions. I am a smart woman, but I cannot retain this information. I have a master’s degree but I cannot master our family calendar. I have a director-level position at work, but I cannot direct my 6-year-old as to what day he is supposed to bring a beach ball to school.
You know what? I don’t even want to know. But know this: I commend you.
And I will continue to nag the shit out of you for all of the answers for the rest of our time together.
It's my daughter's last day of her first year of preschool. Exciting, yes, emotional milestone and blah blah blah. What that means in my immediate MOTY world is that I have to get two cranky kids up, dressed and out the door earlier than usual for an end-of-year show and picnic. (Dressing myself for mama-mingling is an added bonus at this point.) Which brings us to... veggie straws and Swiss cheese! On the floor!
When in doubt, mamas, feed your kids yellow food on the floor. It's the fastest way to get them out of the house. Gott run, we're late AF!
My first-time mama sister: We had to do a round of shots today, which Baby handled pretty well. (Mommy and Daddy did their best.)
Second sister, in support: Awwwww!!!! The shots are always so hard....for ME! Haha. My heart just BREAKS.
My mother, mama of four, grandmother of six, and former pediatric nurse: Oh, I always hated shots days! The only good thing (besides protecting them from life-threatening illnesses!) is the extra cuddle time.
Me, aka MOTY: I always kind of liked it that they slept all day and I got a break.
Redecorating your kids' rooms? Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money on oh-so-adorable area rugs that the darling rascals are going to color, spill, and possibly even pee or poop on, save your tragically limited time and money by buying the bathmat version! Seriously, the price difference alone is shocking:
Amirite?? Now, take a look at what that extra $$$ will get you in care instructions:
Ain't no MOTY got time for that! Go with the bath mat and no wasting time delicately spot cleaning (or, if you are super meticulous, color checking before using a cleaner) and no wasting mommy-time money on professional carpet cleaning. Just throw these babies in the wash and move on. Plus, they honestly look good!
NOTE: This hack works better for smaller spaces, but remember, kids don’t know the difference and will think you are extra awesome for getting more than one!
Recently, I found myself engaged in a lengthy and thoroughly tiresome battle with my tween. She had decided that her homework was JUST TOO MUCH and was teetering between hollering vicious insults at her teacher (who may just about have been able to hear, given the ungodly volume of my daughter’s voice at 9 p.m.) and liquifying into a lake-sized puddle of tears before my eyes. Suddenly, I remembered a trick I used to pull when we’d fight over this very issue five years ago… treat training! Turns out, it works just as well on tweens as it does on preschoolers and, you know, dogs.
Ah, the new year is upon us... a time for corks popping, glasses clinking, confetti flying and – who are we kidding – trying to keep our eyes open until midnight while we binge-watch Parenthood in our PJs and wonder why we can't ever look as put together as Kristina Braverman. The woman has three kids, including a son with special needs, and a political career. And cancer.
We digress. For many, the real crux of a New Year's celebration is the opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments (or lack of) during the past year and to make resolutions for how you want to improve yourself in the future. Read more. Scroll mindlessly through your phone less. Do more yoga. Learn to speak Mandarin. Blah blah blah. We've heard them all before. That's why we MOTYs decided to do something a little different with our 2018 resolutions. Instead of isolating aspects we want to change about ourselves, we've decided to fully embrace the MOTYiest things about ourselves that we actually secretly adore. In 2018...
Happy New Year, mamas! We hope you'll join us in embracing your inner MOTY in 2018!
Stuck in the frigid winter weather with a car full o' kids, an empty gas tank, and nary a glove to be found? Not a problem! Use a child’s dirty socks found in the car as gloves for pumping gas when you can’t find your own gloves for the hundredth time. Bonus tip: Pat yourself on the back for having the wherewithal not to clean your car. You're basically a genius.
Tonight marks Day 1 of the Jewish Festival of Lights, better known as “Hanukah” or “Hanukkah” or “Chanukkah” (guess what, MOTYS – it doesn’t matter how you spell it!). Forget name variations, what the heck is this holiday even about? Let us shed some light (see what we did… light!) on that question with this mama-friendly recap:
Around 2000 of years ago (about as long ago as your last poop in solitude), a Greek king named Antiochus tried to force the Jewish people to give up their religion and bow down to the Greek gods (like the Pinterest moms pressure us to worship our kids on social media). The Jews rebelled and formed a small army called the Maccabees (scrappy badasses… sound familiar?). Though outnumbered by the thousands, the Maccabees defeated the king. In the meantime, however, the Greeks destroyed the holy Jewish temple (like when you leave your toddler alone for five minutes in the room you just tidied up… but way worse). The Maccabees were strong in spirit (picture a 3-year-old who insists on buckling herself into her car seat), and they decided to rebuild the temple. While they were working, they had only enough oil to light their menorah for one night. (Fun fact: a menorah is actually just a candelabra with seven branches, but the Chanukah – the Chanukah Menorah – has nine.) The oil burned inexplicably for eight whole nights (sort of like when you overcome devastating sleep deprivation and mom so hard you surprise even yourself), and thus the miracle of Hanukkah began! From then on, Jews have celebrated their victory of religious freedom and the miracle of burning oil by lighting a Chanukah for eight nights.
But here’s the deal, gentile MOTYs, we parents channel the spirit of the Maccabbees all the time: we are determined, strong and capable of surviving the unthinkable on a daily basis. We have had our sacred shit destroyed by our children, have had our freedom stolen from us by those in our home (though we actually love the little thieves… sometimes), and we think we deserve some fucking Hanukkah miracles, too. So light your Chanukah Menorah (or a Glade candle or whatever you have!), and join us in celebrating these miraculous gifts:
On the 1st night of Hanukkah, a miracle happened: My children went to bed the first time they were asked, and I got to watch This Is Us & drink with my partner before 10 pm.
On the 2nd night of Hanukkah, a second miracle: My children’s clothes clean enough to wear again and they used inside voices and not even one ear-splintering scream was heard.
We love our kids. They drive us crazy. We write about it instead of going insane.