I was out with the kids one day and I got the “Oh wow you have your hands full” comment. I was borderline offended. I say borderline because I’ve heard it so many times. I have my hands full because I have 3 children? How presumptuous of you. Yes I have 3 kids and yes they’re a lot of work but my proverbial hands are no more full than a first-time mother of 1 who is learning day by day. I always say that after 2, it’s like riding a bike. Maintaining sanity with 3 kids becomes easy.
Are there days where I want to pull my hair out or lock myself in a closet with a bottle of wine and brownie batter? Absolutely but we all have those days. It’s called being an adult. Throughout the years, I’ve developed my foolproof list to keep me from balling up in the fetal position after 12 hours with all my children.
1. Shower every day
It seems like a no brainer but I’ve seen some moms commit to every other day showers. No judgement but that’s not me at all. I refuse to go more than 24 hours without a shower no exceptions. No matter what the circumstances, I will ALWAYS find time to shower. The kids can entertain themselves for 15 minutes while I get ready.
No seriously. Even if it’s only a 30 minute walk. Do not underestimate exercise’s ability to reduce stress. Strap
on a baby, grab your stroller and put the oldest on their bike and go for a walk. Happy and healthy moms and dads equal happy and healthy kids.
3. Leave the house at least once a day
This can be as simple as walking to the mailbox or going to the park or the library but leaving the house forces me to interact with someone other than my tiny humans (and my mom).
4. Take your time getting ready
This may sound super vain but I can’t do life looking like a frumpy disaster. The day I don’t shave my legs or put makeup on is the day my husband worries I’ve lost my mind.
5. Don’t forget to eat
People look at me like I have 4 heads when I tell them I’ve gone 12 hours without eating but hey, it happens. Coffee feeds me more than food some days.
6. Give up the ghost
You cannot do it all. I repeat. YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL. Maintaining sanity means learning when to off load or ask for help. Skip a workout. Leave the living room disheveled. Hire a cleaning lady. I remember when I was younger, judging the crap out of a
stay at home mom domestic engineer for having a cleaning lady. I take it all back.
7. Take a trip
Planning trips, no matter how few and far between, gives the family something to look forward to. Make a list and check it twice. A few days of not having to walk dogs or do dishes or do laundry is just what I need to hit the reset button.
8. Learn to fake it
When all else fails, schedule a play date, grab some mocktails, put on a smile and fake it till you make it. Maintaining sanity is more fun with friends. Kids eventually grow up and leave the house and then you’ll be sad.