6 Must Have’s for the Busy Mom, on the Go

At the end of every day, I’m somehow always left feeling like 24 hours just isn’t enough. I have a lot of people ask me how I do it, and I always give the same answer, “I go crazy“. But in all honesty, I’m just really great at finding “Life-Hacks“, to keep myself organized and the kids occupied, on the days where staying home all day just isn’t an option. Not to mention, after your first kid, you’ve already learned all the tricks, so imagine where I’m at after four (and still figuring it out, I may never stop)!

So I thought I could share my top 6 must have’s for busy Mom’s on the go, with hope I can save someone the stresses I’ve experienced, before I knew what to prepare for.

 

Must have #1: Baby Wipes
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(These are my jam. They’re better quality than the other brands, for basically half the price.)

This one should be pretty self explanatory. Baby wipes, snot rags, wet naps for sticky fingers and mouths, makeup wipes, dashboard wipes, whatever you use them for, you need these. Even people without kids should keep these. There are too many reasons to need them, and not enough, to not. Seriously, if you aren’t already packing these, you need to reassess your life.

Must have #2: Water

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If you look in the back of any busy Mom’s SUV/mini-van, you’re going to find a case of these bad boys, guaranteed. If every time you have to bring the kids into the grocery store or stop for gas you buy your kids a Bug Juice or Snapple, you’ll break yourself and your bank account. A case of water is UNDER 4 BUCKS, FOR 24 BOTTLES! It takes up pretty much no space, and kids won’t chug water like they do sugary drinks, so it will last them a while, and you get to check “Make sure the kids drink water today” off your good mom list. You know you don’t want to share that iced latte with them anyways, girl!

Must have #3: Nutri-Grain Bars

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“But Katii, why Nutri-Grain bars and not Goldfish or baggies of cereal?” BECAUSE THEY WILL DUMP THAT SHIT EVERYWHERE! Sure they could just as easily crumble these in the backseat, but mine seem to thoroughly enjoy these, and they can double as breakfast when I’m late getting out the door to drive them to school. Not to forget, there’s almost always a coupon for these guys, in the Sunday paper.

Must Have #4: Hand Sanitizer
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So, keep in mind these are in no specific order, because this one is pretty damn important. You pump gas, you sanitize. You go through a drive-thru, you sanitize. You pick up the kids from school, you sanitize them. Seriously, I don’t think I really need to elaborate this one any further. WASH YO HANDS!

Must Have #5: Grocery Bags
Image result for plastic grocery bags

 

Grab the stash you have hidden under your kitchen sink, and stick it in your glove box, right now! These come in handy every single day for us. My family of 6 procures more garbage than you can imagine, even when confined to the space of our mid-size SUV. And if you’re unlike me and have time to clean your floorboards… ever… these would be excellent for tying up muddy shoes after playing in the park or whatever your family does.

Finally…
Must Have #6: The Disney Story Central App
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So, if you don’t already know about this app, prepare to get learn’t. This app reads stories to your kids FOR YOU. If you have a way of connecting your phone to your car, the app can keep your kids entertained for hours…yes HOURS. It comes with several free stories, which my munchkins will read, over and over. You can find codes for new stories on things like Kid Cuisine and Pop-Tart’s. Or you can just do what I do and buy a subscription to the app, and have access to all the books (It’s worth it, trust me).

 

 

 

Now a few things I don’t advise
(but only if your kid’s are tiny assholes, like mine):

No-No #1: Markers
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You- “But Katii, my kids love to color, and I just want them to embrace their creativity!

Me- Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, people sleeping and closeupActual photo of my youngest two.

No-No #2: Goldfish, Cereal, Popcorn or anything small and spill-able:

Image result for goldfish crackers in baggies
See “Must Have #3” for my reasoning, then refer to the final sentence of “Must Have #5” for further explanation.

And to wrap this up, No-No #3:
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These may be alright if you have older kids, but if you’ve got toddlers BEWARE! This will get squeezed (squazzed?) into the floor, into the car seats, into their palms, EVERYWHERE. My 3 year old isn’t allowed to have anything but water in the car, because of how many times this that happened. Seriously, the value of our car probably dropped significantly because of these sons-of-B’s (There goes my dream of a Range Rover).

Take these into real account. You can thank me later.

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I’m “That Mom”

 

I’m “That Mom”.
I’m sure you’re reading this, thinking I mean,
I’m the Mom who never misses a PTO meeting“,
I’m the Mom who bathes her kids every night, and reminds them to brush their teeth before bed
or “I’m the Mom who takes her kids to dance lessons on Tuesdays, soccer practice on Wednesdays and piano lessons on Sunday evenings“, but I’m not.
I thought I would be…
I tried to be…
But let’s be real, I’M SELFISH and I enjoy my time at home, with my phone in my hand, no pants on, and a baby on the boob while the older kids play in their rooms. And I think that’s totally fine!

Here’s what kind of “That Mom” I am:

-I’m the Mom who hasn’t brushed her hair in 3 days, and is always in a baseball hat.

-I’m the Mom who doesn’t pack lunch and special snacks for her kid with food allergies.

-I’m the Mom who throws the clean laundry in a pile in the living room, and folds it once every 2 weeks.

-I’m the Mom who likes to step out for a cigarette, after the kids go to bed.

-I’m the Mom who still has chocolate on her sweatpants from yesterdays breakfast.

-I’m the Mom who feeds her kids cold hot dogs and single-serve apple sauce for lunch.

-I’m the Mom who has to walk the kids into school at least once a week because I decided “5 more minutes” was absolutely necessary, too many times.

-I’m the Mom who is on anti-depressants so I don’t yell at my kids (or husband).

-I’m the Mom who is somehow always on social media.

-I’m the Mom whose 1 year old son is crawling around in the kitchen floor right now, in a pink hand-me-down from 3 kids ago.

-I’m the Mom who would love to cook with her kids, but as soon as they get egg shell in the batter, or start stirring too hard (or not hard enough), I take over and tell them to go play.

-I’m the Mom who buys Pop-Tart’s in bulk so I don’t have to cook breakfast, ever.

-I’m the Mom who let’s her kids say words like, fart, crap, butt, stupid and shut-up.

-I’m the Mom who is constantly distracted.

-and I’m the Mom who doesn’t change a pee diaper until I think there’s enough pee in it to matter.

I did somehow manage to become “The Pinterest Mom” and “The Mom who takes too many pictures“, I guess I had to luck out somewhere where it counts. It couldn’t all be shortcomings, or the “Mom Wars” people would have tried calling CPS long ago (cash me outside, howbah dat?)

The moral of the story, we’re all different, our children are all different, our parents were different from us, and our children will be different parents that we are. Nobody really know what they’re doing, but as long as we do the best we can, I don’t really see any reason to worry about which “That Mom” you are. Just love your kids, take care of yourself and give parenting your best shot, because that’s all any of us can really do.

Image result for mom wars

 

 

Family Circle

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  • Every week we try to do a “Family Circle” discussion, where we sit around the coffee table, talk and do stimulating activities, to teach our kids (they have taught us a few things along the way in turn) lessons they may not learn in school, or that school may not expand on, that we see as necessary knowledge.

    We’ve done so many topics, I can’t remember them all. Here are a few:

    First Aid
    Money Management
    Stranger Danger

  • Friendship and Kindness
  • Controlling Anger
  • (and a few touchy topics, that took some seriously careful planning)
  • World Religions and Atheism
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • and Human Rights

    Some idea’s I have for the future are:

  • Politics & Political Parties
  • Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Taxes
  • Future Career Paths
  • College
  • and Going Green

Usually we have a snack, turn on background music to keep the energy up, and start with explaining the topic and it’s importance, while the kids munch.

Once we’re confident that everyone understands what’s up, we do an activity; for example, when we did Money Management, we used Monopoly money, everyone chose a hypothetical job, relationship status, and whether or not they had children. We dispersed how much money they would get based on their job, added in their bills, food, and basic necessities to show them what was left.

It went pretty well and ended up with one kid who thought she wanted 6 kids, to decide “I just want to be an aunt” (lol), and another kid has (quite seriously for a 7 year old) started a life plan to attend culinary school and open a Bakery!

These things are important for families to talk about. I feel I was raised fairly well, and still we very rarely talked about things like these, and some of the topics I didn’t even know the reality of until I was a parent myself! It’s so important to educate your children on these things before they experience them. I just know I never want my children to feel like we didn’t prepare them for life as an adult, because after all, that’s our main goal when it really comes down to it, isn’t it?

Why you should stop at 2 kids (a drunken spill from a mom of 4)

As I sit at my computer, pant-less, in my 4th consecutive hour on Pinterest, at the bottom of my 3rd Screwdriver, and the kids away for the weekend, I’ve found myself thinking about how much freaking money my beautiful children are actually costing us in a year (not that we’re hurting, but DAMN I miss shopping for myself!). So anyway here’s why you should stop after the 2nd baby.

*pours another drink*

January- You fall asleep at 10pm watching Grey’s Anatomy, while waiting to ring in the New Year, which is “Whatever I guess, there will be other years and I would have fallen asleep anyway.” you tell yourself. Luckily the only thing going on this month is your dads and sisters birthdays, no big deal, buy yourself something nice like a pair of boots!

February- Awww the month of LOVE…and your sons FIRST BIRTHDAY! YAY!!! Now I get that not all birthdays require a party, but this is a first so A PARTY THERE IS! $200 dropped on that, and next week is Valentines Day ❤ Wanna go out with my husband but nothing to fancy, we’ll just go out for dinner and drinks, maybe catch a movie $100 dropped, but don’t forget the Valentines for the kids! That’s another $20 each, plus school sent home letters about donations for the Valentine Parties (and you’re the class mom, so you have to get the teacher a gift from the class), $150 dropped. It’s cool, it’s cool, next month we’ll do better.

March- ANOTHER KID BIRTHDAY! Luckily she’s a toddler and you’re able to bribe her with a family trip to the zoo and dinner, but is that really gonna save you any money? Nahhh. $200 dropped. Okay, okay, we started out strong this month but luckily there’s only 1 more birthday this month and it’s your moms. $30 dropped on a cute primitive for her living room.

April- HAPPY EASTER! Better get those gift baskets from Target unless you want to spend $50 a piece assembling your own! $80 dropped. Oh shit, I almost forgot Easter clothes. We don’t even go to church, but our parents insist on them going and it gives you alone time so we’ll buy some clothes, whatever. Another $80 dropped. No big deal I guess.

*pours more vodka into the 1/2 oz of OJ left in the coffee cup*

May- SUMMER BREAK! Summer is here, the kids are home all day every day, and they are BORED. Buy some outside stuff, idk what; chalk, a sprinkler, a little pool, GET SUN BLOCK. They definitely need bathing suits too, and since they are still pretty little, you need one too (awesome, now I get to try on a thousand bathing suits I’d like to wear, but bust out of, or look like the Michelin man in and eventually get the one piece with fringe at the top like I end up with every year, only in a size bigger than the previous year). All in all, this month was okay. $160 dropped.

June- Let’s go to the WATERPARK! $70 dropped. No biggie, we can actually save fo… “Why are we stopping??? I thought you had the oil changed like a month ago?” $90 dropped, because your husband’s car takes oil made with the tears of angels and diamond dust, and hey go ‘head and rotate the tires, bud.

July- GOD BLESS AMERICA BUT F*** THE PRICE OF FIREWORKS! Screw this, we’ll get sparklers and those little popping things, but we’re going to the cities annual thing and watch those fireworks. $20 dropped, sweet. IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY, you don’t want to do anything too wild, so you and babe go out for a night on the town, have some dinner, a few too many drinks and “AH MY GAH, WE SHA GO TO THE MALL! I NERR GET TO DO ANYTHG FER ME! AND YOU KNO WUH? I DUHSERVE IT! I REALLY DO, BABE!” $300 dropped WTF, it’s okay you’re allocated one REALLY shitty and selfish spending spree a year. It’s the only way you’re ever going to buy clothes for yourself.

August- BACK TO SCHOOL, AYO! Get these kids OUT of here! But first clothes for 3 kids, and new shoes (nice shoes and sneakers). $450 dropped. But wait, there’s more… Shopping lists from the teachers, which include RIDICULOUS amounts of items, which are normally $1.79 but are jacked up for the rest of the month, including 5 packs of black Expo markers wtf…wait FROM EACH KID IN THE CLASS?? That’s dumb y’all. Another freakin’ $175 dropped. Time to start day dreaming about tax season.

September- YAY! Another birthday! But she’s extra and needs a party…as a matter of fact she wants a Hotel Slumber Party like her big sister had last year. The hotel alone; $120 dropped. Everything else, including her present; $100 dropped. But that’s it right? Good.

October- If I have to hear “Trick or Treat, smell my feet” one more time, I swear to God… FAMILY COSTUMES YAY!!! $140 dropped. Now that’s more like it until….

*gets ready to drop the bomb and finishes what’s left in the mug*

November- Feed me. BUT FIRST, it’s babe’s 30th birthday LETS HAVE A PARTY, $120 dropped. It’s also, your brother-in-law, mother-in-law, grandma-in-law, aunt-in-law, uncle-in-law and OMG another kid birthday??? She also wants a sleepover? $300 dropped. HOLY SH. Christmas is NEXT MONTH? Hope these kids are cool with yo-yo’s and coloring books. I mean, it’s the magic of Santa Claus, that they’re really excited about, right?

December- We should be fine if we bargain shop. Christmas for 4 kids; $600 dropped…oops, but they are going to be so happy and it’ll be worth it just to see their little faces light up. Christmas for the rest of the family; $70 dropped, on DIY project bc there is no more money to spend, it’s gone

*twitch*

After all that’s said and done, add in rent for an at least 4 bedroom house and the bills for it, car payments, insurance for 6 people, random small purchases, cell phones, pet food and maintenance, cable and WiFi (gotttttta have that WiFi), random school events and if you want to continue to love your spouse, date night… It adds up.

It’s a circus, and you’re the juggling act.

Some parents are jut naturally strong and organized, if that’s you, more power to ya. If you’ve got it together (or if you don’t bc who really does anyway?) have 6 kids, have 8 kids like my Grandma did, LIVE YOUR LIFE AND GROW THAT FAM! But when it comes to me, I take Celexa, drink lots of coffee and heavily lean on Pinterest to hold my life together.

Life with 4 kids can be beautiful, you just have to find more time to breathe and realize that it’s all worth it than you would with 2, and see that one day they truly and wholly will appreciate you and all you did for them. They will remember forever.