Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

After three children, thousands of diapers and hundreds of bottles of Ibuprofen, I’ve developed some  parenting favorites. These simple, but fabulous, things have made my job as a mom so much easier.

Zoo pals plastic silverware — Yes. They endure the heat of the dishwasher and the sun, the filth from the bottom of the diaper bag,  the teething of toddlers and curious hands that want to see if they bend. I love this silverware. The various animals (from lions to elephants) make eating fun for my kids. And they’re great for potlucks and parties. We have “nice,” “adult” silverware, but it’s so much easier to give the kids plastic, especially when they insist on cutting their own food. And, of course, there’s plenty of pink to choose from, which makes my 2-year-old princess very happy!

Diaper wipes — Although we’re past diapers, I continue to buy these miraculous inventions. Did you know that diaper wipes clean marker off counter tops and walls? They even clean floors pretty well. And they’re perfect for car trips filled with apple dippers and summer nights when I’m just too tired for baths.

Camouflage bandages —  They even come in pink! I can’t tell you how many “owies” these bandages have cured. I realize it’s a mental panacea, but when my son is convinced his leg is going to fall off, these things do the trick. To boot, they feel like tough “Army guys” because they’ve got cool bandages (Band-Aids). And my daughter loves to cover her “skeeto bites” with the pink ones. I’ll easily pay less than $2 for mental and emotional peace.

Spray sunscreen — O.K. I’ll admit. This stuff is expensive. But it’s not messy! I hate applying sunscreen because it’s such a production. The kids can apply it themselves (with supervision) and it makes summertime fun so much easier.

A plastic bag  (without holes) in the car — I know it sounds strange. But we always keep a hole-less garbage bag in the car. It never fails. Someone eats too much candy and gets sick. Or a potty-trained kid suddenly can’t wait any longer. If nothing else, it works great for drive-through trash. Remember to check for holes: I learned this the hard way after a beach-, bacteria-filled vacation. 

Cool sticks and boxes — Who cares about fancy, expensive toys when you can find sticks in the yard and boxes from the new T.V.? My kids have turned sticks into swords, golf clubs, microphones, bats, light sabers….and on and on. And I think they enjoy the boxes their toys come in more than the toys. After all, boxes can serve as hideouts, forts and shields. In fact, when my oldest son was 2, I discovered he was stealing Pringles and eating them in this box fort, later named “Chip World.” So, I’m tempted next Christmas to put sticks in their stockings and wrap empty boxes.

Oxiclean — What diaper wipes don’t clean up, Oxiclean will. This stuff is amazing! What is it? I’ve gotten chocolate, blood, juice, ketchup, spit up and grass stain out of so many clothes, thanks to this cleaning miracle. I add it to my whites and I’m shocked at the results. So, to the makers of Oxiclean, thank you for saving me money on new clothes!

These are a few of my favorite things. But I’ve got more. Stay tuned. What are your parenting must-haves?


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children, Kristen Parker

My three children

“Don’t cry over spilled milk.”

Before children, I thought it was just a cute phrase that parents said to calm down their children. But let me tell you: Spilled milk has created more tears in our house than bloodshed.

That’s what this blog is about. It’s about the real job of parenting.

When I was pregnant with my first child, unexpectedly of course, I read all the books. I learned when and what to feed him; how to get him to sleep through the night; how and when to punish. But once I had him, those books were moot. Until you’re a parent, you don’t get it. The books don’t matter. You have to do what’s right for you, and, quite frankly, for your sleep cycle.

In researching parenting blogs, I found several that focused on “how to raise the perfect children.” Parents who don’t allow sugared cereal, or chips or candy. Parents who never spank. Parents who don’t say no. Parents who strictly enforce the 8 p.m. bedtime.

It sounds so perfect. But, as I tell anyone, I am far from perfect and so are my kids.

Working more than 50 hours per week and going to graduate school, I’ve learned to give up control. I have an awesome stay-at-home dad who tries to instill some order in the chaos of a house dominated by three children. No, he doesn’t do things the way I would do them, but at least he does them.

So this blog will serve as an entertaining look into our family of five. We’ll show you that we’re not textbook parents. We spank. We yell. And, well, I enjoy a couple glasses of wine at night. My house is a mess.

But we cook every night. And our microwave broke months ago and we haven’t replaced it!

So we’ll also show you that we love unconditionally and that we allow our children to make mistakes. We lose it after a day of fighting and whining, but we always remember to say “I love you” at bedtime.

I wish someone had told me the truth about parenting, instead of having to read about the perfect parenting remedies. Perhaps it was post-partum depression, but after reading the books and the Parenting magazine stories, I felt worthless.

I subscribe to Parenting magazine and I read Dr. Sears. I even subscribe to parenting blogs. But rarely do I find parents willing to tell it like it is.

What do you really do when your child says he hates you? How do you really punish her when she runs into the street after her bouncing basketball?

These are things I want to know. I’m taking a leap of faith with this blog, but I’m hoping I’m not the only mother who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.

So I welcome your blogging ideas and your input (whether you agree or disagree).

Spilled milk causes tears. But so does reading about “perfect children” that I don’t have.

My kids are awesome. And I’m betting yours are, too. So let’s share levels of awesomeness.

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