My maiden name is Tasker. I used to joke with my friends that my middle name was Multi. I thought of myself as the ultimate multitasker. Ask anyone, I could clean the house, pay the bills, grocery shop, make dinner, slam out some really clever paragraphs and not feel stressed at all.
I no longer joke about my middle name.
No, now you’ll catch me kicking my way through heaps of plastic toys, peeling stickers off the wall, and forever throwing piles of soiled laundry on the stairs to wash later. By later, I mean a week or so when I’ve walked passed it 17 times because there’s always something else I need to be doing. These are considered my good days. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been treading water for two years and I’m just barely keeping my head above the sanity level.
Throw in sleep deprivation, an accidental head butt to the face, a potty-trained toddler repeatedly wetting her pants just to get back at me, a few ferocious tantrums (all before 10 a.m. mind you) and I feel like the gods are looking down at me and laughing. Or maybe they’re spitting on me. But it will get better right? Isn’t that what they always say?
How can a parent survive such torture day in and day out? Here are a few ways I keep from drowning:
Sarcasm for swearing
Long do I miss the days when I could just hurl the f-word around whenever things didn’t go my way. Now I have little ears standing by soaking in everything I thing say. So I get sarcastic. I mean so sarcastic that I actually start to believe what I’m saying. Something like, “Gee whiz, I’m having so much fun right now!” But when I say it, picture one of those high-pitched tour guides at Disneyland that’s drank a few dozen Red Bulls and you’re in the ballpark. Screaming into a pillow also works.
Guilt-free TV time
When I’ve almost completely lost my mind, I throw Disney’s Frozen on. I don’t know what it is about that movie but when it’s on, the whole world stands still and I’m able to slip away into adult land without being detected.
A good lunch
I make something I actually want for lunch. I stop sneaking handfuls of chips in the pantry, or cramming that cold, borderline leftover meatloaf into my mouth between diaper changes. A good meal mends my soul and gives me a much needed energy boost. Even if I have to eat it while watching Frozen.
Even if it’s a complete downpour we get out. We walk around the mall, go to the drop-in centres, but my favourite place to take my kids is the farmer’s market. Plenty of vegetables to teach them about, and there are no treats at the checkout aisle for them to throw a tantrum about. Win-win.
One of the bonuses of being able to store a million photos on my phone, is being able to look back on them when I need to remind myself that my children are in fact incredible little people finding their way through life (not using my sarcasm coping method here). When poop hits the fan (literally), I whip out the phone, and we start recapping all the good times we’ve had together.
How do you cope?