Over the past 3.5 years I have had to evolve just to survive. That means, I’ve developed my own unique formula, which involves loads of Whining multiplied by stacks of Wine-ing and just a little bit of that Charlie Sheen-style Winning. Here are my top survival tactics to help me keep “winning” at this mothering gig every day.
First off – Wine-ing – Drinking a little bit of wine to adapt to your stressful environment.
I’m so not an alcoholic or anything – please click here so I can redeem myself slightly (sip). Also, I should make clear that I hardly, ever drink in private and I never drink in the morning (is that after 12pm?)!
Secondly – Whining – whinging, complaining, bitching and moaning.
This aspect of my strategy involves talking to someone, anyone and everyone about your crappy day and all your general concerns, fears, hopes, dreams and complaints. To qualify as one of my Whining Confidants doesn’t take much. You make the exclusive shortlist by a simple process of elimination – you just can’t be my husband, but other than that, you’re fair game to be on the receiving end of all of my whinging – that goes for:
- any unsuspecting mum, dad or nanny in the park or playground who happens to be near me if I see a kid coughing near my kid/s.
- the poor guy manning the till over the graveyard shift at the supermarket, whose keen to just get on with his job when I am in the mood for offloading all my complaints of the day.
- fellow mums/dads at the school (you know who you are!).
- my kids
- my mother
- my coffee guy (Murray:I love you )
- my hairdresser (Babe: you go to the grave with the stuff we’ve discussed!)
- random elderly ladies (typically the ones with tight perms and lilac tints) who show me hints of kindness or smile at my kids when we’re out.
Thirdly – Winning – adapting, not caring what other people think of you and your decisions, being strong, being brave enough to take risks and set yourself apart from the minority even though people might call you ‘a few sandwiches short of a picnic’ sometimes.
This tactic is multi-faceted and involves some primal stuff we’ve all got within but forget to use:
- Foraging: To avoid starvation as a result of over being over-busy I remind myself to eat before the evening rush begins. I usually eat Aiden‘s leftover sandwich crusts and any other miscellaneous items that he rejected in his lunch box on the ride home from school. I also eat the kids leftover dinner (but only if I am genuinely starving, because this type of food is the least appealing at the end of a long day. Eating chocolates out of the pantry when no one is looking is my preference (much more satisfying and energizing) but if the chocolate supply has dwindled to an all-time low, sometimes I have no choice, but to eat the remnants of leftover, cold scrambled eggs just to sustain myself.
- Hunting and Gathering: Hide all of the annoying toys away even if you know it will break your kids’ hearts – I can think of nothing worse than cleaning up 1000000 puzzle pieces and craft items after an arduous day of mothering. There’s also nothing worse than stepping on that Barney toy bus and setting off the blasted toy (which has no “Off” button) so as to wake the kids at midnight.
- Killer instinct – never show weakness, never break down in front of your kids. Keep poker-faced no matter how much the little killers make you want to sob for mercy. This is a hard gig, but it’s a mind game and you don’t want anyone under 5 years old prevailing over you if you can help it.
- Maintain 3 cardinal rules and stick to them – but then don’t be so anal on the other small things if they are not 1 of the “3 rules” (this tip came from a close friend of mine – absolute gold). 3 things I’ve been consistently victorious over – 1. not sleeping in my bed with me (except if the kids are really sick or newborns), 2. not bringing food upstairs to the bedrooms and 3. holding my hand when we cross the road.
Most days, I do feel like I’m winning. Mostly, because my harshest critics (my boys) haven’t sacked me or evicted me into the Buzz Light Year tent in the yard – yet. Although, I know if I went a bit more Stepford-wife-ish and a bit less ‘me’, I’d have a closer shot of being a winner.
On that note:
Sorry, Darling Husband, that the kitchen was an absolute debacle when you walked in tonight at 9.30pm. I confess, there was a bit too much wine-ing and whining on Skype to my ‘getting through the day friend’ whose overseas at the moment and clearly not enough winning. I’m working on my game. Now, off to mop the floors.