Lately my 3yo and 5mo have been waking up all night resulting in very little sleep for this mama. So after many cranky and grouchy days I accepted that this was my new reality and I needed a quick reminder of how to stay happy and positive while tired and sleep deprived!
So after some 3am reflection and analysis on what helps me through the day, I have put together a short list of things that help me stay positive.
1. Have a shower (with or without kids) - water makes everyone feel refreshed and better
2. Watercolours and sticker books. Cheap, kids love them and virtually no mess.
3. Frozen vegetables make 2 minute noodles healthy. Right? Frozen vegetable pasta, frozen vegetable quiche, frozen vegetable soup... You get the idea....
4. Go out. Playgroups, playgrounds, shopping centres or friend's houses. Why is it that baby always sleeps so well when in a noisy place but never in the peaceful sanctuary of their cot?
5. Have a set of clothes that you only put on when going out and take them off when you get home. This avoids the what to wear debate and makes getting out much easier and quicker.
6. Always have a bag ready to grab with spare clothes and nappies - same reason as no. 5
7. Disney. Movies. Are. Awesome. I own a 50GB thumb drive with every movie ever made! Ignore any Internet posts saying TV is bad for children - I like to think of it as pop culture education... Or musical appreciation... Or mummy sanity session..
8. Icy poles - kids will do just about anything for frozen sugar water. Use for bribery/special treats - also keeps them hydrated!
9. Expect the 2pm after lunch no nap grouchy time... And here I'm talking about mum. Be prepared and don't let them push your buttons! This is the time to play "the sleeping game" or the "nurses and patient" game. I also like the "lets hide and be quiet to see if we can see a fairy" game.. You get the point... If this fails - use Disney.
10. Try find things to do with your kids that you also enjoy doing. As long as they have your attention kids like doing nearly everything - planting a garden, cooking potatoes on a fire in the backyard, making cookies (even if they taste horrible), raising baby chickens, painting nails, pressing flowers, making paper.
The trick is to remember that they are little and won't be able to do it properly. They will make a mess and hopefully you will have had fun and so the cleaning wont be so much a chore!
This too will pass - make sure the memories left are happy ones.