The most important tool a mother possesses is her sense of humor.
Having babies and children inevitably leaves mothers in ridiculous situations. The first time I ever tried a breast pump and my red hot, pulsing boobs whooshed in and out of the suction cup like something out of a Roadrunner cartoon, my mom, my husband and I stared in wide-eyed wonderment.
I have been peed on, barfed on, and even pooped on more times than I can count, often in public. I have held a baby while my teeth were cleaned and while an OB gave me a pelvic exam. I have found myself trying to balance a baby with one arm while assisting a pooping child in the public restroom at the grocery store and keeping a preschooler from doing naked belly slides in the neighboring stall – simultaneously.
And I learned to laugh about all of it.
I laugh at the outlandish excuses my children give me for not doing their homework. I laugh at the complete unreasonableness of my 5-year-old. I laugh when I find out my child told all the other moms at school that I am pregnant again – and they believed him! – when I am really, really not pregnant. At all.
Humor is essential for surviving motherhood, but even more, for enjoying motherhood. These little people of ours are crazy. Enjoy the ridiculous absurdity of it all. This is the fun part – this is the ride. Enjoy the ride. Throw your hands up in the air, lean your head back, and laugh.
I love Pandora, especially the Pandora app on my iPhone. Believe it or not, Pandora has become a valuable tool in my daily parenting.
I use a “Wiggles” station to keep the baby happy when she’s in her highchair waiting for dinner or when I have to put her in her jumper so I can get dressed. I use my “I Gotta Feeling” station to stage impromptu dance parties with my kids. At bedtime, I have started playing the “Disney” station on low after we finish bedtime stories as our snuggle-time soundtrack. It helps the kids wind down with songs both familiar and soothing. Even my defiant, anti-bedtime 5-year-old now willingly submits to the process because he enjoys the music so much. Pandora has changed the entire tenor of bedtime, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I’m on my fourth baby, but she’s my first baby in five years. The baby product world changes monumentally in five years. I’m enjoying the new, improved world of baby gear, but my favorite innovation has been Nosefrida, The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator.
It’s made by a Swedish company (of COURSE, because the Swedes do everything awesome — hello, IKEA), FridaBaby. Instead of wrestling with the giant, green, unforgiving rubber nasal aspirator bulb from the hospital, I have been able to rid my baby of nasal gunk in a decidedly disgusting, unarguably primitive, but amazingly effective way: by sucking it out myself through a plastic tube with a little blue sponge filter.
It’s not pretty, but it is extremely satisfying, not unlike popping a pimple. I know, I have now completely grossed you out, but admit it — you are intrigued. Totally worth the eww factor. It’s the best thing since Tivo, and Tivo is the best thing since fire.