We had our second kid a little more than a year ago.
Having a baby around, after being five-plus years removed from that part of the process,
was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done required some quick re-learning of some forgotten skills.
Thankfully, it was a bit like riding a bike. Riding a shit-stained bike through an obstacle course of crumbs, toys, and instantly outgrown onesies while totally exhausted to the point of hallucination, but a bike nonetheless.
So far, we’ve managed, but not without my parenting survival list.
Being responsible for a 6-year-old and a baby means you’ve got to basically be ready for anything at all times. Sure, the 6-year-old can fend for himself until it’s homework time. Or bedtime. Or bath time. Or get ready for school time. Or meal time. But he usually doesn’t want to, especially once he’s seen all the help the baby gets!
Because the baby can fend for himself just about never. So it’s all hands on deck 24/7 with the actual baby, and with the 6-year-old regressing, desperate for attention, it’s not that different.
Thankfully, there are some tricks I’ve learned, some wisdom I’ve accrued throughout this experience, that’s helped me survive. Basically, I’ve figured out exactly what I need to make it through a day, not including the obvious stuff your kids need, like diapers, wipes, clothes, snacks, etc. That’s for them.
This list is for me — and for you. And it’s almost certainly incomplete.
Parenting Survival List
- ALL THE CAFFEINE IN THE WORLD
- Xanax? (No shame. Seriously.)
- A flask
- A solid nap (for the kids)
- A solid nap (for me)
- A little peace and quiet
- I’ll just take the quiet
- Just give me a muzzle
- ALL THE PAPER TOWELS IN THE WORLD
- Five minutes to myself to shower
- Five minutes to myself to poop
- Five minutes to myself to cry
- Five minutes to myself, naked, while getting a root canal — I don’t even care, just so long as my kids aren’t crawling on me and asking for things!
- ALL THE ASPIRIN IN THE WORLD
- My phone
- Their iPad
- Less laundry!
- Less crumbs
- Less homework
- A pillow to lie on
- A pillow to scream into
- A pillow to punch
- The tiniest bit of cooperation
- Some breathing room
- A date night
- A vacation
- For it to be their bedtime already
- For it to be my bedtime already
- Did I mention booze yet?
- Oh I did, with the flask?
- Still though.
- More Booze.
- It’s important.
- Or at least less crying
- A LITTLE GODDAMN HELP FROM MY SPOUSE FOR ONCE
- A divorce lawyer?
There you have it, all you need to survive a typical day of parenting small children. Whatever you do, don’t forget the paper towels. Or the muzzle.
A slightly modified version of this post originally ran on Scary Mommy