I’ve been a parent for 5 years now, and I have two kids. Let me tell you, there are a lot of parenting tips out there, many written by people that don’t have kids, or parents that lie to themselves. To be honest, most of those lists makes me feel like I am doing a terrible job, that I am finding it much more difficult than these other parents and that my kids might be monsters.
So, let’s take it down a notch, no bullshit. Here are some honest parenting pro tips.
1. Always keep a few boxes on KD in your pantry. Don’t fight it, this is key. Just buy a whole bunch and keep it on hand, you’re going to need it, and that’s perfectly okay.
2. Stretchy pants are your friend. Wear the shit out of them. Screw jeans, belts or anything else that has a legitimate waistband. Secret talk here – I still wear maternity pants occasionally.
3. Toddlers are assholes, and it’s okay to call them that. It doesn’t mean that you are ungrateful or a bad parent.
4. You don’t have to bathe your kids every single night before bed, unless they have gotten into something and are actually dirty, it’s fine. I bathe my kids 2 or 3 times a week and they are not gross.
5. Turn screen time into currency, you can get your kids to do anything. They will pick up their toys if TV or iPad are only allowed afterwards.
6. When you find an old bottle or sippy cup under the sofa, just throw it out. Trust me.
7. Hide the candy stash in the laundry room. They will never find it in there, and may even forget about it leaving you all the candy.
8. If your child wets the bed, change them and throw down a towel. It doesn’t matter if you wash the sheets in the morning, just go back to bed and get some rest.
9. Don’t worry about keeping your kid looking cute and clean all the time, sometimes getting pants on them is difficult enough.
10. Telling your kid that they need to eat a fruit or vegetable before they can have any dessert will make you feel better about the mac and cheese.
11. It’s normal to binge on ice cream when your kids are in bed. It’s a must after a long day of parenting. People who don’t do this are probably alcoholics.
12. Wet wipes are vital, always have some with you. They can clean everything from butts, to counter tops, to car seats. You need these.
13. The embarrassment that you feel using a crayon instead of a pen is nowhere near as painful as looking for a pen while holding a toddler.
14. Sometimes it feels really good to make faces at or flip off your kids when they aren’t looking.
15. McDonald’s is like Starbucks to kids, it’s not good for you and it’s kind of expensive, but it makes life a lot easier and is a really good treat on a long hard day.
16. Hiring a babysitter so you can do anything without kids is worth every single penny.
17. Never bring goggles to a swimming pool, it will turn into a full-time job of fixing the goggles and listening to your child whine about it.
18. Kids will pick up their toys twice as fast if you offer them McDonald’s, laundry room candy or a bowl of Lucky Charms. Bribes are the way to go.
19. Taking your kids to the park is a great way to get caught up on social media.
And that’s my list. Sure, there are more tips, but I have kids and no more time for this as my three-year-old flails around next to me on the sofa. Feel free to add your own pro tips, because you know, it takes a village to raise children and I don’t get out much.