What Moms REALLY Need

Everywhere you look online (especially if you frequent Pinterest), you’ll find lists of things that women “need” for motherhood. What you need to pack for the hospital, what you need for the first few weeks at home with a newborn, what you need to entertain your toddler while breastfeeding your newborn, what baby clothes you’ll need, what apps you’ll need, and on and on. But I’ve come to realize that there are a few basic items that every mom of littles legitimately needs, whether it’s your first kid or your fifth. These items actually are a necessity, especially if you are a stay at home mom in danger of losing her mind on a daily basis.

1. First and foremost, coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. If you don’t drink coffee, you may want to start. But really, any source of caffeine will do. Sometimes if I don’t have time to make coffee in the morning, I just drink some Coke. (I know, a super great way to start the day.)

2. On that note, you will need a good, tall coffee cup with a lid. Preferably insulated. Because you will not be drinking that coffee while it’s hot, let’s just be honest. Even if it’s not insulated, having a lid will help it stay hot longer. It also gives you the ability to drink coffee without feeling paranoid that you’re going to spill it on your two month old baby who refuses to be put down.

3. A Netflix subscription. Or Hulu, or Amazon Prime, or something. This is for when you’ve taken up residence on the couch for various reasons such as: feeding a newborn, a sick child, a baby napping on your chest that you’re scared to put down for fear of waking them up, etc. Last winter, Jack and I both got sick and basically didn’t leave the couch for about three days. I managed to watch the whole first two seasons of Scandal. Don’t judge me.

4. A basket or caddy to keep remotes close by. Do not, I repeat, do not get stuck on the couch in the aforementioned situations without the remote nearby. Otherwise, you’re stuck watching Doc McStuffins long after your kid has fallen asleep, and why torture yourself like that?  You can also keep things like your phone and some snacks in the caddy. (Hey, sometimes you get stuck on that couch for a LONG time.)

5. A Kindle, or some other e-reader/tablet device. If you begin to feel like your brain is turning to mush, what with all the Netflix-ing, you may want to try to read something. However, if you’ve ever tried to read a book with a tiny human crawling all over you, you realize this is easier said than done. I’ve found that it’s much easier to read on my Kindle than an actual physical book. This kills me, because I would rather read a physical book. But, the Kindle is great for trying to read with kids around. Plus you can check your email, play games, listen to music, etc. Helpful if your phone dies or you forgot to grab it before you sat down to feed the baby or something.

6. Easy to grab snacks. Because half the time, you will forget to eat, and the other half, you won’t have time to eat. One day last week, I realized I hadn’t eaten yet that day and it was already 3 PM. Hangry (hungry/angry) Mommy is not good for anyone. Grab a granola bar or something.

7. A really good diaper bag. Because it’s basically going to be attached to you for the next couple of years. I personally recommend something with a lot of pockets, and more room than you think you’ll actually need. I’m a Thirty-One consultant, and we have some amazing bags that can be used as diaper bags, but the important thing is to get one that you like and won’t mind carrying around everywhere you go. Make sure it’s stylish and functional. It’s a hard search sometimes, but it can be done.

8. An abundance of hair ties and yoga pants. Where do all the hair ties go? Let me know if you ever figure this out. I can have one in my hair and one on my wrist, and by the end of the day, they’re both gone. Moms should buy stock in hair elastics. And yoga pants. That’s basically all I wear now. I know it’s time to do laundry when I run out of clean yoga pants.

9. A strong stomach. Because the amount of spit up, puke, poop, and chewed food you will have to clean up is astounding.

10. A sense of humor. Because if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. And to be perfectly honest with you, I have many, many moments as a mother where I feel like crying. Sometimes a good cry is what you need, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But just remember to look at the other side of things as well. Being a mom is hard work, but it’s also extremely rewarding work. Try to find the humor in your day, and if things aren’t going as planned, laugh it off and try again. Tomorrow is a new day. Plus, your kids don’t care if you think you’re screwing everything up. All they know is that they love their mommy, and their mommy loves them. In their eyes, you can do no wrong, so cut yourself some slack and enjoy the time you have with your littles.

Uninspired.

One of the things I wanted to do this year was to blog and write more. Clearly, that has not happened yet. I’ve just felt so uninspired lately for some reason. I had all these grand ideas of what I would do with my free time once I graduated (if you didn’t know–I did graduate! I have my Bachelor’s degree now, and tons of extra time! It’s amazing.). But….if I’m being honest, I spend most of that time hanging out with Jack on the couch, reading and watching Netflix.

I’m basically a stay at home mom now, besides working 3 evenings a week at the restaurant. I love it–I had no idea how much I missed him while I was in school until I got the chance to actually be with him all day every day. However, it’s not easy. Especially with him still being so young, I’m constantly having to entertain him, or feed him, or change him, or clean up messes, or something. As my sister in law told me after babysitting him for a couple hours, it’s a full time job. So there’s not much time left for things like writing. I’m still trying to get my house organized from the holidays. I’ve come to realize that with a baby, I can get things done, but basically only halfway. So I have a lot of projects that are half done. It doesn’t make me feel very productive.

But I’ve come to realize that I need to keep writing. I mean, my degree is in English, and I’d like to get a writing/editing job at some point, so I need to stay current. I can’t keep improving if I’m just binge watching Scandal all day. And sometimes I get bored with only a 5 month old to talk to. Writing helps me feel like an adult again, with a life outside of teethers, bouncy seats, sleepers, and burp rags.

But here’s the thing: sometimes writing is scary. Especially writing online. You’re putting yourself out there, your thoughts and feelings, for anyone and everyone to read and form an opinion about. It’s a very vulnerable state to be in, and honestly, one of the reasons why I haven’t pursued anything that would help my writing career yet is because it’s a scary thing to do. What if I’m not as good as I think I am? Why if people don’t like my writing, or aren’t interested in what I have to say? But I know I have to do it. I’ve been researching some things, and I found a Twitter account that tweets quotes by writers about writing, and it has started to break through my state of apathy towards writing. I also started this book that’s supposed to help inspire and overcome writer’s block by making lists of random things: specific moments in life, your likes and dislikes, fears, ambitions, etc. It’s interesting.

So here’s to a new year, and hopefully some new inspiration and lots of writing!

writing quote