5 Mantras Every Parent Should Know

It’s no secret that parenting is hard, it’s a 24/7 job that offers little acknowledgement and no glamour. Some days, you just need a little help to get through. Over the years, I've developed (and stolen) some helpful sayings that keep me going and remind me that it's a beautiful and privileged journey:

This Too Shall Pass

Kids grow so fast, just when you think you've got it down, they flip the script and you have to learn it all over again. The good news is, that everything is a phase— they eventually sleep through the night, get dressed by themselves, and learn to use the toilet. The bad news is, everything is a phase. They’ll stop asking for a bedtime story and leave for school without a hug. This mantra is a double edged sword. It reminds us that the difficult parts don’t last forever and better days are right around the corner. It also reminds us to put things in perspective and not to take the joyful moments for granted. Sure, it’s exhausting to have a baby wake you up during the night, but those midnight snuggles are precious and fleeting.


You have to laugh or you’ll cry

This is for the inevitable moments when your kids destroy all of your favorite things. If you are about to have a baby just take my advice, pack up anything you even remotely care about, and put it into storage for the next 18 years. Also, never buy a white rug. Even with this precaution, your cute little cherub will still manage to make trouble. This mantra reminds me that there is a choice when you see your kid’s dump out an entire bag of sugar, you can get upset, or you can laugh (and grab a camera). Laughing does not teach your kids that it’s okay to make a mess or break things, you can still make them help you clean it up, but it does show them (and reminds you) that things don’t matter in the long run, they do.

Say it with a song

When I’m late for an appointment and I need to get out the door, 
when the kids won’t eat their dinner and they throw it on the floor, 
when it’s time to clean up toys but they still want to play, 
say it with a song and the work becomes a game! 

I’m no Mary Poppins, I can’t snap my fingers to clean up the nursery (this is my “if you could have any superpower” wish), but I can make up silly songs about whatever I want the kids to do, and it really is a kind of magic. I know you feel stupid, but trust me, it works. I have to give props to Yo Gabba Gabba here, who taught me you could make up a song about anything:

treat yo self

A reminder to take care of yourself, and to celebrate little victories. Got the kids to bed on time? Treat yo self! Got all the laundry done? Treat yo self! Survive a holiday weekend with house guests and hyper kids? Girl, you better treat yo self! A bubble bath, an extra cup of coffee, a new pair of earrings...whatever revives or lights you up a little bit. My personal fave is a binge session with Netflix and my secret stash of chocolate (shhh!)

I'm alive

As wonderful as being a parent can be, and as helpful as all those other mantras and advice are, there are some days when the only thing you can be grateful for is that you are still alive, (and so are the kids!). Hey, that’s okay. Tomorrow is another day, and being alive is pretty great.