Staying Sane During the Summer

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hebrew National. The opinions and text are all mine.

“Stay Sane” has been the motto of 2017. I’ve been a lone parent since the beginning of March. Since then I’ve sold my house, sold my items in my house, packed what was left, driven across the country and settled in a new apartment….with no husband and three kids (who don’t sleep).

There are parents who are happy and love every part of parenting who are “fluffy”- they go the extra mile with their spotless kitchens, Pinterest crafts and nice-smelling fully dressed kids. They make their condiments and bread products from scratch. They grow organic vegetables in their gardens that magically never get weeds.

I’d like to think this used to be me, but the reality is I will never be Joanna Gaines, have skinny thighs, or grow organic cucumbers, carrots or tomatoes successfully. The fluff is great and nice and lovely if you can manage it, but that fluff is the antithesis of me staying sane. It might be the stuff in your life that helps you thrive, but for me, ain’t nobody got time for that. I’m too busy working, packing, unpacking, parenting, organizing, and not losing a child within the subway system.

I’ve adjusted my life and therefore my parenting style down to the bare bones out of necessity. I can’t do it all and that’s ok. I like to think I have it all together, but that is the farthest thing from the truth, especially in the summer when my kids are home with me 24/7. (Anyone else dreaming about this every night?)

So, I wanted to write a post that includes a lot of my tips and tricks that help me not go crazy through these hot summer months. Hopefully, they can be a little helpful!

Sane Mommy Tips

Find something small that makes you happy and do it. For me, that is watching Friends on Netflix. Sometimes I get to watch an episode in bed alone, or sometimes I watch on my iPhone while I’m doing dishes. The point is, I need this 23 minutes in my life. My husband isn’t home Monday to Friday, and normally I would just talk to him while HE does the dishes, but that is not the season of my life right now. So, Friends it is.

Speaking of dishes, I hate dishes!! I’ve given up doing as many dishes as much as I possibly can. Cover everything you can with aluminum foil, parchment paper or those crockpot liners. Some days, I pull out the paper plates too…it just depends on the day and how much patience I have lost.

Also: 94% of all items you bring into your kitchen should be dishwasher safe. Just sayin’. (Did I mention I hate dishes?)

Don’t clean your house. I mean, you totally can if you feel like it and have the time, but don’t go crazy. A lot of my friends come over and don’t care that my house is messy…when I had friends stopping by.  Those are the people you need in your life. Most of the time, cleaning for me means I keep up with the dishes, I’ll vacuum occasionally and get my kids to clean the bathrooms and take out the trash (our recycle room is right next door to us in our building). Mopping the floors will forever be my husband’s job.

Don’t feel bad that you’re not going to the gym. I was feeling bad that I got my membership and have only been once, but then I realized I’m doing cardio everyday walking all over this city pushing a double stroller. We will get there eventually.

Summer Dinner Tips

I’ve been trying to figure out a good system for weekly meal planning/grocery shopping for a few weeks and I haven’t really come up with anything. It’s so tricky because I either have to purchase and carry home all my groceries (no thanks) or be organized enough to purchase everything I need online and have it all delivered. (I’ve done this a few times and always forget something!)

So, since we’ve been here I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants. This is basically the definition of motherhood.

By the time dinner rolls around, I don’t know what to make and most of the time I’m usually too tired to make a big 3-course meal. So, generally for dinner I will create a typical balanced meal with raw cut veggies, fruit and some sort of protein and grain. It’s not complicated in the least. I guess I could serve some cooked veggies, but that would require more work and time…and I’m most likely all tapped out by the end of the day.

Pictured above would be a very common and fast summer meal you’d get at my house. Veggies, hummus, watermelon, cherries, and a hot dog. I use Hebrew National hot dogs because I know their food standards are so darn high and they remain strict so I don’t have to worry about a thing. Out of all the hot dogs on the market, these are the ones I feel most comfortable feeding my kids and family. Plus, they are one of the quickest meals to prep, since you can simply reheat and enjoy. All that prep time I save means I can spend a little more time relaxing.

Food Rules at my House

I don’t care for arguing in the home…especially when it comes to food. Just eat what I give you. I’M NOT TRYING TO KILL YOU. Man, can they be picky!

Since more times than not I’m serving up something new for dinner, my kids are really good at resisting. So, regardless of what I put on their plates, they know they have to take AT LEAST the number of bites that corresponds to their age. Blake is four so he needs to take four bites to be excused. When Brooke turned eight, she was devastated.

Never wavering from these rules has been successful for our family. These are the rules and these have ALWAYS been the rules.

Another successful tip: throw a peace offering onto their plate. What is a peace offering, you ask? It is something familiar that I know they will eat. A piece of fruit, a favorite veggie, a half piece of toast, a hot dog (in our house, these are always Hebrew National hot dogs made with premium cuts of beef), plain pasta (because my kids hate sauce)….anything that will make them warm up to the idea of dinner.  I’ve even been known to throw on a few mini muffins or a cookie. Anything that they will want to start eating immediately can make the cut for peace offering. This is how I sneakily get my kids to slowly warm up to new foods.

Never STOP serving them new food, just adapt the way they are presented.

May the force be with you.

 

What are your Mommy tips for staying sane during the summer? I’d love to hear!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Hebrew National. The opinions and text are all mine.

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  1. You are doing great! Love that you love yourself enough to know your limitations and to let certain things go and prioritize what is important to you and your family. It will get better, but definitely is an adjustment.

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  2. Love the tips to helping introduce new foods to the kiddos! My daughter is 2 1/2 and up until a couple months ago she would eat ANYTHING. Now, it can be hit and miss at dinner time. I’ll definitely keep these ideas in mind! Thanks for your continued posts/recipes! I know you have a lot on your plate, but I’m sure I speak for a big portion of the “online community” when I say you’re a SUPER MOM! You got this momma, its just a new season 😉

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  3. I always make the girls at least try it. My younger one is so adventurous, so most of the time if we like it, she’ll like it. My older one, not so much, we always tell her to try it though, sometimes with the teenage eye roll attached. Even if she is not a fan of something, usually a side dish, we always have her try it again, because sometimes she will end up liking then loving it.
    Love idea that they have take as many bites as there age. Thank you for your candid view of motherhood with 3 kids, in NYC. I have enjoyed reading about your journey east.

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