This post is sponsored by Red Baron but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
This is not the typical “here’s how to improve your life” post. Not today.
We’ve got a full month of summer under our belts by now, and we’re all still here.
Which is a freaking miracle, if you ask me. Or maybe not such a miracle since I’ve been very, very intentional with our schedule and activities.
Because I work from home, I actually plan our days out well in advance.
Which works fine most of the time…until it doesn’t.
Like yesterday (or just about any other day lately. Having your business take off totally rocks until you remember that you also have to mom).
Yesterday was like any other day…until it wasn’t.
I totally had everything handled…but then my calendar filled up with requests for ‘coffee chats’ and potential client (and real client) meetings.
When Dinner Sneaks Up On You
And about 3:00 I realized that there was literally nothing in the house for dinner. And we live too far out in the “sticks” for a delivery driver.
The closest grocery is about 3 miles away as the crow flies…but it takes a good 15 minutes to get there.
Which is still faster than running into town and sitting down at a restaurant or waiting at the hostess stand for takeout that will end up cold and “inedible” (according to my kids) by the time we get home.
So the grocery store won. I got off my last call just before 4:00 p.m. and we were all hangry.
The kids had eaten their lunch a good bit ago, and I’m pretty sure that I hadn’t eaten all day.
Which is a bad habit, by the way. Don’t be like me.
What was I saying?
Right. So we piled into the car and headed to the closest grocery. I took a poll and assessed that all children in my car wanted the same thing: pizza.
Pizza Pie, Please
But one wanted cheese and the other wanted pepperoni.
Luckily, they both love Red Baron Pizza. Which meant that was one less decision I had to help them with.
We got to the store and headed straight for the “yummy” aisle as they call it.
They agreed to my offer of one pizza each (because leftovers make awesome lunches!), and we headed home.
Once we got home they wanted to help make dinner, so I let them chop the watermelon (don’t worry-we have a set of kid-safe knives) and I put the pizza in to bake.
Our boys prefer the brick oven crust, which comes out nice and crispy and very fresh.
What started out as total chaos turned into a really fun family dinner.
So what’s the lesson here?
Well for one, everyone has bad days. Every parent has a “war story” that they think is silly, or sad, or frustrating.
You, mama, are not alone. Not even a little bit.
I keep people organized for a living and even I cannot prevent some days devolving into complete chaos.
In hopes that I can prevent this from happening again, I’ve got a plan (and I’m going to share it with you).
5 Tips to Save Your Sanity When Things Go Crazy
The first thing that I found helpful was to admit that I didn’t have a handle on things. Sounds silly but it’s definitely helpful when you feel like things are falling to pieces.
Once you’ve admitted (temporary) defeat, then you can forge ahead.
Keep a Stash of Easy Dinners
I am going to be stocking up on Red Baron pizza and other easy meals for nights like this last one. Having a dinner that the kids actually want to eat helps.
I was definitely not in a place where arguing over broccoli was going to make the night better.
Sometimes you just need to not be asked a zillion questions-and that’s when allowing the kids to “break” the rules and watch a movie during dinner can come in handy.
Putting on Paddington (1 or 2) is a guaranteed way for some quiet and happy kids.
Fudge the Rules
Dinner at the table? Nope.
Let the kids eat in the kitchen, spread out a blanket in the front yard, or have a meal on your back deck. Sometimes a change of scenery makes all the difference.
Pick Your Battles
The kids want pizza? Sure. Milk? Why not. Popsicles and watermelon? Okay.
When chaos happens sometimes you just have to decide whether or not this is the hill you want to die on. For me, having happy, fed kids trumps my plans of a salad for dinner any night.
No, not literally. We’ve started taking post-dinner walks and bike rides and just getting some fresh air is enough for me to be able to come home with a new outlook and a better attitude.
Getting in some exercise before bed has the added bonus of helping the kids fall asleep faster and sleep later. Plus, Smalls is getting pretty good on two wheels!
How about you? Do you ever feel like the wheels are falling off?
Share your parenting war story below.