They warn your about the baby arsenal. The maternity wear. But did folks actually prepare me for the things I needed as a mom? No, not really. It was in the trenches of sleepless nights, showerless days and humor that got me to the mom I am today. And definitely a few lessons were learned along the way. So in the light of humor, humility and high fives to moms everywhere, I bring you 21 items mom can’t live without. You’d better stock on these now. No, seriously.
1. A PROFESSIONAL NIGHT GUARD
Thanks a lot, sub-conscience! After my son was born, I kept waking up with this horrible pain in my jaw. What was wrong with me? I had no idea the effect my sub-conscience and my kids would have on my teeth and my jawline. OUCH! Grinding and clenching away the worries that come with parenting, I soon realized that I needed help. Industrial strength help. So after almost chewing through a store guard, I have invested in a professional night guard…because hey, my kids are worth it.
2. A YEAR’S SUPPLY OF FULL COVERAGE UNDERWEAR
Before I had kids, I wouldn’t be caught dead showing any sort of panty line in my clothing. Dare I say thongs were the statement of choice. Looking back, I can’t understand why I ever thought those things were comfortable. These days? If I’m going to be thrown into the th(r)ongs of chaos (see the word play there?), then I have to be the most focused (aka most comfortable) while doing it.
3. ME FUND AND A FAST GETAWAY
“I love my kids” mantra can only go so far. Everyone has buttons and fuse and at a certain point, you start realizing that you cannot do everything for your kids all of the time. Those precious minutes spent away from them (yes, even hiding in a closet) is so important for your psyche. And totally agree now…it makes you a better mom. Invest in a small fund for you for whatever makes you happy. If it’s a new dress, fancy chocolate, a bottle of wine or a pedicure, you know what you need.
4. MOM JEANS
Let me start by saying a full apology to all moms. I didn’t know. This is when I place my foot in my mouth and comprehend that hindsight really is 20/20. I didn’t understand why moms have to go for the high waisted jean. They’re not flattering, not fashionable and certainly not for a “cool” mom like me. I would think every mom would want to wear the awesome hip hugger or low rise. And then….I had my 2nd child. That flabby piece of flesh just sits there like a deer in headlights, begging to be stared at. And so we tuck it quietly away, in the depths of our mom jeans. And somehow, we feel better about the world. A mood ring changer for sure, I can walk out of my house more confidently with my jeans towards my navel. And hey, now they’re in-style…at least this season.
5. A LOCK ON MY DOOR
Privacy in the bedroom, the bathroom or anywhere for that matter is non-existant now that children are around. All. The. Time. I no sooner get the forecast for my potty deposit while my toddler empties the contents of my tampon box. And private time with daddy? Better save that for the safe hours of midnight – 2 am when children won’t walk in.
6. A PLANNER
I can’t even remember my own anniversary, my children’s birthdays, the day of the week, or even what I had for breakfast this morning. Everything now goes down in a planner (aka my phone) with multiple alarms. At least 2 and a possible reminder for the reminder alarm. My brain is that bad. But I’ll never forget what color my daughter’s diaper blow out was 2 weeks ago or why my son’s Legos were taken away 4 days ago.
7. A KEURIG, ON TAP
Coffee. I saw that one coming. But having coffee at 2 pm? 8 pm? 2 am? I’m still waiting for them to figure out how to give coffee IV. And since I cannot remember anything (see #6), that means making coffee via the regular coffee maker requires…thinking. Way too much thinking. Another round, please!
8. THE MOST COMFORTABLE BRA IN THE WORLD…AKA A UNICORN
As soon as motherhood hits you, every piece of clothing becomes uncomfortable. I swear it’s a life-long side effect of child bearing. The underwire bra becomes unbearable. The lacy, pretty bras of the past become distasteful. And non-padding? You have to be kidding. Maybe they should consider moving the perfect bra for motherhood over in the useful kitchen utensil area. End rant.
9. A BIG PURSE
As if carrying two children, a diaper bag and a stroller weren’t enough, you need a ginormous purse to carry all of the “what ifs.” Because you never know if you child requires the whole collection of Matchbox cars or 15 snacks to choose from. You can’t be certain. And maybe somewhere towards the bottom is a dried out lipstick.
On pair with #4, I thought I could wear a bikini forever. String, in fact. but those stretch marks aren’t disappearing anytime soon. And honestly I got tired of being compared to a zebra. So while my belly may never again see the tan of old, I can at least wear a mom bathing suit like a boss.
11. ANGRY CHICK MUSIC
Because when you can’t scream, you can sing. Really, really loudly.
12. A LOCATOR…FOR EVERYTHING
Finding my keys. Finding my shoes. Finding my car. Finding my kids. You know, the usual.
13. VACUUM OR A PET
It’s no wonder why companies are flocking to the latest and greatest vacuum technology. We as moms use this piece of mom arsenal daily. And we are not just vacuum users, but connoisseurs of the art. We can multi-task the Cheerio landmine removal with the dusting. We can clean the extra fur off the dog and the fallen crumbs from your daughter’s poofy dress.
14. QUALITY UNDER EYE CONCEALER
So we can at least avoid the comments of “wow, you look so tired.” Over my mommy years, this is the one piece of makeup I cannot live without. It is my essential before stepping out into the light of society. So if you love your mom friend, get them a high quality concealer stick. She’ll love you.
15. A BINGE SHOW
Not right now, honey. It’s my show. Hiding behind every binge show is an escape for mom from evening duties. Even 30 minutes of submersion into a world of non-thinking, we all have the “show” that we need in our lives to show us that our lives really are so much better than this. So enjoy Once Upon a Time or the 15th Season of American Idol. I totally got your back.
16. A HIDDEN STASH OF CHOCOLATE
No explanation needed.
17. FASHIONABLE YOGA PANTS
Because fashionable sounds better. Like we have taste. Even companies are understanding the importance of our everyday uniform. And they might as well capitalize on those hot mom pinstriping and colored fold over waist bands. We look good.
18. DUSTY HEELS
Because we don’t have the heart to give away a hot pair of shoes. But we know that we can never willingly put our feet into them again. A link to the past. A reminder that once “I rocked,” my heels stand in my closet as medals of honor.
19. SOCIAL MEDIA
There is life outside of these walls. And for a few minutes (or an hour) you can relish in what everyone else is doing, and imagine that one day you will do this too. You also post pictures of the pristine parenthood life you live, and gauge importance based on the number of likes you receive.
20. A HAIR TIE IN EVERY NOOK AND CRANNY
I should have bought stock not in Apple, but in Goody. Hair ties are the most important item I possess. A savior in the midst of a sweaty afternoon of play, a determined weekend of cleaning or even as glue for your children’s fort, hair ties are essential to mom survival.
Because after you had kids you realized that the world is gross.
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