When I had my first child, I was clueless and naïve. Sure, I read the books. Yes, I listened to friends with kids. I was a member of Mommy Chat on Facebook. Since I have a Type A personality, I was convinced I would have this mommy thing in the bag.
Isn’t motherhood fun? It's so humbling but so rewarding. I quickly realized that this tiny human was going to have to go with me everywhere. As I added on new babies, it stayed the same. Being a stay-at-home mom with a hard-working husband and no family around, these babies have gone with me everywhere. They’ve been there for pap smears. They’ve been there for weekly grocery trips. They’ve been there.
So how do you survive taking a baby everywhere? I am no expert, but here are some pointers for surviving motherhood with kids in tow.
Have the Right Bag
I am a purse person, so diaper bags are fun for me. I change my mind constantly on what bag I want to carry and take out on errands. It is important to be prepared. With a baby, you need so many things. Remember to pack diapers, wipes, extra clothes, burp cloths, etc.
For me, it has been easiest to have a backpack diaper bag. This way, my hands are available for baby. Those car seats are heavy! Jujube and Little Unicorn make adorable diaper bags that can be worn as backpacks. Some are even machine washable, just in case you have a spill or have to put some stinky onesies back in the bag.
Learn to Babywear
It can be overwhelming, but finding the right carrier can be a game changer when you have 1, 2, 3, or however many kids. Wraps like Boba and soft-structured carriers like Tula have been success stories for me. I always keep a carrier in the car. I do this even still, and my baby is 15 months old! Practice wearing baby at home while you clean. This is a great workout! Ditch the stroller, because sometimes you just can’t have one.
Find Your Comfort Spot
For my first child, my comfort spot was Starbucks drive-thru in our small town in Indiana. When she was fussy, we went for rides and ended up at Starbucks. With my son, it was Dunkin Donuts. Now, we live in Arkansas and I find myself visiting McDonald’s drive thru for coffee sometimes. Sometimes it’s just to reward myself for making it through a Walmart trip with my kids.
Wherever makes you happy, go there with your baby. I know they’re little, but I really believe babies understand when momma is happy. When I have coffee, I’m happy. My kids know that.
So, momma, what are some tips and tricks that you have learned since becoming a mommy? It’s amazing how many of us adapt and get so much stronger when we earn this title. Yes, my hands are full. But hey, have you seen my heart and my mini van? Mommy life rocks.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she has to take kids everywhere she goes and that’s okay with her.