We all know that being a mother is darn hard work – even that is an understatement. It's not all coffee, cake, strolling through shopping centres and giggling with girlfriends while letting the kids run loose at playcentres. Or is it?! Check out these hilarious tips compiled by BellyBelly's Forum Moderating Team in order to help mothers out there to make motherhood look easy!
1) “The baby woke up 4 times last night. Didn't you hear her? You sure can sleep through anything!” No matter if it's been said in truth or if she's been sleeping through for around 4 months already, this is a sure way to get lots of sympathy and sucking up from your partner.
2) Don't bother dressing the kids. Leave them in their pj's all day and just spray their hair with water so it looks like they are bathed and ready for bed when your partner gets home.
3) While we are on the topic of dressing, unless you really have to go out, don't bother dressing yourself either – stay in your pj's all day too. It's not like you will get a shower anyway, so when your partner comes home, either slip into something fresh for the night or tell him/her that you have been so busy and stressed that you didn't even get the chance to dress yourself and can he/she please look after the kids while you go have a nice warm bubble bath (and a champagne but that's an optional extra).
4) Don't bother cleaning the house all day until it's almost time for your partner to get home. That way:
a) The kids can make all the mess they want without your partner going ape when he/she gets home,
b) You don't have to spend your day constantly clean up after the kids – it's like shovelling snow in a snowstorm anyway, and;
c) You will be able to chill out more during the day and not stress over the mess happening again after cleaning just 5 minutes ago!
Your partner will arrive home amazed, thinking you've been slaving all day to make the house look so spic and span – yet you've done it all in an hour or less. Because you've probably raced to the finish line to get it all done in time, don't fret – you will sound all puffed and exhausted which is great for effect – you can then insist you need a cuppa, shower or what the heck, a night with the girls, while your partner tends to the kids! Make sure the washing machine, dishwasher and dryer are all going at the same time when your partner walks in the door – they are the sounds of progress in action and lots of it!
5) Stock up on packets of cake, biscuit and muffin mixes, then stash them out of view in your pantry. You can bake these when you have people coming around for morning tea. To make the end result look more gourmet or homemade (i.e. not like they are out of a packet), press them with a fork while cooking so it makes prong indents or whip up some fresh cream or chuck on some fruits or nuts – what an effort it will seem to your unsuspecting visitors! When your guests are greeted by the delicious smell of home cooking, they will think you are a complete domestic goddess, for something something that took much less time than it would have taken dragging the kids out to Bakers Delight. For double the effect, double your baking efforts and leave one lot for your partner – when they come home to what you have made especially for them, you might just get lucky in some way or the other!
6) Hire a cleaner but don't tell your partner. It will probably only cost you around $50-$80 a clean for the whole house to be done, depending on how big your house is! Have a regular clean every fourtnight or so and transform your home from a pit to a palace in no time. Go out for a coffee with the kids instead and let someone else clean your house while you sit back and take the credit for it.
7) Get into Ebay. You can dispose of all the clutter around your home which will in turn help it to look cleaner, while earning extra cash at the same time. You can even con yourself and others that you are, in fact, a ‘work at home mum' with a domestic retail business. If your partner objects to having their posessions sold from underneath them, put on your best puppy-dog face and explain that you are only doing it so you can afford to buy him/her some nice birthday/christmas gifts. Your partner's heart will melt, and, if he/she can afford it, they may even slip you extra cash!
8) Always have an oil burner going for when your partner arrives home or before any guests pop over. It covers up the smell of pooey nappies, baby vomit, the toilet you haven't cleaned for weeks, the shower you haven't had for weeks or for the dishes you have only just put away after a few days in the sink. It also makes up for the lack of any home cooking smells if you haven't been bothered to make dinner!
9) If your partner is inclined to be sympathetic, pretend to be sick or feeling really unwell every now and again. This way, you can get that extra bit of assistance with the kids as well as some well deserved sympathy. As an added bonus, there will be little or no expectation of getting any housework done that day. Better still, chuck a sickie and tell your partner you are so sick they will need to stay home for the day. Proceed to stay in bed with a box of tissues, sniffle and go back to sleep. Insist you wont be able to sleep through the noise so can your partner please take the kids out for the morning/day.
10) On the days where you actually do have the energy and/or inclination to cook wholesome gourmet food, make double and freeze it. Then on the days when you can't be arsed, you are safe in the knowledge that you can always defrost a delicious chicken casserole or spag bol in an instant!
11) Even if the children have been utter angels all day, if your partner asks you, always say that they have been little shockers all day – there is nothing wrong with some unearned sympathy.
12) Always leave the vacuum by the front door. If anyone calls round and the house is an absolute tip, you can always imply that you were just about to start housecleaning and you're more than happy to welcome such a lovely interruption to any housework!
13) If you need a break from tantruming toddlers when your partner is at home, tell him/her that your newborn needs a feed, so you can go and sit down and relax for at least 30 minutes with your feet up and a book! My newborn was a quick feeder every 4 hours or so, but my husband, to this day, thinks it always took at least 40 minutes every 2 hours to feed our baby.
14) Ironing is impossible with children. If your partner complains, tell him/her to think of the numerous safety hazards. It's far too dangerous with all the cords, hot iron, wobbly ironing board etc.! You too can elude ironing as I have for 2 years.
15) If your toddler wants to eat snacks all day, let them. It saves having to have meal time tantrums and meal time messes.
16) Even if you haven't managed to have a shower for three days and feel like crap, if you need to go out, quickly throw on some funky jewellery, lipstick and perfume. Everyone will envy you and think you are a totally in control and together type of mummy.
17) Invest huge lots of hard earned dollars in the very best, most flattering, easy to style, get up and go haricut imaginable. That way you can always appear to be having a gorgeous hair day, no matter what sort of day you've had!
18) Disguise disguise disguise. If someone is turning up in 5 minutes and the dishes are dirty, put them in the oven or the fridge. If there are piles of junk on the sideboard – that's what the linen cupboard is for. The WIR (walk-in-robe) can hide any number of messes.
19) When your partner gets home, pick up the toddler and meet him/her at the front door, put on the ‘flustered' face, sigh a lot and say, ‘Oh he's been SO clingy today, I haven't been able to put him down to get anything done. In order to get him to have a sleep, I just HAD to lie down with him. But now my back is aching from carrying him around so maybe later you can massage my sore back. Also, dinner isn't ready because I haven't been able to do it with him on my hip, so maybe we should just get pizza tonight?'
20) If the kids are being gorgeous and playing happily which makes the ‘babe in arms' approach a little difficult, still put on a really stressed face and explain, “This is the first time ALL DAY that they haven't been whinging or jumping on me…” Then leave your partner to it for a few hours and go and do a relaxed and leisurely late night shop ALONE! There's nothing finer than going out, being in the car, by yourself, with YOUR music on instead of the flippin' Wiggles, with just a purse instead of a hulking great nappy bag. Even just wandering peacefully around Coles is quite pleasant without screeching toddlers demanding biscuits.
21) If your partner arrives home right on arsenic hour, baby screaming, toddler tantruming and child demanding – all at once – look at him (tears are good here) and sob, “They've been like this all day,” then make a few little sniffles. See above for an expansion on this tip.
22) Find a shopping centre that has all the amenities you need in it – even if it's half an hour drive away. That way it sounds really impressive that “I went to the bank, the chemist, the supermarket, the dry cleaners and Myer followed by Medicare to sort out all our doctors bills” but in reality it was done all in one go and took very little time.
Do all these chores really early on in the day so you can feel TOTALLY justified in doing nothing but eat chocolate/nap/surf on BellyBelly when you get the kids to bed for the afternoon nap.
23) When you're talking about what you did for the day with your partner, if you needed to get something from Target, for example, tie into the conversation somewhere: “They didn't have it at Big W or K-Mart – I looked EVERYWHERE! So I had to jump in the car again and drive all the way to Target as well!” Works even better if you don't have a centre with all the department stores together.
24) A hint for those with kids who can read or are learning to read: get the older child to read the stories to the younger ones. That way you are having story time and reading practice at the same time – plus you don't have to bother remembering which character goes with which voice.