20 things that helped me survive the first three years of motherhood

I recently heard that 0-3 years of a child’s life is the hardest time in a mom’s life– until kids get to be teenagers (maybe tweens at the rate things are moving nowadays!)
Since my son will be three at the end of this month (seriously, where did the time go?!) I started thinking about the people  (and things) that made my life easier in those three years…

20 things that helped me survive the first three years of motherhood

1. Mommy friends. When you’re a mom, mommy friends get you. When you’re a working mommy, Working mommy friends get you even more. I’m thankful to have such a supportive bunch who listens to me complain about breastfeeding (not anymore!),  sleep issues (Still!) and whining.
Enzo at daycare.peg2. An awesome daycare. The staff at my son’s daycare is so understanding and really helped calm Enzo’s anxiety and fears (ok– MY anxiety and fears) when we started. They even took pictures of Enzo having fun and sent them to me via email during the first week!
3. An awesome babysitter. Our babysitter has been with us since before Enzo was born. Enzo loves her and she loves Enzo. It’s comforting to see Enzo say ciao mama, and just close the door happy as can be when she is around.
4. Cleaning help– Being that I am messy by nature (don’t judge) I really appreciate the cleaning help.
5. An army of family members willing to babysit. For the obvious reasons!
6. My Beaba Baby Cook. I almost cried when after two years it died on me. If you’re a busy mom, I’d say this is definitely a good investment.
Why? This  little machine steams, cooks and purées your baby food. Best part? Not a lot of cleanup!!nuevacookop-295x269
glider pic monkey
7. My glider. It was one of those things I didn’t think I “needed” but I put on my registry anyway… so glad I got it, because I still use it!
8. Grandparents willing to babysit. I go to graduate school, blog, and try to have a social life– the fact that my parents are around makes life a little bit easier for us, especially when we have late evening events. We’ve also managed to get away a couple of times thanks to both sets of grandparents, and enjoyed some much needed couple time!
9. Blogging. What did I do when Enzo had sleep issues? (Aside from cry?) blog about it… Certainly helped me feel better, and I was happy  relieved to know I was not alone!
10. Chocolate for me. Do I really need to elaborate?? It just makes  you feel good!
11. Delivery people I’m not only talking about food — NYC has all kinds of delivery people! Food, laundry, supermarket, even the pharmacy delivers in my neighborhood! Especially on sh*tty weather days, delivery people make my life a little easier.
12. Vacation sans bébé. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. There. I said it. (I mean… don’t we look so relaxed??)
r and r in mexico
13. Understanding supervisors. When you have a baby, stuff happens… Babysitter malfunctions, Sickness, snow… It helps to have supervisors that understand what you’re going through!
14. What’s APP : If you have family abroad and you haven’t used this app, you just go download it ASAP. (After you finish reading this of course) what’s app is wonderful — it’s a chatting app that connects you to your friends and family all over the world. (You can share videos and pics too)
15. A flexible schedule.  When Enzo was 18 months, I took him to sports class once a week. I was able to change my schedule to do that– I’m able to work later on some days and leave earlier on other days– that kind of flexibility has been a life saver. It’s also allowed me to take part in Enzo’s activities, so I don’t feel that “mommy guilt” for not being around some of the time.

16. Stickers.  Want to keep a toddler occupied for a while? Stickers should go the trick!
17. Dollar stores. For all my sticker needs.
18. Cartoons— that recommendation that kids shouldn’t watch TV before they’re 2? Nope didn’t follow that… Not sorry- thank you Nick JrDisney Junior, PBS Kids . I’m grateful for the fits you have helped calm! (and I’m especially grateful for the shows available in Spanish, thanks to the SAP button!)
19. Scary Mommy: There are A LOT of awesome websites on motherhood (some of which I’m lucky to be a contributor for) but I appreciate the honesty, sarcastic humor and real talk I get from Scary Mommy. It’s a good thing to laugh about the things moms go through, and to know it’s ok to have thoughts like “Maybe I will hide in the bathroom” or “I wanna run away.”
20. Supportive husband: last but certainly not least, having a supportive spouse… My husband has saved me from delirium on a few nights and also holds down the fort when I have a night class or blogging event… He supports me in my blogging and hasn’t divorced me even though my mess drives him crazy… and BONUS! He’s an amazing cook.
What about you? What has helped you survive motherhood? 
Share your survival tips below or tweet them, @dianalimongi 
Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

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