“It’s time for Maggie and the Moms, where we celebrate, but never sugarcoat parenting.”
The ten minutes that follow those words every Monday on “Daytime” seem to fly by. That’s how it is when moms get together to share, vent, and laugh about parenting: We could go on forever!
Every week, we invite a different group of local moms to join us— women from diverse backgrounds and at varying stages of parenting. With children ranging from toddlers to teens, our perspectives and opinions vary, but our shared desire to raise good children unites us.
We debate the latest parenting news and trends like “TEAM parenting”— a recent topic of discussion. The notion laid out in a new book titled “Hunt, Gather, Parent,” is an acronym for togetherness, encouragement, autonomy, and minimal interference. The author, Dr. Michaeleen Doucleff, traveled the world and observed cultures where “there’s no yelling, no bickering, no nagging even, and yet the children are kind and generous and super helpful.”
Doucleff explains that children are hard-wired to be cooperative and when they’re taught from a young age that each family member is equally responsible for household duties, they take pride in carrying their weight. In turn, parents offer encouragement and resist the temptation to take over when their children are struggling or doing something “the wrong way”.
“Our knee-jerk reaction is to jump in and micromanage them all the time,” Doucleff explained on Daytime, “and this is actually interfering with them. It’s causing stress and anxiety…. Step back and only step back in when it’s really needed.”
During our “mom discussion” about Doucleff’s approach, we agreed that it’s easier said than done. One reason is that we often equate “mother” with “problem solver.” As one panelist put it, “the ‘mom guilt’ kicks in when you feel like you’re not helping your child enough.”
We also admitted that our harried schedules make us more prone to jump in and tie our kids’ shoes, for example, simply because we don’t have time to wait patiently for them to figure out how to do it on their own.
Sharing these types of insights makes us realize that we all go through the same things as mothers, but also teaches us what we can work to improve.
Some of our favorite moments come from spinning a virtual wheel that lands on random topics that prompt us to share our own parenting and marriage tips, philosophies, and frustrations.
Here are some favorites:
- Use cheap hair spray to remove permanent marker
- To teach your child which shoe goes on which foot, draw half a heart inside each shoe and have the child piece it together
- Use old dryer sheets to scrub hard water stains from your shower
- To soften a hard lime or lemon and get the most juice out of it, roll and massage it before cutting
- Prevent mold on water and bath toys by plugging holes with a glue gun
“I hate it when my husband asks me ‘What’s for dinner?’”
“My husband asked me ‘Where are the diapers?’ I told him, ‘We’re in year three now. They are in the exact same place where they’ve been for the last three years.’”
“Every time there’s something that goes in a difficult place outside of the dishwasher, I always seem to have to put it away. I’m like, ‘Why can’t you put away the salad spinner?’”
“Make your bed” – A popular book with the same title reminds us, “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
“There need to be two hours of outside time for every one hour of screen time.”
“I cook, you clean.”
“If mom says we’re doing it, we’re doing it.” – Kids may complain about having to go on adventures that mom suggests, but it inevitably leads to quality family time and the kids wind up enjoying it.
Mother knows best
“I tell my kids, ‘Come talk to me.’ We tell each other everything in our family, and even if they think I’m going to be upset, I will always be there to help them, and we will always figure it out.”
“Live your truth. Don’t lie. There’s never a good reason to lie.”
“I say it all the time at home, ‘Make good choices.’ It’s never too early to start teaching your children that the kind of life they will lead will be a direct result of the choices they make.”
Saving money, honey
- Don’t buy pre-chopped or pre-washed produce. You’ll have to work harder, but you’ll pay half the price.
- Join a drug store rewards programs to save on diapers and formula
- Save leftover vegetables throughout the week and use them to make a breakfast frittata on weekends
Am I a momster?
“I tell my kids that the ice cream man puts the music on to let them know not to come out of the house because he’s out of ice cream.”
“They think I’m a momster because I say… if I sign you up for a sport, you are going to play that season out. You are not going to quit, no matter how much you hate it.”
“I let my kids play video games and electronics so I can get things done.”
Spending time with fellow mamas is good for the soul. We lean on each other, learn from one another, and, if nothing else, take comfort in knowing that there’s no such thing as a perfect parent; we’re all just doing the best we can.
To suggest topics or share tips, hacks, or parenting stories, reach out on Instagram @maggierodrigueztv