Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Day of Sanity starts with a Well Packed Bag

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and U by Kotex but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #UbyKotex  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

Some days I spend so much time rushing and racing around, I can't even keep the simplest things straight. As a Mom of 3, I don't have time to be slowed down or to get flustered.

Hey, I barely have time to drink my morning coffee.

To keep a hold of my sanity, with both hands, I have 4 little rules I try to flive by. I'm not perfect, but these are simple things I try to do for myself.

A happy mom, is a sane mom, right?

Morning comes way too early. After hitting snooze on my iPhone a dozen tmes and then hitting snooze on my old school alarm, I HAVE to get up. So much to do.

I have to get my son up and on the school bus, feed my hungry crew and tackle the kitchen and laundry room. Time can get away from me. Before I know it half of my day is over. So my first rule is to stop and smell the flowers, so to speak.

My oldest is in school. Seems like just yesterday he was my baby. Now, the contrast between my 10-month old and my 6-year old is huge. I try to commit all the little stuff to memory... waiting for the school bus in the morning, recounting his day and snuggling in the evening. This is the stuff that makes it all worth it.

But, no matter how bad my day or week seems to be, when I stop and appreciate all those little perfect moments, it is all worth it.

Of course, with my day rushing by, I still try to make time to play with the kids. The baby wants to demolish my carefully constructed block towers and my daughter wants an impromptu tea parties or PLAY-DOH sessions. I think the conversations and bonding that happens during these pure moments of play are the best. Those are the times that I learn the most about each of my children.

On the floor or their little table, we do things they enjoy. Such simple gestures mean the world to them. It also makes me feel pretty good as a Mom.

As I race around with my laptop, my iPhone, iPod and Kindle, I try to not get so wrapped up on all that tech. Sometimes it is okay to un-plug. Even if it only happens for an hour here and there. Sometimes I go outside to dig in my garden or we head out on a family walk. Simplicity is another way that I stay sane.

I know, we can't all go move to a farm, but we can cut out some of the excess and focus on living and appreciating simple things. In the warmer months my garden helps to keep me feeling useful and grounded. Being able to grow something to serve on the dinnertable is a simple pleasure in life.

From my backyard chickens, to crafting, being productive and doing something tangible lisfts my spirits.

And the fourth rule? Now this is the hardest one for me, but it also brings the biggest reward.

I used to think that being an organized and prepared Mom meant cramming a bag till it was bursting at the seams with every contingency plan or product on the market. That wore out my shoulders and back really fast. Of course I can't prepare for every situation with small children, but I can prepare for the big stuff.

And anyway, the more I seem to carry, the harder it is to find anything in my bag.

love my diaper bag. I take it everywhere, even if we are just running into town for one item. I have gone through a few over the past 6 years, and have finally found a way to keep everything organized, handy and my bag well stocked.

Want a peek?

Here are a few of the items I consider essential:
  • Facial Tissues - Perfect for noses, wiping faces or even in the event a public stall is out of toilett paper. I have also successfully used tissues to transport mystery items to the garbage. Some things your kid hands you, you don't want to touch!
  • Saline Wipes - I love these because they are gentle on the skin. Already pre-moistened I have used them to wipe down children, or in a pinch they can be used in place of diaper wipes.
  • Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel - I have small kids, need I say more?
  • Tinted Chapstick - Great for keeping lips moisturized and adding a touch of color when needed.
  • Hand Cream - Always nice to be able to use it if my skin start to dry out.
  • Nail Polish - This is my splurge item. Small enough to pack around, I can apply it for an impromptu date night with my hubby. It is also nice to brush on a quick touch-up for chips.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products - I won't leave home without a backup. My period always seems to hit at the least convenient times. For convenient coverage in small packages, check out the U by Kotex line in fun colors and patterns.
  • Snack/ baby food - In case we get stuck out, I always carry something we can snack on. Currently I keep a grab-n-go bar for myself and a squeeze pouch for the baby.
  • Hair Elastic - I grabbed my 3 free Goody elastics to put in my little bag. I love having a simple solution to hair that starts to frizz during the day. These elastics won't hurt your hands or break hair.
  • Teething Necklace - I think these are functional as well as fun. My son has been chewing on everything lately, including me! So I went and got him a chewing necklage is bright tourquiose.
  • ReUsable Bag - Some of my favorite shopping places have gone bag-less, so I now carry my own. So much better for the environment, too. It is also nice to have a quick place to stash soiled clothing or other items.
  • Diaper Rash Cream - I love the Burt's Bees brand. Seems like car rides make my youngest's bottom angry, so we try use just a little cream to help soothe him. I like the natural ingredients.
  • Thermometer - I keep a simple thermometer in my diaper bag. It isn't fancy, it just helps me check whether the kids are running a fever or not.
  • Diapers - Always carry at least 2. 
  • Burp Cloth - I keep at least 2  fun print burp clothes for my diaper bag at all times. I use mine for the baby, wiping grubby hands or to clean up little spills. So convenient.
Smaller essentials I keep separated into little zippered pouches. The one below holds all my personal items like Goody hair ties, chapstick, etc. If I need one of these items, I can just grab this bag and I know exactly where everything is. It is so much better than having a sea of small items all dumped together in the bottom of my bag.

When it comes to organization and being prepared, nothing is worse than being unprepared for my period. Talk about a sanity buster! I never leave the house without a bag filled with supplies. U by Kotex Sleek Tampons and U by Kotex Cleanwear Pads fit nicely in my diaper bag. Aren't these fun? I love that being prepared doesn't have to mean boring.

I can keep a stash for those "white pants" days and the sleek and slim design of U by Kotex doesn't take up much room. I found them at my local Walmart, so they were
at Walmart’s Every Day Low Price and even came with free Goody elastics attached to the box (while supplies last).

That covers two of my essential items right there!

Yeah, it's a busy,crazy life, but those 4 rules are how I keep a little sanity in my day. And a sane Mom? Well, that makes me unstoppable.

Do you have any rules that you live by? 
Moms, how do you stay sane?
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