This post is promoted by Mott’s.

Did anyone say parenting is easy? The more you care about something, the harder the task can be. I guess that’s likely why parenting is the hardest job in the world! As a working mom, I have my own range of guilt and challenges, but in my heart I know my children feel loved, safe and nurtured; that’s all I can ask for.

At the same time, it’s hard to remove the mom guilt (more here), particularly as we live in a Pinterest and Facebook obsessed world where perception is reality. Ladies, it’s not. How many of us want to post a photo of our child having a temper tantrum the five minutes before or after that amazingly adorable photo was taken? Who doesn’t love to mindlessly pin creative DIYs and delicious recipes that we likely never will get to? Even just looking at what others are doing can bring me down. I try to take it with a grain of salt these days. Keep in mind the popular photos you’re seeing on Pinterest could be from a professional DIY or food blogger, one who spends their days seeking that level of perfection. Not you and me, searching frantically for ingredients while our kids are yelling for our attention (or as I gaze at them glued to the television!). I’ve had some delicious recipes as a result of Pinterest, but I promise you they did not quite look like what I saw on screen.

In order to be the best mom I can be, I’ve found a few harmless parenting shortcuts that help me get through the days, and maximize my time and happiness with my kiddies. I’m not saying these are for everyone — however for my life and where I am at this moment — they’ve been instrumental.

1. Say Yes. Ironic considering how often we’re told to have a hard stance with our kids right? We definitely do however we’ve realized over the past few months that our instant “no” reaction is not always working. Saying no to too much or to everything, can make kids want to lash out. They want freedom (who doesn’t?!). A teacher reminded me of this recently… unless they’re putting themselves in danger, it’s inappropriate or something else similar, say yes. At least a little more often. Give that that authority, that victory, so when you say no it has meaning.

2. Be OK with television or iPad (in doses). Does my child watch TV? Yes. Does that make me an awful parent? No. Our daughter’s iPad, if you want to call it “hers” (I think she stole it from me!), is the first iteration. We only have two apps downloaded actually, PBS Kids and some learning game. I actually want to get her a new one so we can have the memory to load more educational apps (any favorites??). Providing her a few minutes to decompress from her jam-packed 9 am to 6 pm day at school is fine in my book. It also gives us a chance to prepare dinner, have a second to breathe, see our little boy (who has no interest in TV) and get things in order. I’m not supportive of nine hours on a weekend glued to the television and it’s important we are mindful of what they’re watching, but if it helps everything else, I’m OK with a little. The only thing I should say is that I’m often in shock of some programming on kid’s channels at 6 or 7 pm; the topics, themes and language can be very mature. We always have Odd Squad ready to go.


3. Buy food in portion-controlled sizes. I do this for myself sometimes, and it’s a major lifesaver for our kids. Not only does it keep their portions in check (huge, particularly when my girl is faced with an entire bag of pretzel goldfish!) but it makes lunch prep, impromptu playdates and an afternoon out so much easier, particularly for my picky eater. We’re big fans of individual snack packs and the fruit pouches, like Mott’s® Snack & Go applesauce pouches, since it’s real fruit and some of the products have no sugar added. My husband and I are also guilty of eating them. :)

I often wait for our favorite brands to have a BOGO promotion on the pre-packaged foods and then I load up.


So there you have it. I’m sure there are other little harmless shortcuts I take throughout the day but these three really help. Do you have any that work for you? Spill them here in the comments section; this mama is always open to help!

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Mott’s via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Mott’s. Mott’s® Snack & Go is the nutritious applesauce kids love in a squeezable pouch they can take with them wherever they go. Mott’s is also the only applesauce brand with Box Tops for Education®, helping to support kids’ schools. Visit us on to learn more.