Happy New Year! Congrats! We made it!
With 2020 in the rearview we don’t need resolutions, we need survival strategies and a healthy dose of humor to get us through the next few months.
So I called up Caitlin Murray, the foul-mouthed soul-sister of every stretched-too-thin pandemic parent for some real talk.
CS: You get really real about the difficulties of life with kids. It’s so refreshing to see you talk so lovingly about your children, but not hold back about how hard it can be, especially during Covid-Times.
CM: The really-little kid phase is just not my favorite. I don’t love the chaos, and disorganization, inability to plan what is happening next, or have a rational conversation about it. It goes from 0 to 1 million in the blink of an eye. Everything is fine, and then they dump a bottle of maple syrup on the floor.
CS: You seem to have such good perspective and bring humor into the chaos. Any advice?
CM: One thing I’ve found helpful is not putting pressure on yourself to have an airtight schedule. With my first kid it was: this is the minute he goes down for a nap, and this is the minute he begins lunchtime — and I liked that— because it gave me a sense of structure that we lack when we become parents. You are no longer on your own time the minute you have a kid. But I had to let go of wanting to create that real structure because with multiple children come things like the spilling of the syrup all over the floor.
CS: You have some pretty epic dance parties. What usually inspires those?
CM: Really losing my mind. When it’s 6:15 p.m, and I have half an hour until I can put my baby to sleep (and then I’ll feel a lot better) but right now I’m on the verge of a major mental meltdown. So I think I’ll just dance.
CS: What’s family dinner like at your house?
CM: I love dinnertime with my husband. The older kids have started eating with us more often now, and there are cute little conversations we are starting to have around the table. But it was a long 7 years up until that.
CS: Sometimes my oldest is an emotional terrorist at dinner, and I get super-emotional and stressed about it. Tell me I’m not alone.
CM: Oh yeah, I’ve been there. But with the baby I’ve chilled out a lot. He never wants to sit in his highchair and I’m like, “fine.” I’m going to hand you a piece of baguette and you can gnaw it on the road. I’ll pick it up off the floor every 15 minutes and hand it back to you.
CS: Any final words of wisdom?
CM: When things are going insane, it’s good to just be able to stop and laugh at it a little bit. Acknowledge this is F*&^&@! insane right now.
Big Time Adulting Dinner Playbook
“I crave protein. When you’re a mom of little kids you don’t always get to sit down for a real meal, so I keep nuts, cheese, sliced turkey, and nut butter handy, those keeps me out of the hangry-zone.”
” On weekdays I usually cook meat or fish with a combination of veggies; I cook a lot of salmon. We don’t eat a ton of pasta or rice, maybe some roasted potatoes for a carb — for the weekdays we try to keep it tight! I use oil and butter, but stick to real, healthy foods, and skip most processed foods…but I would never cut anything out of my diet. I love dessert and have to have a piece of chocolate or something a the end of the meal.”
“We like to play Rose and Thorn, the game where everyone says the best and worst part of their day. The kids get especially excited about what we are going to say, and it’s great for when they are losing concentration on dinner and are about to start falling off their chairs.”