My Sanity! It’s a top priority for me, right after taking care of my kids. But lets be honest, they go hand-in-hand! And if anyone knows about keeping sane, it’s me. After all, I’m with my boys 24/7. Going grocery shopping alone is the equivalent of a girls-night-out or a mini weekend getaway… you get the point! That’s why, over the past six plus years, I’ve come to appreciate both the little and big things in my life that help me keep sane. These things were especially handy this past week during March Break when I had all three boys home with me for five days.
Here are some of my parenting sanity-savers:
- COFFEE – I’m pretty much useless without my first cup of coffee in the morning. All I can muster is hugs, kisses and sitting. But once I get some java in me, I’m like an energizer bunny. Nothing gets between me and my motherly duties once I drink my coffee. It’s not even the caffeine, but it’s more of the routine, and the aroma and drinking something hot. A morning refill and an afternoon cup are totally appropriate and often necessary!
- SMART TECHNOLOGY – If it involves a screen, my kids can be entertained for hours on end. However, that doesn’t mean that I let them watch TV all day (even though sometimes I would like to). What I prefer is a balance – screen time that is both educational and fun. We recently got to test out the new Surface Book from Microsoft Canada and I was really impressed with its features. It’s thin, has a sleek design and is very durable (which is extremely important when you plan to allow your kids to use it). It has the power and performance of a laptop but it comes with the versatility of a tablet. Even though it has a thin design and is light weight (which makes it ideal for traveling), it is still a powerful, high performing machine. When I was packing up for our March break getaway, it was a no-brainer to bring along the Surface Book for our trip. Both for the kid’s enjoyment, but also so I can get some work done after the children were asleep. Unlike my smart phone, it comes with a great battery life (12 hours to be exact), so I didn’t have to worry about it running out of ‘juice’ while I was working away. Personally, I was impressed with Cortana, the virtual assistant. She helped me make sure that the kids don’t end up spending all day on the laptop. Through a series of voice commands, I set a reminder to prompt me to turn off the screen after a certain time period. Since the reminder popped up on the screen, my kids could see it too and knew first-hand that their time was up. It made the transition that much easier.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvkxVmE4D0kOf course my kids loved it for its games and apps. My son asked me to search for “hockey” and “football” games on the Microsoft Store. Amazingly, all of the top rated games and apps were free – BONUS! They were easily to download through a simple click of a button. Since we had a LOT of time at home over March break, I also told them that we can download a movie (also from the Microsoft Store). Unanimously, they all picked the movie SING. When my kids were using the Surface Book to watch their movies and YouTube shows, we detached the display to transform Surface Book into a thin and light Intel Core i5/i7 PC, that runs professional grade software, with the versatility of a tablet. My kids also had a great time drawing on the Sketchpad using both the Surface Pen (which attaches to the Surface Book like magnet) and Windows Ink. I have to geek out here and mention that the Surface Pen has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and an eraser on the other end, so handwritten notes on your screen are just like pen on paper. My oldest son used it to make a list of activities he wanted us to do over March break. Ultimately though, I have to say that the best part is seeing all three of my boys get along. They all sat down together to play games on the Surface Book, taking turns and enjoying each other’s company while I got to enjoy some quiet time! Now until March 31, save up to $200 on select Surface Book devices at microsoftstore.ca! And in case you didn’t know, if you shop online at microsoftstore.ca you will receive free 24/7 customer support, including online text chat, free standard shipping and free returns on every item, every day. Pretty awesome, right? Find amazing deals on the online Microsoft Store which features an assortment of best-in-class products, including Windows PCs, Surface devices, Xbox One consoles and games, phones and more. Check out all of the March Break Deals on microsoftstore.ca.
- MY MOM – It’s true. Another mom is my sanity-saver. My husband is often out of the country for business, and caring for my boys without a little break can make me feel tired and stressed! Luckily, my mom is always there to provide some relief or help. Whether it’s to drop off groceries, watch the kids for a few hours or help me with my errands, I can always count on her and my dad. This March break, she accompanied myself and the kids to Deerhurst resort (Thanks Mom!).
- FREE PROGRAMS – Getting out of the house with three young kids is hard. Throw in winter and solo-parenting most days, it’s near impossible. But getting out of the house is important. Both for my sanity, and for our well being. That’s why I love all of the free programs available in Toronto. Whether it’s community drop-in centers, museums, the library or the retail stores, I always seek out an excuse to head out of the house, even if it’s just for an hour or two. If all else fails, I hit up an indoor playground.
Sharing is caring! What are some of yours Parenting Sanity-Savers?
Disclosure: I received compensation from Microsoft Canada as part of my participation in the March-Break program. The opinions (and tried and tested tips) are all my own.