From The Fun Book for Moms by Melina Gerosa Bellows. copyright 2007 by Melina Gerosa Bellows. To be published by Andrews McMeel Publishing in May.
21 ways to enjoy being a mom
1.When you're tired, hand your kids a brush, point to your head, and tell them to play beauty parlor. When you're really tired, pretend that you're Sleeping Beauty.
2.Take your mother to a spa. While you're both getting seaweed wraps, tell her all your favorite memories of growing up.
3.Take a bath with your infant. Make sure your husband is around for the handoff, so you can relax until the last minute. (Don't forget to smell your baby right afterward. Heaven!)
4.At the end of every summer, take a family photo for the holiday card (you'll be happy to have this accomplished once December comes). Every year, add a framed 11-by-14-inch print to your front hall. Your kids will be proud now and laugh later at the funny styles.
5.On St. Patrick's Day, dye the milk and eggs green and turn the furniture upside down so your home looks like total chaos. When your little ones wake up, tell them that the leprechauns came.
6.The next time you have to go to a boring kiddie activity, invite another mom-friend along. Hide wine in sippy cups for the two of you to nurse undercover.
7.Play Freaky Friday with your husband and switch roles for a day. Enjoy his renewed appreciation for his Super Mom wife.
8. In the dead of winter, fix some snacks, get under warm quilts, and watch Happy Feet on DVD. Tell your kids you love them even more than the penguins love their chicks.
9.Go to the beach in the off-season. Throw rocks in the water and collect shells. Put them in a vase and use it as shelf decor in your living room.
10.Skip the Raffi and Barney. Turn your kids on to Bob Marley, They Might Be Giants, and Gwen Stefani.
11.Take your baby out to the movies at night. (Infants love the dark, and loud trailers make them snooze immediately.) Then you can sip your soda and munch your popcorn in peace.
12.Buy yourself that fancy watch, strand of pearls, or whatever piece of expensive jewelry you've been lusting after. Justify your purchase by rationalizing that you'll pass it down to your daughter (or son's wife) eventually.
13.Take your kids to live music performances from very early ages. Cheap ones outdoors are great to start with in case you need to make a hasty exit (like when a diaper explodes).
14.Use your kids as an excuse to do the things you want to do, like going to silly feel-good movies, eating mac and cheese for dinner, and jumping in the moonbounce. Use your kids as an excuse to get out of things you don't want to do, like going to a wedding or office party.
15.Every Mother's Day, have a picture taken with your kids. Keep the photos all together - along with special cards, ticket stubs, mementos, and anything else that makes you feel good about being a mom - in a shoe box. (Of course, you must get those new shoes you love in order to do this correctly.) Every year, look through your Goddess Mom box and see how much your kids have grown.
16.Give your kids quiet time every day. Let them learn to be by themselves with books, crayons, or blocks.
17.Let your whole family take a day off and hang out in pj's all day long.
18.Rent Sex and the City on DVD, and reminisce about the days when you were single and the biggest problem you had was whether the "He" of the moment was going to call. Let the romance of your youth seduce you. Then remember that, despite your freedom, all you really wanted was to fall in love and have beautiful babies.
19.Pitch a tent in the backyard. Use it as your outdoor reading room. Or when there's a full moon, plan a family campout with sleeping bags, a transistor radio, and s'mores, of course.
20.Invent a house fairy. Give her a name, and tell your kids that she is always watching them and counting up their good deeds.
21.Listen for the deep, happy sighs that come after your kids play or laugh really hard. Tuck them away in your heart.
Being a mom is the best blessing in the world. Learn how to enjoy it!