Yes, you're a parent now but that doesn't mean you're no longer entitled to sanity. There are a few things you can do that optimize your time, give you the little breaks that you need, and make you feel like you count, too.
Here are some habits of people who have got this parenting thing down.
1. They always use the timer setting on their coffee makers.
Wake up to the smell of hot coffee. Need I say more?
2. They realize housecleaning totally counts as exercise.
Following your kids around all day is enough, then there is the constant straightening, vacuuming, and toy storage. Not to mention the scrubbing all surfaces of your house constantly when you have a toddler because no one has figured out yet how to stop a juice box from spraying all over everything when they take their first sip. Yes, I know I can pour some out - but that seems like a lame fix. Are you sweating? That's exercise.
3. They use cartoons to strategically entertain their kids so they can have five minutes to themselves.
There's nothing wrong with television, occasionally. Can we just stop with the nonsense that a little TV is going to ruin our kids?
4. They baby-proof.
Get a baby gate. Lock your kitchen cabinets. Make sure there are no small toys around for your kid to choke on. That way, you don't have to follow them around all day long.
5 They forego mom groups in favor of Netflix marathons.
Pretending to like other people just because you share the commonality of having used your wombs? No thanks. Black Mirror is on Netflix now.
6. They stay far, far away from Pinterest.
Even the "easy" stuff is hard. Trust me. Your supermarket bakery is better than you'll ever be. Just own it and move on.
7. They're totally cool with repeatedly feeding their kid the same meal they know he'll eat.
You want mac and cheese again? Awesome.
8. They learn how to ignore their kids.
Kids want shit all the time -- spoiler alert: they don't need any of it. Let your kid play alone for awhile. I promise they'll survive.
9. They realize there's a difference between 'messy' and 'dirty.'
You can't stop a house with small children from being messy: stop trying. Straighten up a couple times a day if you need it for your sanity but anything more than that is just an exercise in futility. Some toys strewn about doesn't mean you live in a "dirty" house.
10. They invest in a baby-gate for bedtime.
Your toddler's a fussy sleeper? Fine. Put up a baby gate, make sure the room is child-proofed and let him play around in there until he exhausts himself.
11. They have hiding spots for the good snacks.
This is self-explanatory. My kids get the M&M's not the Lindt.
12. They tend to their own needs in the morning first.
Hey! Hi, you! You exist, too! It's good to start the day reminding yourself that, and a good exercise for this is - whatever you need first thing in the morning you get, before you tend to your kids. Whether it be a cup of coffee, a couple rounds with the snooze button, five minutes of meditation, or a quick peek at a Bachelor recap - do it.