I am a very “sneaky mom.” Taking advantage of (rare) pockets of kid-free time, I indulge in devious little acts- the kinds of which I dare not inform my children. The kind that makes my insane life a little easier to handle and doesn’t hurt anybody!
Here I will share my 5 BEST tips on how you can also achieve SMS, code for “Sneaky Mom Status.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
1 . Recycling Attire
When my kids become too attached to a particular garment or pair of shoes that resembles something from Oliver Twist’s wardrobe, I exploit their “short-term amnesia” and dispose of the vestige when they’re distracted. MOST of the time, the philosophy of “out of sight- out of mind” reigns and all is forgotten.
2. Candy Charity
Upon returning from an event replete with candies and all sorts of cavity-inducing goodies, with the patience and plotting of a lion scoping out his prey, I quietly observe my children count, and subsequently “stash their riches.” Little by little, I creep into their hiding spaces and remove portions of their amassed fortunes. Later I bestow it all upon supermarket bag boys or grateful neighbors. My kids USUALLY don’t notice because I strategically remove an untraceable amount at a time. (Confession: Half the time, we remove and then donate the candy together. Only the littlest ones, who still don’t get it at all, must be deceived 100% of the time.)
3. Toy Charity
The overabundance of toys’ approach is similar to that of the candy. When coveted items are contested over repeatedly, all parties usually result injured from the ensuing brawls. If something is actually in need of “repair,” (Yeah, right- as if I’m going to spend some “down time” fixing a toy that will be forgotten 3 days later,) I have a special place that such items “rest-” (en route to the local Goodwill donation center.) On the rare occasion that kids do remember to follow-up, I claim that the object is still “under repair.” That usually buys me another week until they forget about it completely. Hee, hee, he.
4. “On layaway till birthday”
This is a masterpiece. But as my children get older and understand, it loses its power of conviction. Until about the age of 5, it functions well- for me that covers three fifths my worries. On the dreaded family outing to the supermarket, I arrive at the check out line with a half-full cart of unwanted junk my kids throw in when Mama is distracted desperately trying to follow the list. If caught in the act, I calmly explain that I’ll not be purchasing that cool purple toilet bowl brush as we don’t NEED it. However, if it does make it (undercover) to the cashier, I stave off a full blown fit when declaring with a wink- in presence of my whiny child(ren)- to please hold on layaway till birthday. I’ve got many accomplices at my local grocery store and they all know “the drill.”
Man, I just love that one.
NOTE - it works wonders at any store- clothing, sporting goods, music, candy, etc.
5. Slipping in Exercise
When my kids are home with me on weekends, holidays and summer, Mama can’t make it to the gym. Since my kids NEVER run out of gas, I put on music and begin a “dance class” which incorporates all sorts of “military-style” calisthenics and plyometrics. When they get tired, I continue the fun by offering to “shoulder-press” them up to the ceiling or “bicep-curl” them around like a Ferris wheel. We all have a great time and get our heart rates up a bit. I get a strength training workout by substituting their little bodies for weights! Win-win!
The most important factor in achieving SMS lies in the intention and implementation. For maximum effectiveness, all acts must be done with a clear conscience and the understanding that the goal is- “maintaining the family’s sanity as a unit and thus, making life a little more MANAGEABLE.”
Do you have any additional Sneaky Mom tips?
I’d just love to expand my repertoire.