How to win at toothbrush time! #hellotoothpaste

Thanks to Hello for sponsoring today's discussion!


Is this a familiar scene in your house at toothbrush time?

It sure is here!! Our kids are really sensitive to anything too minty or sweet. I feel like between the toothpaste flavors and them counting a good toothbrush time as 10 seconds, there's just no winning! We started doing a couple things though that have been a total score around here!


1:: Fun toothpaste! 
This is such a must! There's just something extra special about toothbrush time when they have a fun flavor to use. We let Andrew pick out his favorite from bubblegum, blue raspberry and green apple.  He wanted to use them all! Letting them make a choice with something good-for-them is a win all around! Check out all the Hello toothpaste flavors they have here! I'm loving the peach mango one! I love that hello don't add dyes or iffy additives to their toothpaste (especially for kids!) 

2:: Make it a game to get rid of the plaque!
Use whatever wording will work for your kids! Each kid is so different! Andrew loves thinking of them as bad bugs he gets to go destroy!
3:: Put on some toothbrushin' tunes!
Any song 2 minutes long will do! We are loving Pancake Manor because it's fun kids songs without the annoying kid-song noise!
4:: Let them admire their great toothbrushing job!



4:: Stand back and smile knowing you're getting your kids to do something good while having fun! Check out what other great toothbrush time products Hello has here!

What does the trick at your house to make toothbrush time a win?

When you feel like the lousiest parent ever (and sometimes might be?!)

Have to tell ya- the past few weeks-- ermm.. months?!-- have not been the most stellar in the parenting realm. What is it about having kids that brings out the kind of parent you never thought you would see (and not always in the prettiest way?!) I feel as if the day begins with such beautiful intentions and then some other mother who could not possibly be me invades my body and does crazy things like tells her kids to go take a three hour long bath to just get out of her hair. Some other mother who does things like closing her eyes to the insanely chaotic mess all around just to catch a few minutes to read a book- oh snap! That is until the children are coating the bathtub with soap and slipping all over with squeals of delight! (There may have also been a game of grabbing certain boy body parts and giggling about it, but we won't get into that part!) This other mother- who is she?! Five years ago I would not have recognized her!

How's this for real life? Mirror smudges, phone almost dying, taken at 1 am,  and all!

I think part of me is in denial; denial about the reality that is my life and the romanticized version I thought and hoped it might be. It's not that I hate my life (although, haha ok some days I might struggle a little bit with extreme dislike bordering that). I think things just end up taking on a new kind of meaning when you experience them rather than imagining what they might be like.
My sentiments exactly little man!

This reality right now? Um, can I trade it in?! Please?! At least for maybe a little bit more coffee and a few more spa days and a remote that has a pause and mute button?! The past few months have been an internal conflict of accepting that this, this reality is the life I have, despite how much I may beg and plead for it to be different.
I'm discovering a few other things too. No.one.is.perfect. No one. We all raise our voices (at least in our head.) We all have dirty laundry (unless you're into one outfit a week kind of thing!). We all have kids who we wonder what evil minion came and took over! (Raise your hand if you're still waiting for the normal minion to return! Sometimes those "phases" don't end as quickly as we wish!)

I finally realized what I was doing- blaming our kids for ruining the mom who I thought I could be. (And maybe slightly using the day to pay them back for that?! Oops. :(  ) That mom sadly doesn't exist though. Ouch. At least, the perfect mom whose kids don't run crazy all over the house and daily (just kidding! More like hourly here!) spill something sticky and crumb-filled on the floor who doesn't raise her voice ever doesn't exist. Maybe in some perfectly sweet IKEA catalog page!



Real life means that the toddler is screaming about why he wanted his pink cup- just kidding! now he wants the blue cup! Just kidding! Now he's throwing both cups filled with juice all over the kitchen and wailing- LOUDLY- over the spilled contents!

Real life means that you might have to raise your voice just to get your kids to listen because they honestly cannot hear the nice sugary sweet perfect mom voice.

Real life might mean that your kids are out of listening goodness and they get sent to bed without a bedtime story (uhoh. the horror!) because you are too exhausted to clean up after them (and don't want to either to teach them a character lesson about owning responsibility!)

Real life means that you yearly pay off your library fine just to have it reappear a few months later.

Real life means that sticky spot never quite gets cleaned up, even with the best of efforts.

But you know what I am finding? As hard as it is, and as much as I would like the romanticized version of me to appear, it's ok. It really is. There are so many positives! I have started telling myself, "You know what?" to keep some perspective.

"You know what? it might be 7:00 and we have naked little banshees running around, but they had fun today!

"You know what? It might have been a stay-in-jammies-all-day kind of day, but the kids are alive!!

"You know what? I might have raised my voice way too many times today, but those kids are loved, and tomorrow is a new day.

I am still having to work on letting go of the perfect fairy tale life I wish I had, but in that, I am finding that you know what? This messy imperfect story is pretty amazing too!


Own your story guys! God has a plan, but if you try and look too hard, you just might miss it and spend forever missing what is right in front of your eyes!

The hubs' life verse! Find one and cling to it, even if it's just a key word or phrase from it!
Write it down, put it as your phone screensaver or find a song about it- it is literal therapy!