My own mother never took the easy way out. All of her cakes were baked from scratch, and until we wouldn’t allow it, our Halloween costumes were completely handmade. She did all of her gardening and even our Chinese food was freshly made at home.
As a kid, I looked down on my friends with mothers who relied on Betty Crocker or polyester ready-to-wear ensembles. My mother loved me enough to do everything from scratch for me. I won! And, I knew exactly what kind of mother I wanted to be …
It turns out that I am not that mother at all. Not even close. Yet, somehow, people often think that I am. Here are my magic tips on how to appear to be an exceptional mother, without actually being one:
- Every time your child brings home a work of art from school, stick it in a drawer. When you need a homemade card or present for the grandparents, take one out and personalize it with their name. They’ll never know it wasn’t made just for them and you can save nagging your child for another time. Win, win!
- Add a cup of sour cream to any boxed cake mix to make it taste homemade. Someone gave me this tip years ago and it works like a charm. Use the cake mix with homemade frosting. Nobody will be the wiser.
- Stock up on clearance or Dollar Store toys and create a secret gift closet. Use it for last-minute party gifts and impromptu pick-me-ups.
- Brush up on your fort-building skills. It will save you during sick days and snow storms.
- Make a “Rainy Day Bucket.” Fill it with new crayons, markers, paper, Play Doh, fun scissors and the like. Just when the kids are about to drive you certifiably insane, whip it out and let them have at it. Sit back and relish in your genius.
Read more from Jill Smokler at www.scarymommy.com.