For the longest time, I clung to the hope that motherhood was a simple equation. If I just had XYZ—consistent childcare, take-out, and a coffee shop down the street—then poof! Motherhood could be a snap! But in reality, motherhood is so much harder than that, and it’s hard for all of us—no matter the circumstance.
This past December I found myself in a spiral—obsessively checking app after app on a loop. I don’t even know why. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but it felt like I couldn’t stop. So, I made a plan in the final week of 2022, and this is what’s working for me (so far) in 2023.
“I remind myself that saving everything won’t keep them little forever. I know I won’t lose all my memories of these years just because I don’t keep every worksheet, drawing, or scrap of paper they write their name on. And I love the timestamp the few precious pieces I save give me.”
Nestled on the Montana and Canadian border lies Glacier National Park. Growing up, I lived in Wyoming, and my family drove to Glacier Park nearly every summer to visit extended family.
Now, we make the trip once or twice a year with our kids: once in July, and if we’re able, another trip in the shoulder season—May or September. My kids are 7, 5, and 2, so most of my recommendations are for places to go with young kids.
Clutter, dirty floors, and unmade beds can be remedied in just a few steps: Pick up books. Stack on the bookshelf. Sweep floors. Tuck in sheets. Stand with hands on my hips. Gaze at my work. Done. Checked off the list. Move on to the next task. But my kids? I can’t parent in three easy steps—especially as they get older.
Before I got married, I don’t remember putting much thought into cooking. I spent my early 20s with roommates, and