Even though it turned out the “Momo” stuff was a hoax, I think we can all agree that it freaked us out a bit. My kids don’t watch too much on YouTube but I kept trying to replay the last couple of weeks in my head to try to remember if they had watched any new videos. I also cautiously asked my 6 year old if she had seen anything funny recently and reminded her that she can always tell me if she sees something that makes her uncomfortable.
Hoax or not, these are important conversations to have and I’m glad we talked about it because it has opened up a dialogue that I hope will continue during her childhood.
Anyway, even if we don’t have to worry about Momo, I wanted to share a couple of YouTube channels/playlists that are always safe for kids — and fun for adults, too!
Art Hub for kids: this guy and his three kids (all different ages) take turns drawing characters from shows, movies or objects relating to an upcoming holiday. We’ve done everything from a unicorn, Minecraft character, pumpkin and pikachu. The dad encourages viewers to pause whenever they need and finishes every episode with a phrase we’ve adopted for more than just when we watch these videos: what’s the most important thing? To have fun!
Cosmic kids: we started doing these videos two years ago when my daughter, who was in preschool at the time, came back from school saying she did yoga. So one day when we were stuck inside I did a YouTube search for kids yoga. There are plenty of mom and me yoga videos but when we landed on cosmic kids, we stopped searching for other things. The host takes popular stories and adds basic yoga poses while she recites the story. It’s fun for kids and my kids usually end up asking me to do it, too :)
Soundtracks: Sing is one of my kids’ favorite movies and the soundtrack is super fun to listen and dance to. YouTube is great about putting soundtracks into a playlist so it will play only songs on the soundtrack and automatically stop when the final song has played. And while you’ll still have commercials in between songs, you don’t have to worry about a weird video creeping in there.
Sleep sounds: all of my kids have really liked listening to bath water running when they get a little crabby. But having the bath water on for 20 minutes is so wasteful! I found the video below on YouTube and have used it multiple times to get the kids to calm down without wasting so much water.
Honestly, some days I don’t have an answer. There are days where I am being screamed at by a 1 year old because her lunch is taking too long to get to the table, a toddler who, despite sitting on the potty for 45 minutes has decided to get off the potty and pee in the middle of the kitchen floor, while my two school-aged kids are arguing about if they are “racing” in the living room or not. These are the days that I have to remind myself of why I voluntarily made this my life.
For one thing, I’ve always wanted a big family. Part of it is my huge 7th Heaven fandom growing up, but it’s also the idea of being surrounded by family that could easily be categorized as overwhelming, because it is, but a feeling that I really craved. Andre and I usually tell people it’s because we will need someone to take care of us when we are older and figured one of them is bound to want to be a lawyer or doctor or have some other high paying career so we’d be set. But all that aside, 5 has pretty much always been our number so here we are!
This post is just as much for me as for any other mom out there. I need to remember that even on the days I’ve been pooped on, screamed at or stepped on, cleaned up pee from 4 different areas of the house, taped a book back together or consoled a child whose free balloon popped, there are other days that I get an unprompted I love you, I’m given a hand-drawn picture of Baymax, dinner plates are licked clean, I am prayed for by one or more kids, or my lap magically has room for all five kids to sit in and it is because of these days that I know every booger I’ve wiped from a face has been and will continue to be worth it.
The thing I’ve learned: the days are HARD. And it sucks sometimes. But if I can try to just remember one good thing from the day, I will remember why it’s all worth it.
I don’t think my kids are terribly picky eaters. Sure, they typically don’t like something the first time I make it and sometimes the second time I make it, but they will eat fish and mushrooms and green peppers and drink their milk so I call that a general win. But there are some days where you just. can’t. win. Take Tuesday, for example:
Breakfast: Pancakes and half of a banana. I start making breakfast about 20 minutes before I get the kids up so that it is cooled off before they come downstairs. The past few times I’ve made pancakes the kids devour them so there is none left for me or as a midday snack for M. So this time I make a bit extra and, of course, no one wants more than the three little pancakes I put on their plates. This isn’t terrible since now I have extra and maybe they are actually full but seriously? I just spent 20 minutes making extra because LAST TIME THEY ATE IT ALL! Whatever. We’ll eat pancakes for the next 3 days if we have to.
Lunch: Turkey & Cheese roll ups (literally just 1/3 of a slice of cheese wrapped in a piece of deli turkey), apple sauce squeezable pouch, pears and a granola bar. R is REALLY into packing his own lunch recently but I made the mistake of assembling it while he was at school so I could have it ready in the car when I picked him up and essentially ruined every item I packed…so much so that it all went in the trash (he eventually took it out of the trash which was okay since everything was in its own package). Decently balanced meal thwarted because I didn’t let him put it in the lunch box.
Dinner: Coconut Chicken Curry. They like peppers. They like corn. They *usually* like chicken. Those things mixed with tomatoes, coconut milk and onion poured over rice did NOT go over well. They each had to eat at least a bite of chicken before getting more rice and then SUDDENLY, AFTER THEY FINALLY TRIED IT, it was edible for them. They by no means finished their plates (that’s okay, they are offered family friendly foods for meals and the only snacks allowed after are either fruits or vegetables) but they tried something new and I am hopeful that next time we can avoid the drama as the plates hit the table.
The thing I’ve Learned: Kids are usually inconsistent when they eat but offer them the meal and stick to your rules when it comes to snacks. You should never end up being a short order cook.
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!