A Mom’s Guide to Surviving Election Day | How To

It’s hard enough to get through a normal day as a working mom but lately we’ve had the added insanity of listening to the non-stop bickering on Facebook about politics.  Unless you live under a rock you’ve seen the train wreck that is the current election year.  Let’s be honest: it’s gotten ridiculous.  Don’t believe me?  No worries!  We have this gem to prove the ultimate weirdness involved in this election.

Be proud of yourself Mom!  You made it through the social media election crap storm without losing too many friends (hopefully.)  November is here!  The end is drawing near.  The final step is surviving Election Day; which ultimately could be harder to survive than the zombie apocalypse.  Keep your head up, eye on the prize and follow our survival guide!

Photo credit: Autumn Branscome Photography

Step 1: Wake up!
You made it through Monday!  Another beginning of the week success is under your belt. The rest of the week is a breeze… except… wait… what is that nagging thought in the back of your head?  Ugh, it just hit you… it’s Election Day!

It’s time to do your duty to country and cast your vote, but first you have to get the kids dressed, off to school, grab a coffee, vote, then head off to listen to political water cooler chatter ALL day long.  Survival today is going to require coffee.  Go ahead and get yourself a cup, throw whatever clothes you can find that are relatively clean on yourself and the kids, and get out the door.  Trust me, you’ll look more put together than some of the characters you will see today.  Election Day tends to bring out more interesting people than you would find during a trip to Walmart.

Step 2: Drop the Kids Off.
For a brief moment as you pull up to your child’s school you wonder why there’s so many adults parking and walking into the building. Then it hits you… it’s Election Day!   You forgot that not only does Election Day mean the talking heads on your television argue all day long but it also means Maddi’s school is closed.  *pounds head against car door*  Quickly, text everyone on your babysitting list.  Chances are they are all still asleep because they don’t have school either, but it’s worth a shot.  When that fails, it’s time to “Mom up” and realize you are taking Maddi with you to vote.  At least the baby’s daycare is still open… you hope.

Step 3: Pre-Voting Child Pep Talk.
It’s time to vote in one of the most polarizing elections of the year and you have a kindergartener chomping at the bit to see what all the fuss is about.  A pre-voting pep talk is a must if you’ve decided to walk into the lions den with him!  A quick chat to ensure he understands how to quietly stand in time, not scream anything obnoxious, stay in your voting booth and be quiet should ensure your sanity.  Because those talks always work so well, right Mom?

Photo credit: Cate Waters

Step 4: Enter the lions den.  Go Vote!
You’re half way through the parking lot when you hear a couple debating which candidate is the best to win.  You whisper a silent prayer that they keep the conversation PG-13 because you cannot handle another conversation where you have to convince your child that the the P word is referring to an adorable kitten and not a woman’s anatomy.  Yup, this is what the election has done to you as a parent.  You’ve been reduced to explaining to a 5 year old what the P word is… and maybe bending the context a bit.

Being the organized woman you are, you decided weeks ago how you would vote for each election and even researched the candidates to be ready.  A quick punch and you’ll be on your way is the hope. Maddi starts to ask a thousand questions so you explain to him how you are going to pick the next President today mentioning the two main candidates are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Instantly in a bout of excitement, Maddi screams, “Vote for Donald!  He’s friends with Mickey!!!!”  A head pokes out from the next booth over with a disapproving look. Roll your eyes, grit your teeth, punch that ballot and move it momma!  You can explain to Maddi later that Donald is in fact not the duck who is Mickey’s friend (or is he?), and you shouldn’t share who you plan to vote for if you want to have friends.

Step 5: Survival.
It never fails, as soon as you step outside, your mother-in-law calls to tell you she can take Maddi for the day. Thank You Grandma!!!  A quick trip to drop him off helps re-normalize your crazy so you can swing by Starbucks and get yourself a fancy schmancy coffee and prepare for the water cooler chatter at work.

You finally make it to the office proudly displaying your “I voted!” sticker when the 23-year-old intern pops by your desk to say “Hi!”.  She displays her equally shiny sticker for you to see and points out brightly that you are in kindred spirits. Ha!  Little does she know that you’re not in the same league.  She spent 10 seconds voting and chugged her caramel macchiato in peace afterwards as she drove calmly to work.   You smile politely knowing that in the next 10 years she’ll go through the pure insanity you just went through and she’ll have earned her wings.

Keep your head down, get your work done and push through the day.  Do you best to not fall into the trap of debating at the water cooler.  As your best friend always reminds you, “Don’t wrestle with pigs, you get dirty and the pig enjoys it.”  Your time will be much better spent Pinning ideas for dinner.

Step 6: Pick up the Kids.
You survived!  The day is simple now: Pick up the kids, cook dinner and relax. Maddi runs out of his grandma’s house and screams, “Mommy I decided I like Hilwary!  She’s prettier! And doesn’t have orange hair!  Grandma said Donald isn’t friends with Mickey.  She doesn’t even think he’s allowed to go to Disney! Grandpa said Hilwary wouldn’t know if she had Disney tickets because she can’t keep track of her mail.”  And just like that you feel your anxiety level rise as you roll your eyes so far back you can see your brain.  You rush Maddi to the car, thank your mother-in-law and call your husband to pick up dinner and bring it home, there is only one word to describe today, DONE!

Photo credit: Amanda Greer Photography

Step 7: The End is Near.
The children are finally in bed.  Grab yourself an iced tea, wine, beer, or Vodka and settle on the couch to watch as the end approaches.  You survived Election Day!  You showed your child an example of doing his civic duty and supporting this great country.  The results are coming in and reality is you have no control over them at this point.  You mutter a prayer for the country and smile knowing that in four years you’ll have two little people making your day hectic.  Hopefully by then Ms. Peppy Sunshine Intern will have a child or two and bring you a caramel macchiato while you sit in solidarity knowing that surviving this election fiasco as a parent was an adventure.

Photo credit: Kelly Broyles Photography

A note from HtKS moms:  Thank you so much to everyone who has already voted in this year’s election and to those who will vote tomorrow.  We know this election has been a bit of a circus and while we poke fun of it in this blog, we also strongly believe in the freedom we have to vote.  A freedom that many of our loved ones have fought to preserve.  Please take a moment tomorrow to vote even if it means some embarrassing moments with your little Maddi.  Voting is very important and teaching the future generation to vote is crucial.

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