You never know what you’ll find in mother’s medicine cabinet or at the bottom of her purse, as the joke goes. So we’d like you to think. However, we moms are quite discreet in slipping something sweet into our secret stash. In case you missed the memo – new moms, toss those parenting books aside and let me give you the rundown of a mom’s survival stash.

In the dead of winter, long into the afternoon with a two and three-year-old, your sanity will depend on your secret stash.

Right off the bat in the back of your pantry stash all your favorite comfort foods. I’m talking anything from a bag of chocolate chip double fudge cookies to a bag of potato chips. If you are an emotional eater, stash an extra box of donuts in the bread box. I know it seems silly to think the day will come when your wonderful children force you to retreat into hiding in the pantry with a king size candy bar. However, that day will come and you will be thankful you were prepared.

Once you’ve got things squared away in the pantry venture on over to the bathroom. It is somewhat frowned upon to stash booze around the house. But, there’s nothing wrong with slipping something sweet under the sink with your favorite book and scented candles for an emergency bubble bath. FYI, don’t forget to stash a cork screw amongst the eyelash curler and tweezers. It will blend right in.

In the back of your closet, stash a little black dress and an expensive pair of shoes. Date night doesn’t come around often, but when it does be prepared. Postpartum moms with spit up in their hair and crumbs in their nursing bra deserve to feel sexy too, regardless what motherhood has done to your body. Don’t you dare think for a minute you can’t pull it off! God just put your body through a miracle, so put your favorite dress on, and let your husband take you out to dinner.

All those parenting books tell you it’s a good idea to have emergency numbers on speed dial just in case and poison control certainly is a good number to have on hand. However, they failed to mention two crucial numbers: a babysitter and take out. There is nothing sweeter than the sweet girl down the street looking to make a few bucks watching your kids. Back up dinner plans is a must in case you burn dinner, forget about it all together, or just don’t feel like cooking. Be sure to stash some take out menus while you’re at it.

Stash a twenty in your wallet for a rainy day. A penny in your pocket in case you come across a wishing well. And two hundred bucks in your bank account to cover your butt because Mommy Brain is a real thing and sleep is far and few hours in between. You will be surprised what unexpectedly blows up in your face.

Speaking of very little sleep, caffeine is a must have for this mom. While I hate to admit that I have run out of milk and have had to dash off to the store for diapers, I haven’t run short of coffee. I have it stashed in a canister marked flour and more filters than I will use in this life time. If you can win this battle without caffeine more power to you. For those of us who can’t, it wouldn’t hurt to stash a Red Bull in the back of the fridge during flu season.

Stashed in your playlist should be tunes for cleaning the house, such as those power cords you like to belt out when no one is around. Stashed in your past should be a few secrets, just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean you weren’t the mysterious girl next door once. Stashed in your drawer should be something lacy, again just because you’re a mom now doesn’t mean you aren’t someone’s wife.

Stashed in your recipe box, a favorite recipe you can whip up for the family down the street who may have lost a loved one. Stashed in your bible, go to verses for those hard days, Stashed in your heart, a few words of wisdom for the new mom who is struggling. Stashed on your calendar should be a few hours to yourself at the very minimum once a month.

The most important stash, are the pictures, hand-made gifts dripping with glue and memories you’re tucking away now. While all those other stashes get you through the early stages of motherhood, my dear mom friend, this will be the only one that gets you through to the end when they are long gone.

Jen Miller

My name is Jennifer Miller, but I prefer simply Jen. I live in Hawley, MN. It is a small town built along the railroad tracks and surrounded by fields. I married my high school sweetheart in 2005 and we have two little boys, Jack (5) and Grey (3). Motherhood took me by surprise just before my 30th birthday and since then I have been stay at home mom and have loved every minute of the craziness. I am a staff writer for the Hawley Herald and do most the work from home. Being an introvert it took me out of my comfort zone, but so worth it because I love writing. It is something I do every day and it allows me to be home with my boys.