Happy Stick, Mad Stick

If you’ve read any of my posts by now, it’s no secret I am a single mama to three littles…a single mama who also works full time as a third-grade teacher.

So when the last day of school was upon us, we celebrated the turning off alarms and threw schedules to the wayside. We looked forward to more unplanned days, relaxation, couch snuggles, and more time to just breathe.

And the angels sang HALLELUJAH.

Well, they sang Hallelujah for a minute. Then there are kids banging on my door at 5:00 a.m. fighting, wrestling, begging, whining and needing to know what we’re doing next, where we’re going today, what’s for lunch, when is dinner, and CAN I HAVE ANOTHER SNACK!?

If you’ve read any of my posts by now, you also know I love my kids big and hard. I am pretty much obsessed with them and with being their mama.


That doesn’t mean being their (single) mama isn’t HARD, y’all. As much as I love the less structured days of summertime, I also realized we need to have something in place to keep them from driving me absolutely bonkers.

Cue happy sticks, mad sticks.

After seeing a couple people post on different social media outlets about how to keep yourself and your kids surviving all things summer, I came up with my own survival system that has proven to be a keeper.

It’s a nice step away from our typical time-out punishment and offers both positive reinforcement and consequences for poor choices. So far, my kids (even the two-year-old!) look forward to working to get a happy stick and actually respond well when they have to choose a mad stick and carry out a consequence.

And also? 

My baseboards are the cleanest they’ve ever been.


In fact, I think I may create a happy stick, mad stick system for myself.

Remember to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer? Happy stick = happy hour starts an hour early today

Do you have any summer survival guides as a mama? Please share because we all know raising these little humans is the best thing ever, but also? So freaking exhausting. And I don’t know about y’all, but I’ll take all the help/advice/tips/tricks I can get!

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Jessie Peele
Jessie is a happy-hour-loving, cupcake-eating, running-obsessed, reality-tv-addicted single mama, currently living in Carrollton, GA. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC, attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!), and taught elementary school for about ten years in Winston Salem, NC. Life brought her to Carrollton in January of 2014, and after four years in Georgia she's still getting used to living in a small town. Jessie was a stay-at-home mama for 3.5 years, but when life took an unexpected turn, she became a divorced mama who found her way back to the classroom. With three kids in tow (Cameron Kate, 7, Everette, 4, and Brooks, 2), she is now a full-time elementary school teacher and a part-time skincare business owner via Rodan + Fields. In the nooks and crannies of her day, she loves running (bonus if it's WITHOUT the stroller!), binge-watching on Netflix, baking and eating anything sweet, drinking a good craft beer/vodka cocktail/cold margarita, and blogging about all things mama-hood on her blog Cupcakes & Running Shoes: http://cupcakesandrunningshoes.blogspot.com/.