When you’re a mom, there are too many days when you want to press that “easy” button and push through the day. Unfortunately, there’s no easy button, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get clever and creative.
When you just can’t even clean another spill, chase lost socks or go grocery shopping — how do kids fit so much in those tiny tummies? — take a deep breath and remember these 10 parenting life hacks.
1. Keep Socks Married
Sometimes — well, all the time — socks prefer solo time over being married to their partner. Rather than chasing socks all over the house or unclogging one Daredevil sock from the toilet —thanks, kids — keep those socks fully committed to each other in a mesh laundry bag.
You won’t lose any socks in the washer or dryer, and it’s ridiculously easy to put the kids’ laundry away, too. Everything is in its proper place, for now.
2. Automate Grocery Ordering
Many grocery stores have pickup and delivery services for a small fee. Choose what you want online guilt-free, without grabby hubby, wifey or munchkin hands taking unexpected, pricey treats. Submit, and your groceries will soon be ready for pickup or delivery.
You could also order your groceries online in bulk, especially pantry items from Sam’s, Dollar General or Amazon. Check out local produce delivery companies, which typically source their fruits and veggies from area, organic farmers. Fill those tummies with healthy food!
3. Automate Personal Shopping
When automating shopping tasks, don’t forget about recurring personal needs! What about eyewear, prescriptions and clothing?
Buy personal items online to save more time. When you shop for eyewear or prescriptions online, you can still get great customer service, access to more choices — and you don’t have to leave home. It’s always best to try clothing on, but if you know your measurements, read the reviews and shop online at stores like Walmart and Amazon.
4. Three Words: Waterproof Mattress Pads
Waterproof mattress pads are a lifesaver for bed spills, from potty-training “oopsies” to sick tummies throwing up dinner. Cleaning up gross spills becomes second nature, but waterproof mattress pads save everyone a little dignity and a lot of time.
Layer together two waterproof mattress pads with two fitted sheets, alternating layers on each child’s bed. If there’s an issue overnight, just gather up the first sheet and mattress pad and leave the unstained ones in place. Done!
5. Duct-Tape That Diaper
If teens can make their prom dresses out of duct tape, there’s no reason you can’t use duct tape for renegade toddler diapers. Little One isn’t ripping off that diaper and waving it around like a proud poopy flag. Never again.
Instead, get stylin’ and profilin’ with different types of duct tape — they have camo, silver, leopard, Hello Kitty and more. Seal that diaper up and let ‘em loose!
6. Potty Train With Puppy Potty Pads
No, your kiddo isn’t of the K-9 variety, but he or she poops like one sometimes, on all kinds of surfaces. Saying “no” only gets you so far.
While it’s weird, it works. Preserve your sanity and your furniture by potty training with puppy potty pads for those “oops” moments.
7. Skip the Changing Table
You don’t need a changing table — it’s extra cash for the trash. Do you have a large flat table or old dresser that’ll do? Use it.
Just place a changing pad on top, and, if using a dresser, use the extra storage space for clothing or baby wipes and diapers. Plus, it’s reusable after Baby outgrows diaper changes.
8. Use a Rolled Towel for Bath Time
Babies are flubbery, bubbly and slippery little things, especially during bath time. Reduce slips and slides by using one rolled-up hand towel under the baby’s head for support, and you’ll have your hands free for a faster and more fun bath.
9. Freeze Bulk Cooked Meals
Sometimes, when you follow a recipe, you cook too much food. Instead of tossing it out, cook bulk meals intentionally, and freeze the extra for quick meals. You can make many recipes in the crock pot, such as lasagna, pasta or enchiladas. When you get busy, this trick will save you time and a headache.
10. Travel Outfits Go in Plastic Bags
Kids get fussier when they can’t pick out their clothes or find what they want to wear while on vacation, especially since they’re in an unfamiliar environment.
Avoid the hassle, and pack outfits and accessories in gallon-sized plastic bags. The kids can choose which bagged outfit they want to wear, and this will help instill a sense of autonomy.
There may not be an “easy” button for parenting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hack a few tasks to make the day flow better and everyone happier.
From marrying socks in mesh bags to packing vacation outfits in plastic bags, these clever mom hacks will save the day, a headache and a little moolah to boot. You’ve got this, Super Mom!