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Become a "Survivalist" Parent in 5 Easy Steps

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We all have places to go. Each day we get up, get moving, and sometimes, get where we need to be....on time. Miracles do happen people. I have three children, 9, 6, and 4 years old. I have decided that my main job at this moment in time is to be a survivalist. If you want to be able to leave the house in under five minutes flat, don't have kids. If you already have kids, follow my list of tips and tricks to get you where you need to be with the least amount of stress possible.

1. Snack Pack: I have a canvas tote bag hanging on a hook inside of my pantry. As I am getting the kids packed up and ready to hit the road, I pack the bag full of granola bars, snacks, fruit, and juice boxes. The odds of at least one kids crying, "I'm hungry" from the back seat is the safest bet in the books. Most days, we haven't even pulled out of the drive- way before someone claims that they are starving to death.

2. You Leave it, You Lose it: The rule at my house is simple. If you want to take a toy as we run out the door, you are welcome to do so. My advice is simple, take a toy that you are not in love with. If you leave it somewhere, you lose it. We will not go back to get it from the park, the grocery store, school, or any other place it was left. My kids learned pretty quick that taking a toy is a risky bet. We have lost many good men along the way, including Buzz Lightyear, Barbie, Transformers, the list goes on and on.

3. Don't Clean Your Car: Yes, I said do not clean your car. I have a minivan and I love it. It is a disaster, but I always have the things that I need. My floor is littered with broken crayons, Cheerios, coloring books, and various McDonalds action figures. If I were to clean my van, I would miss out on having all of these things at my fingertips. For instance, "Mom, I'm bored." My reply, "There are crayons and a coloring book on the floor next to you, make me a Picasso." It's built-in entertainment people. I'm not messy, I'm prepared.

4. Essential Items On Demand: Most days we rush out the door without jackets, shoes, underwear, it happens. In my van, I have a crate packed with jackets, shoes, extra clothing, and headbands, for the "Just in case" moments in life. My youngest son will make his way to the van in the morning without shoes, at least once a week. I may get all the way to his Daycare without realizing it. But guess what, I have essential items on demand. He might go into school with some sweet socks and sandals, but I did my job. Life goes on.

5. Bag-O-Tricks: I no longer have any children in diapers. It was a wonderful day to be freed of the diaper bag. However, I quickly learned that the diaper bag was a source of power. It was kind of like Mary Poppins bag of everything. I quickly assembled band-aids, hair ties, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, chapstick, and other needed items to be placed in a bag that is kept in the van at all times. I might not have anyone in diapers, but I will forever and always need baby wipes.

Being prepared for anything and everything, is the only way to become a true survivalist parent. Parenting is the hardest job on the planet, make it a bit simpler by having enough bug spray and sunscreen to protect a village. Make your daily trips bulletproof by following these tips. I guarantee you will feel immediate relief if you need an extra pair of underwear and you find those bad boys in your trunk.

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