9 Parenting Hacks For Moms

August 04, 2020

Good morning lovely momma's!

I hope your week is turning out fabulous. My week so far (and it's only Tuesday) is not to shabby. We have had about 4 different doctor appointments and meetings within the last ten days with my sons new diagnosis. If you don't recall what that was you can check that out here. It has been hectic to say the least and I felt like I was spinning out of control- but my good friend Holly who blogs over at The Work at Home Momma blog.--- shared some wonderful advice that has helped me to refocus and I want to share that same info with you.

Guest Post

Being a mom is anything but easy!  The number of items on our to-do lists is ever growing and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get it all done.  But these parenting hacks for new moms are sure to help you make a dent in that ongoing list. 



 9 Parenting Hacks for Moms

1. Use Bin Style Toy Organizers

It took me some time to get on board with the new “bin style” toy organizers. (You know, the ones with little boxes or buckets on a set of shelves.)  We started our little guys nursery with a traditional toy box and I loved it. 

But as he got older, emptying the entire toy box and spreading the mess throughout, not just his room, but the entire house became my son’s favorite thing to do.  Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, so I ordered a Mickey Mouse toy organizer from Delta. It has six small baskets and 2 large ones. 

Our new rule is that he can only have one box of toys out at a time.  This has proven to be a brilliant parenting hack!  The rule is simple enough for him to understand (admittedly, I have to remind him of the rule each time) and has done wonders for containing the toy mess.

 

2. Include Your Little Ones In Your Daily Chores

This parenting hack will take some getting used to.  As moms, we tend to want to hurry up and get things done while our kids are distracted with toys, watching their favorite TV show, or sleeping.  They just get done so much faster when you have a few minutes of uninterrupted time to do them alone.  But you are doing yourself and your kids a disservice when you do. 

First, it means you’re using their precious independent play, nap, or screen time to do things you could be doing with them alongside you.  That time would be better spent grabbing a quick shower, sneaking in a little self-care, or, if you’re a work at home mom like me, working in the office. (If you’re interested in working from home, I highly suggest checking out 4 Ways to Work from Home and How to Decide Which One is Right for You.) 

Second, you’re missing an opportunity to start passing the chore torch to your kids.   Don’t get me wrong, trying to get any kind of housework done with a child underfoot can be frustrating.  BUT if you include them in the chore (as they so desperately want to be), you can start grooming them to take over the task on their own.   Now, wouldn’t that be wonderful?! 


3. Use A Shoebox And Plastic Ball For Easy Clean-Up Craft Projects

I thought my kid’s love of painting was going to put me into an OCD meltdown before I discovered this little parenting hack.  He manages to get paint everywhere – on his clothes, on the carpet, on the dog.  It was so bad that every time he would ask me if he could paint, I would wince.  I’d do my best to prepare a painting space that I thought would be safe from his destruction, and he would find a way to create paint chaos every time.  He’s like a paint mess Houdini!

Fortunately, I discovered shoebox painting, and it has turned out to be win-win for us both!  He loves the way the different color paints seem to magically show up on the paper. And I love the way all of the paint stays in one place.  

All you need is an old shoebox (the bigger the better), a couple of different sized plastic balls (we have a ping pong ball and a plastic baseball), some heavy construction paper, a pair of scissors, and some paint. 

You start by cutting the construction paper to fit the size of your shoe box and set it in the bottom. Next you place the balls in the box and dab a little bit of paint on each of them. (Be sure to use 2 different colors.) Then, you just give the box a little shake. (If your little one is a bit aggressive with the shaking, place the lid back on top of the box and secure it with a couple pieces of tape during this part of the fun.)  

The balls will roll around creating a kind of tie-dye effect on the paper. You can repeat the process as many times as you like, with as many colors as you want. Once their work of art is complete, rinse off the plastic balls, remove the construction paper, and either toss the shoe box or set it aside for another day. 

VIOLA! Thanks to this parenting hack you just had an afternoon of painting with no mess!  What makes it  even better is that when the painting dries you have another project ready to go.  Get the safety scissors out and let them cut the construction paper into fun shapes that they can glue on a larger piece of paper or poster board.

 

4. If Your Kids Are Playing Independently, LET THEM!

I’m not sure why this parenting hack is so hard to follow through on. You would think we would automatically cherish the fact that our kids are entertaining themselves. But for some reason, we moms, just can’t help but to poke our heads in and see what they’re doing.

Then, once they see us, independent playtime is over! So, stay out of sight and out of mind, and check off some of those things on your every expanding to-do list. Just remember, like we talked about in parenting hack #2, don’t use this time to do something you could be teaching them to do for you. Put the time to good use by working, grabbing a quick shower, or squeezing in an online yoga class. 

Pro Tip - If you’re a bit of a worry wart, use a baby monitor to keep an eye on them.  (I’m a total worry wart so, this is what I do.)  Most video monitors have a wide angle lense option.  Use it to be able to see what your little terror is up to without risking being seen.

 

5. Use A Highchair To Keep Little Ones Out Of The Way While You Clean

Yes, I know this sounds like a contradiction to my advice in  parent hacks #2 and #4, but I’m referring to chores that your little helper isn’t quite ready to learn yet. For me, it’s the dishes.Once my little man started walking, he WOULD NOT stay out of the dishwasher.  

He wanted to play with the wheels on the racks, take silverware out of the basket (and it was always the biggest, sharpest knife he went for), lick the dirty plates I had just put in….You get the idea. So, I started using snack time to get the dishes done. It was perfect! 

I was already giving him his snacks in his highchair because he was such a messy eater. Why not use the time he was strapped in and entertained with food to get the dishes done without having to worry that he was going to slice a finger off? But this parent hack isn’t just limited to getting the dishes done. 

You could use it to get your dinner prep done or the living room vacuumed.  My husband even once dragged the highchair into the bathroom, so he could take a shower.  Whatever task it is that your bundle of joy just WILL NOT let you do, that’s what you want to be doing during snack time.

 

6. Take Several "Play Breaks" During Your Day

No matter how many parenting hacks I throw at you, nothing is going to replace your kids’ need for your attention.  And that’s a good thing.  We’re moms and our first responsibility is making our kids feel safe and loved.  We just need to exert a little control over when they get that attention.

So, take several “play breaks” throughout your day.  Each time you complete a task, turn your focus to the little ones for a few minutes.  Read them a book, or help them build a block castle.  It doesn’t have to take forever, just long enough for them to feel loved and noticed.  The brilliance to this parenting hack is that they’ll be much less likely to interrupt you when it’s inconvenient because they know you’ll come play with them whenever you have a chance.

 

7. Get Into A Daily Routine!

ROUTINES, ROUTINES, ROUTINES!   If you follow me at all, you know I am always touting the importance of routines!  It is the parenting hack or all parenting hacks because it will help with everything!  People just do better when there is order and consistency in their world.  (Yes, I said people, not just kids.  So, this parenting hack is good for your own mental health as well.) 

There have been tons of studies on the psychological benefits of having a daily routine.  And when you combine having a daily routine with using a to-do list, you’ll never find yourself wasting time by wondering what to do next.  As an added bonus, your kids will know what to expect and when to expect it making for a much smoother day on the mommy front.

 

8. Utilize The Childcare At Your Gym Even If You're Not Working Out

Ok, this parenting hack might feel a little sneaky, but I promise, your gym’s KidZone employees don’t care what you’re doing as long as you’re on premise.  So make the most of it!  Take a one-hour spin class and then instead of rushing back to get your little ones, do a little self-care by having a steam and an uninterrupted shower.  Or use your tablet to finish that online course while you’re on the treadmill.  Better yet, bring your laptop and find a quiet spot in the locker room for a makeshift office and finish your emails. 

Your gym membership includes the cost of child care in your monthly fee so, why not use it?  I mean, is there really any difference between watching your kid for 2 hours while you lift weights and watching your kids for 2 hours while you finish your latest project for work?  Either way, you’re just around the corner if needed, but out of sight and out of mine as far as your little angels are concerned.

 

9. Keep Some New Toys Hidden Away For Emergencies

Now, I’m not one to advocate for bribing your kids into good behavior on a regular basis.  But some days, you just need a little help.  So, I always have a few toys hidden in my office closet for emergencies.  I break them out on those days that nothing seems to be calming Junior down and my sanity just can’t take it anymore.  It also works REEEAALLLLLY well for long car trips!  

It doesn’t have to be anything major, just something different. You can use books, little toy cars, bubbles, stickers… whatever little bit is into.  Just be sure to keep them well hidden. his parenting hack can backfire if they spot your stash ahead of time. So, use caution when sneaking a distraction toy out!

Get More Mom Hacks

I hope you found these parenting hacks helpful!  I know they won’t make being mom easy per se, but hopefully they’ll make it feel a little more doable.  If you need even more ways to ease the mom load, you will want to read How to Save Time – 11 Hacks for Mom because there is just never enough time in a mom’s day.

Have a great parenting hack of your own?  We’d love to hear it.  Please share them in the comments below. 


BIO

Holly Simpkins is the author of The Work at Home Momma blog. Her goal is to help moms make ends meet while staying home with their kids. She’ll help you find opportunities to work from home, save time in your day so you can work those opportunities, and save money so you can stretch your household budget to its max.


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