Most days, being a parent is awesome. However, I’ll admit that it can be frustrating to see how much extra effort and time it takes to do little things like run to the store or cook dinner. If you feel like your life is getting way too complicated lately, I’m here to help out.
Thanks to years of experience and some great advice from stellar parents, I’ve figured out some ways of making things a bit more manageable. These parenting hacks might seem simple, but you’ll be surprised at how much they’ll make your life easier!
1. Offer Choices
Tired of your child pitching a tantrum over little things like putting on shoes or eating a snack? It’s important to realize that they aren’t just doing this to annoy you. The reality is that kids start wanting to be independent and in control of their life at an early age. An easy way to let your kid feel like they’re in charge is just offering choices like “would you rather have grapes or carrots?” This can make things way less stressful.
2. Childproof With Pool Noodles
Avoid all sorts of nasty household accidents with a basic pool noodle. Cut it into the right length, and slit it vertically, so you can wrap the noodle around sharp countertop edges, pinching trampoline springs, and heavy doors. It might not look cute and decorative, but it’s a cheap way to avoid a lot of accidents!
3. Encourage Picky Eaters With Sprinkles
With their fun color and texture, sprinkles are adored by almost all kids. Grabbing a jar at the store and putting a tiny pinch of sprinkles on certain foods can encourage picky eaters to give them a try. As long as you don’t go overboard, sprinkles don’t contain enough sugar to cause health problems either. I know the idea of broccoli covered in sprinkles sounds gross (well, unless you’re pregnant and experiencing constant hunger), but at least your kid’s eating their veggies, right?
4. Let Your Kid Help With Chores
I get that it’s way easier to just do things yourself than help a curious toddler “wash” dishes or wave a broom around on the floor. However, I promise things will be way easier for you in four or five years if you let your child help with chores as soon as they show an interest. Toddlers are naturally curious and always eager to help. By encouraging this at an early age, you can make sure you don’t end up with a teenager who needs help making a snack or cleaning their room!
5. Take A Bath In A Laundry Basket
Toys make bathtime fun, but a major issue in my house (especially with my first child) was having toys float away, leading to lots of dramatic tears. I was pregnant, my feet were swollen (btw, compression socks were a lifesaver at that time) and felt I just couldn’t deal with this every day. Luckily, my husband’s solution to this problem was putting a laundry basket with holes on the side in the tub. It fills up with water while keeping all your little one’s toys right next to them.
6. Color Code Everything
If you have multiple kids, it can be way too easy to mix up backpacks, lunches, clothes, and more. A simple and effective way of managing all of this is basic color coding. Let each one of your kids pick their color, and use it for hangers, hooks, lunch bags, and anything else you want to keep separate. You can even use a colored permanent marker to put a dot of each color on clothes tags, so laundry will be a breeze. In addition to making it easy for you to find stuff, it cuts back on the amount of times your kids start bickering about a sibling stealing their preferred plate, scissors, or ball.
7. Use Personalized Jewelry In Case Your Kid Gets Lost
They might seem loud and hyperactive, but it’s surprising to realize just how easily a toddler or small child can slip away in a crowd. To make sure they can easily get in touch with you, consider making a necklace or bracelet with your name and phone number. There are all sorts of easy ways to do this, ranging from custom engraved necklaces to DIY bracelets using numbered beads. By preparing for the worst, you can make sure your kid stays safe if it does happen.
8. Get Creative With Paint
Everyone knows that paint is one of the easiest ways to keep your kid busy and encourage creativity, but who wants to deal with piles of messy cleanup? There are all sorts of great parenting hacks for painting. Consider giving your kid a brush, water, and a piece of wood or concrete to do outdoor water painting with absolutely no cleanup. Inside, tape a big piece of paper or plastic on the floor to create a fun finger painting experience. You can also consider sticking them inside an old cardboard box with paint, markers, or crayons to keep your furniture and walls safe.
There you go, mama! I hope these useful tips will make your life easier. Raising kids is the hardest job ever and it’s okay if you ask for some help here and there. That doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of handling things alone, just that you’re a human being! An amazing one!
Ivana Davies is an educator turned stay-at-home mom. She’s a proud mom of a beautiful 7 year old girl and a playful 5 year old boy. Since she didn’t have a clue about raising kids, she had to learn it all in a hard way. Ivana managed to find so much information online and it inspired her to turn to blogging to share her experiences and struggles as a mom. Being a mom is not easy. In fact, it can sometimes be pretty isolating. Her blog, Find Your Mom Tribe, is here to help you connect with other moms, as well as to share mom hacks, information, and tools to help you on this parenting journey. You can catch up with her on Facebook and Pinterest.