Being a mom of 4 kiddos has taught me many things. Love, peace, patience…how to brush my teeth, bounce a baby and teach a math lesson at the same time. Motherhood has also allowed me to tap into my creative side. And taught me to use this trait to my advantage in many parenting situations.
Here are a few that I have discovered:
- Have your kids wear their next day’s outfit to bed. What?! Hear me out, if you know you have to go somewhere super early in the morning, like a trip or a doctor’s appointment, have the kids wear comfortable non pajama clothes to bed. All you have to do is wake them up, strap them into the van, and hand them a muffin.
- Make muffins or breakfast cookies and freeze them. I love me a good hearty muffin in the morning. But who wants to wake up after spending the whole night nursing a baby, and make breakfast everyday? Take a couple hours once or twice a month and bake lots and lots of muffins or breakfast cookies. It’s way cheaper than expensive sugar filled granola bars and way more filling too. Wrap each of them in plastic wrap. Have your kids put stickers on them and pop them in your freezer.
- Reserve a spot in the fridge that kids can reach for their food. I can’t count how many times I have been in a position nursing and can’t get up to get the kids a snack. When I finally made a drawer of all the kids snacks, I simply told my eldest ( 3 years old at the time) to get her siblings a snack. It was awesome! No need for me to interrupt the nursing session.
- Keep water bottles by the front door. I have a cute basket on top of my shoe rack, by my front door. Whenever we are in a hurry to go somewhere, I pop a couple in the diaper bag and head out. I don’t know about your kids but I feel like I am constantly dishing out water. Not to mention, if you are nursing, you ALWAYS need to be drinking water. No mater where we go, if I have water on hand, it’s all okay. This also works great for baby food pouches and crackers.
- Buy the same socks for everyone. I learned this trick from watching the Duggars. Throw away all your socks and purchase a few packs of those white unisex socks from Walmart. You won’t have to mess with finding the matches ever again! Genius right!
- Keep socks in a basket next to the shoes. This is probably one of my favorite tricks. Whenever your kids need to get their shoes and socks on, you won’t have to go from room to room trying to find socks for them. Everything is right there.
- Always keep diaper and wipes in the car. “Shoot! I thought I had a diaper!” I have been in this scenario too many times where I look in my purse to grab a diaper, only to discover that I forgot to replenish my stash.
- Keep cute baskets around the house for quick toy clean up. I have 3 baskets that I can throw toys into as I walk around my house throughout the day. At the end of the day, the kids can put their stuff back where it goes. It keeps the house looking nice and keeps me from going crazy.
- Always keep crayons and a coloring book in your diaper bag. You just can’t always plan a doctor’s appointment to run on time or a social gathering to always be kid friendly. I am a big fan of teaching kiddos to sit still but you can’t expect them to go too long without some sort of entertainment ( adults can’t even seem to do that!). Crayons and coloring book or even puzzles will give them something to do even if you were not expecting to have to maintain your littles to a confined area.
- Don’t waste time folding kids’ clothes! I give you permission. Seriously. I don’t fold my kids’ clothes. My oldest 2 (6 and 5 years old) fold their own now. But even at that, I learned the hard way. My limited energy is way too precious to waste efforts on such silly things. I remember spending 2 hours one day folding everyone’s clothes. They were perfectly neat as I placed them in every child’s drawers, only to walk in the room 5 minutes later with those same clothes all pulled out, a mess on the floor. I literally cried.
I hope these tips help some of you mommies out there. Remember, life with toddlers can only be described as a beautiful mess. Embrace it. Get creative with your own methods of survival!