Every day is a challenge in some way, and I am always looking for ways to make life easier. Enter: Mom Hacks (also, life hacks because they can honestly be tailored to my non-mom-friends, too)
Some of these hacks I have discovered are so simple yet make parts of our daily routine SO much easier.
Here are 5 of my favorite hacks to make your day more efficient for you and your family!
I can’t even count the number of times we have needed something from the house while we are in the car (spit ups, diaper blowouts, snack spills, toys to keep babies entertained, snacks, you name it!). Even when we were living in the city – we would take trips to my parents’ house or for our annual Cape Cod vacation with John’s family. Anyway, it was only a matter of time before I organized our car after working with Kate Turk to organize our whole house.
Here’s what I put into a bin in our car. I got one of those Scout, structured, open bags last summer when we were in Cape Cod, and I slide it in behind one of the back seats so I can access it.
Snacks that are individually sealed and won’t change if in hot or cold weather
Paper Towels/Tissues (for wet spills)
2 Water Bottles
First Aid Kid (bandaids and Honeoye Remedies skin balm)
A few Ziploc Bags (for dirty clothes)
I also keep a blanket or towel in the car just in case the kids get wet doing something or we need something to sit on
And while we are here – I keep sour gummy candies in the center console for me, but also for bribery
I keep a basket at the bottom of our stairs to fill with things that need to be brought up. We were, originally, putting things ON the stairs – but that was just getting messy. At the end of each day (or when it’s full), I bring it up – empty it out and put away, and then fill it with anything that needs to make its way back downstairs. It’s kind of like my little elevator system. Sometimes the girls help, but not often. Maybe if yours are older – this can be something for the kids to control!
With 3 (now) toddlers, it is almost impossible to fulfill every single thing they ask for or need. An idea I am working on, but haven’t fully executed yet – is a snack area. I kind of have it in two places right now and am experimenting a bit with what works best. Carmen is certainly able to get her own snacks now, and she likes to get things ready for Graham and PJ as well. (see below for more on this) Anyway, if I have the things they can have in reach, they are able to service themselves which cuts down on a lot of the incessant asking for things (ha!). You can control the situation here by only including the things you want them to have, within reach. IE keep a drawer in the fridge with fruit or cheese sticks, and keep a drawer or pantry bin with granola bars, crackers, and pretzels, for example.
The prior leads me into our tried and true best thing ever – the snack tray! Carmen makes a tray of snacks for herself, and her siblings, every afternoon before we go on a walk. We sometimes use a muffin tin, and sometimes use a 4-part tupperware container that has a lid. Carmen sources snacks from our designated areas as described above and she portions them out among the tray. This is a good way to give the kids some variety, and also get them to try something new (since they have so many options, I find they are more willing to put something healthy in there!) This also keeps them BUSY which is amazing right now.
MESSY PROJECTS THAT AREN’T REALLY MESSY
The messier the project, the more fun my two youngest have. HOWEVER, I do *not* like cleaning up messes. The following projects are seemingly messy but not a mess for us! Bahahaha.
Painters Tape + Empty Wall. Give them pieces of tape and let them create shapes and patterns on the wall. When they are done, it comes right off!
Paint Ice – Dump the ice from your freezer into a bucket and let your kids paint the ice! When they are done, you just have colored water to dump in the sink.
Ziploc Bag Painting – Add some paint into a Ziploc bag with a piece of paper, seal it up (maybe even double bag it) and let your kid have at it with their hands!
BONUS: FACIAL MASSAGE
Okay, I am putting this here because it’s kind of related but kind of not. This will be the most worthwhile 30 seconds of your day – I promise! By massaging in between my eyebrows every morning, I have felt a HUGE reduction in the line that was growing there in my muscle. Yes, those same lines that botox takes care of. Every morning, when I put on my face moisturizer, I use my fingers to massage the muscle in between my eyebrows, as well as lightly pinch my eyebrows all the way down the line, and finally! – massage from the start to the finish of my eyebrows, lifting up. Lynn Gallagher (@lghtwellness) told me how to do this, so if it seems confusing – check her out for some awesome facial massage techniques! Essentially, always go up and out with your massage and give those tired muscles some relief.