Surviving Life With Kids: Easy Mom Hacks
By Dasha Peipon
I took my kids to an exciting outdoor event a few months ago. It was raining earlier that day, and the area was covered in puddles and mud. Believe it or not, my kids actually tried to stay out of the mud. But after one of them slipped and fell, there was no going back. They were soaking wet and covered in mud head to toe (very happy, too). When it was time to go, I went to the car and pulled out a bag with two sets of clean clothes for my kids, including underwear and socks. And shoes. They needed it all. My friend was impressed: “Wow! You sure came prepared” I laughed. I was prepared this time. But only because of all of those times in the past that I wasn’t. I learned my lesson the hard way. Now I always have an emergency bag in my car with a change of clothes, baby wipes, first aid kit, crayons and snacks.
Every mom has her own little tricks to get through the day, avoiding a potential disaster. Here are just a few hacks, shared by fellow moms. See if your days get slightly easier with these tips.
Vira Ogburn, children’s ages – 13, 5 and 3
I put gallon ziploc bags in the back seats of my car in case kids get sick or if there are bathroom mishaps. Ziplocs seal up all the mess and go straight to trash.
I always have a pack of crayons in my purse – either intentionally or accidentally, when I pick one up from a restaurant. I always find myself thanking God for those crayons! Whether we’re in our doctor’s office or the church, I just whip those out and they go to work. Crayons have saved me from giving my kids electronics, which is almost always the first solution that comes to mind.
Stephanie Catellier, children’s ages – 9, 7, 5 and 3
I use over-the-door vinyl shoe holders on every door for everything: in the pantry for sippy cups/pasta/snacks, play room – for toys, bathroom – for medicines, garage – for gardening tools, storage room – for wrapping paper (cut bottoms so rolls slide through). I keep applesauce cups in my car when it’s not hot out. The foil seal can be twisted into a spoon. Baking soda+oxyclean+borax+vinegar, soaked overnight, will get any stain out, from melted crayons to blood to spaghetti sauce. Charcoal pills for the stomach bug. We’ve been clean for three years now! (No easy task with three kids in school.) I buy mine in Walmart. But don’t bother looking – I already cleared the shelves. A chart for medicines for when your kids are sick is a life saver, especially if you have more than one person dispensing them. Just check off and you know who has gotten what and when.
My favorite hack is bringing my own TV remote to the hospital! I don’t like theirs, so I bring a universal one and it has more functions.
Melanie Walley, children’s ages – 15, 12 and 6
Everyone has at least one chore that is his or hers for the week. It’s teaching the kids responsibility and is helpful for our household to function well.
We let the kids participate in different activities, but only allow one committed activity at a time or season so they do not wear themselves out.
Before heading to bed, we look at the day ahead and see who has practices, parties, appointments, and make sure everyone has the items needed for the next day’s events. We get lunchboxes packed to save time in the morning.
Linnea Taylor, children’s ages – 7, 5, 3 and 1
Store. Bought. Cake. Three beautiful words. There’s never an event that a store-bought cake isn’t perfect for, and perfect for your sanity and your family’s sanity. Keep emergency lollipops in your glove compartment. Sure, maybe have some Dramamine and bandaids there too, but it’s the lollipops that will save you. Feeling at your wits end and don’t know how to get your three-year-old to follow one simple instruction? Lollipop bribery to the rescue! Is bribery bad? I don’t know – stop overthinking stuff!
P.S. Share your own Mom Hacks on our Central Mississippi Facebook page!