No one has ever said that being a parent is easy, and if they did they were lying. But there are ways that parents can make their lives a little easier.
Your kid dumped an entire bottle of glitter onto the kitchen floor? We’ve got a solution for you. Do your daughters alway fight over snacks in the car? We’ve got you covered there too. What parent doesn’t want to make their life a little easier, right?
Weekly Outfit Planner
Every parent knows that morning can be the most hectic time of the day if you have kids, but mom of four Kortney shared her hack for making mornings run a little smoother and it’ll be a godsend.
Have your kids pick out their clothing every weekend and sort them into the bins for the days ahead. It gives them plenty of time to deliberate about what pair of pants goes best with the new sparkly shoes or if the spiderman shirt is better for Tuesday or Wednesday, but it won’t be happening 10 minutes before you have to leave!
No Surprises Here!
If you have a child who doesn’t do well with surprises (even though bedtime happens at the same time every day) try making a routine clock!
Your kids will always know what’s happening, what’s coming next, plus it can help them learn to tell time. It’s a win-win. All you have to do is buy a dollar store clock, divide the times, and start coloring. Plus, if you outline it, you can have your kids color the sections so they get to help too.
If you have constantly hungry children (who doesn’t, right?) you can set up snack bins in your pantry so they always know how much they can have. You can make sure they’re snacking on something you approve of, but they also feel like they get a say in what they’re eating.
This hack is also great for packing lunches in the morning because you can have your kids help you out, plus it’ll mean fewer complaints for you to listen to at the end of the day since you know they’ll pick foods they like.
Quick And Easy Cleanup
No parent likes glitter. Sure, it’s pretty and kids love it, but it’s so messy. Glitter is like the head lice of the arts and crafts world – it spreads quickly, it’s a lot of effort to clean up, and you’re never quite sure you got rid of it all.
If your kid somehow managed to dump half the bottle of glitter or sequins on the ground, try cleaning it up by dabbing it with tape. It’ll collect the majority of it, and make it easy to just sweep up the last bits.
The Icepack Alternate
If your son has a habit of never coming home with the icepacks from his lunch bag (seriously, where do they go? How can he lose this many?) here’s a pro tip for you.
Wet a sponge, pop it into a ziplock bag, freeze it overnight and there’s your icepack for the next morning! It keeps their lunch cold, you know it’s not going to leak, and dollar store sponges are less expensive than ice packs so if your son loses it (let’s be honest, when he loses it,) it’s not that big of a deal.
Endless Outdoor Entertainment
If you’re looking for a way to keep your child endlessly entertained outside in the summer, have them “paint the fence” with water.
First of all, it’s way less messy than real arts and crafts. You don’t have to worry about them making a mess or staining their clothes because it’s just water! Also, it’s a game that never ends, because the sun will continually dry the fence and they’ll have to keep starting over. It’s the perfect game.
Doctor’s Office Distraction
If you’ve got a long wait in the exam room at the doctor’s office, you can let your kids color on the paper that’s going to get thrown out after you leave anyways! It can keep your kids entertained, even while you’re talking to the doctor, and the doctor can talk to the kids about their drawings to make them more comfortable.
You obviously need to make sure your child isn’t drawing on things like the walls or the exam table, but if the paper is going to get tossed anyway, why not let them be a little creative?
Munchin’ Made Easy
One Instagram mom shared a way to cut up watermelon that’ll be easier for your kids to eat and create less mess.
If you cut watermelon – or really any sort of snacks – into little squares or rectangles, it’s easier for your kids to hold onto and to bite into. Especially with watermelon, it can be hard for little mouths to bite into big triangles so it ends up everywhere. Cutting them into squares makes less mess for you to clean up, even if it seems like more work to cut at the time.
Locked And Loaded
If your little tyke has a habit of dropping – or throwing – their drink onto the ground in the grocery store, here’s a hack for you.
Captioned “Parenting level: Expert,” one mom shared this photo of her toddler with a sippy strapped to her in the grocery cart so that it can’t fall onto the ground. Easy access for your kid and you know you’re not going to lose yet another cup in some unknown aisle of the grocery store.
Tackling Snack Time
This mom turned tackle boxes into snack boxes for her girls before a long road trip and it’s genius. No fighting over who gets what snack, how much one has had vs. the other, or who wanted the apple juice or the orange juice.
You also know exactly how much they’re eating of each snack, and how much they’re snacking in general. If they claim they’re hungry at the next rest stop but they also just ate their entire snack box, you know they could just be bored!
Ultimate Dad Move
If you have teenagers who get home from school at 3 pm but never quite seem to do all those chores or tasks you left for them, you can do what this dad did!
You can pick your poison based on your kids, whether that be changing the wifi password, hiding their Xbox cord, or storing their phone charger somewhere else. It might be annoying having to barter with your kids, but this is sure to get them going on those chores.
New Age Medicine
If you have a hard time getting your kid to swallow all their medicine, or any of it quite frankly, you can try this lollipop hack.
Dip the lollipop in the medicine repeatedly, until they finish the whole cup. Then as a reward, they get the lollipop, which will probably be half gone at that point anyway. It’s the Mary Poppins “Spoonful of Sugar” method, except with a lollipop instead of a literal spoonful of sugar.
If you’ve got a flight coming up and you’re worried about keeping your toddler entertained, try doing what this smart mama did.
“My toddler was busy for over 30 minutes playing with these window stickers on the plane. Easy to pack, fun for them, and CHEAP.” They won’t take up as much room in a carry on as other toys might, they don’t make a mess, and your kid will be kept busy for at least a short period of time. Fool-proof!
Set Aside Time To Unplug
Boy have we got a hack for all you gaming parents out there. If your kids always want to play with you, give them controllers and just don’t plug them in! They’ll feel like they’re participating, and you still get to finish your game without them slowing the team down.
Unfortunately, kids are pretty tech-savvy nowadays and might figure out pretty quickly that they’re not actually hooked up, depending on how old they are. You know how games are rated ages 8+ or 12+? This is more of an ages 8 or under activity.
Pack Ahead Of The Trip One Ziplock At A Time
Packing for kids can be stressful. You can’t remember how many days you’re going for, how many pairs of pants you’ll need, or what shirt they like to wear with that one pair of pants. Simplify the job by packing outfits into big Ziplock bags.
Whether you’re going on vacation or sending your kids to camp, pack outfits into individual bags so they can just grab one and go, no fuss, no mess.
No More Sticky Fingers
Has any kid ever managed to eat a popsicle or ice cream bar without it dripping all over their hands? Absolutely not.
There’s a solution to that though! Take a muffin or cupcake wrapper and pop the stick through there, and voila. It’ll keep your kids’ fingers from getting sticky plus you don’t have to worry about them dripping all over the floor or on their clothes or the backseat or basically anything that they usually would.
Take The Stress Out Of Their Sick Days
Having kids is already hard enough, but having a sick kid is even worse. You don’t need to be worrying about whether or not you gave your daughter the dosage she was supposed to get.
Mom of three Flo shared this photo on Instagram and we’re here for it. Just check off every dosage right on the bottle as you’re giving it, that way you never have to worry about if your husband already gave your son his medicine or not.
High Chair Hack
Picture this: it’s dinner time. You’re having spaghetti for dinner, it’s been approximately 2.5 seconds and your son has already spilled it all down the front of him, but you can’t remember where you put all those bibs after you washed them last week.
Well, this Instagram mom has the perfect solution for you. Stick one of those cheap Command plastic hangers to the back of the high chair and then hang your bibs from there. You’ll always know where they are when you need them!
Hide The Good Stuff
There are snacks you’re willing to share with your children and then there are snacks that you want to keep tucked away for yourself. So how can you hide your favorite chocolate or cookies where your kids won’t find them?
This is a genius solution. You don’t necessarily need to hide your food in the freezer, but you can tuck anything inside a box you know your kid isn’t going to look in. Hide cookies in the oatmeal box or stick your chocolate bar in the fridge in the drawer with all the vegetables!
The Simple Pleasures In Life
At the end of the day, don’t forget to be kind to yourself and other parents. It’s easy to feel like you need to be the best mom out there who makes all her baked goods from scratch and always plans over-the-top Pinterest-worthy birthday parties, but we’re all just out here doing our best.
Even if they’re late to school once a week because you didn’t plan their outfit the night before, or you occasionally feed them Cheetos as an after school snack, your kids will be fine.