As a mother of 4, I’m always looking for the quick fix, the easy way out, just straight up convenience. What mommy has time for potty accidents and added stress?! Trying to limit the number of messes to clean and tantrums to endure is a must, and to cut these corners, I have 8 tried and true mommy hacks that have been real game-changers in our household:
1. Getting dressed the night before
Okay, this sounds crazy, but I dress my kids in their clothes for school / daycare, the night before. My mornings used to be painfully slow as I was in a rush to get to work, and my son was struggling for a good 15 minutes to get one leg through his shorts. Eliminating this time-consuming process every morning allowed me to get everyone out the door much faster. Daycare clothes are loose and comfortable play clothes anyway, so none of the kids were ever uncomfortable. Plus, this hack has served as a double mom-win over the years as now my kids get super excited whenever they receive pajamas as gifts!
2. Double-making the bed
When you have a toddler potty training, staying dry through the night can be a daunting task. Stripping and re-making an entire bed in the middle of the night gets frustrating, especially with multiple little ones doing this at the same time! I finally wised up and made each bed with multiple sets of mattress protectors and bed sheets. Each bed currently has 4 sets of protector/bed sheets right now, so the next time I’m woken up by someone with an accident, all I have to do is strip the top layer and everyone goes right back to bed after cleanup.
3. Urinal for the car
I have two boys who NEVER seem to pee before we leave anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just finished buckling the 4th and final child in the car seat in the middle of a hot summer day only to hear, “Mommy! I have to pee pee!” Nope, not happening! He’s got to hold it! Purchasing a small, capped urinal from Amazon (you know, the kind they use in hospitals for urine samples) was the best money ever spent. We’ve been stuck in traffic or on the road at a grimy rest stop and have used this handy tool. It’s small enough to keep hidden in the console of my car and has saved me some serious car seat cleanup at least a couple times a month.
4. Vinyl gloves for crawfish boils
Having a baby right at the brink of crawfish season, I was concerned about changing diapers with crab boil on my hands. I LOVE a good crawfish boil, but I found myself refraining because I had a newborn to handle. I owe my husband for this hack as he bought a box of vinyl, not latex, gloves for me from Walmart one day so that I could eat crawfish. I was a little skeptical at first and even laughed at the thought, but OH EM GEE! This was life changing. They don’t tear easily from the shells, and whenever I needed to tend to the baby I just slipped them off and my hands smelled fresh and clean. Not an ounce of crab boil or crawfish juice on them! Super easy “clean-up” and I get to partake in my favorite NOLA tradition.
5. 1st day of school pictures the day before
Okay, this hack makes me feel a little dishonest, especially when I post the pictures on social media, but how does everyone else have time to do this on the first morning back to the grind, especially with cute handmade signs about grade levels and grown-up hopes and dreams?! I definitely don’t. I get everyone dressed in their clothes / uniforms the day before (see Hack #1), and I make their back-to-school signs, and we take our pictures. I’m guaranteed to get well-rested, happy, smiling faces, and we’re not in a rush! It’s slightly deceiving, I know, but if you’re anything like me and care a lot about getting the good pictures to cherish for years to come, it’s a great win.
6. Sticky cell pads
Now, this one is more of a tip than a hack, but a game-changer for sure. It’s hard to have “nice things” in the house when you have rough little boys running around, but, with the Sticky Cell Pads, all that can change. They stick to everything without leaving any residue and can easily be taken off, cut, cleaned and/or re-used. Purchasing these from Amazon has allowed me to have Christmas stockings hung with nice stocking holders – someone pulling them down and getting hurt was no longer a fear. My tall glass vase that was in direct line of flying footballs is now out on our living room console and doesn’t budge when hit. I also use these on my kitchen cabinets so I can just stick my phone on them to read a recipe or to talk on speaker, hands free, while cooking.
7. Tile-ing the runner
My second child is a runner, so much so, that we’ve lost him once or twice in a crowded area – scariest 10 minutes of my life. To reduce my anxiety when taking him to crowded places, I’ve started hooking my key Tile (a key finder with an app) to his back belt loop on his pants – he doesn’t know it’s there and can’t detach it this way. I’m able to track him within a 300ft radius on my phone. This works great for sporting events, school fairs, and Mardi Gras parades.
8. Using the side wings on juice boxes
Have you ever noticed the folds on each side of the top of a juice box? Any juice box. If you flip both of these up, your child’s juice box has “wings” for him to hold on to. No more juice shooting from the bent straw that is always perfectly aimed at your lap. Now I don’t dread the obligatory juice box and pizza set-up at birthday parties. We stay dry and clean … until there’s chocolate cake.