This mum-ing game is a wacky roller coaster, right?
Totally in control one minute. Naked, paintbrush-wielding toddler running through the house with red paint the next minute.
(That doesn’t happen at yours? Oh.)
Last week, a friend shared the delightful news that she was expecting her first bub.
And it got me thinking about the things you do to make your everydays a bit smoother with kids.
(I initially typed the word “advice” in that previous sentence.
But my best advice about parenting is to try not to dish out advice to other parents. We’re all in this together, team.)
So I asked my Facebook friends what life hacks or words of wisdom they would offer a new (or seasoned!) parent.
(Words of wisdom in the non-advice-giving sense, of course.)
So many ideas and tips!
Everyone gets dressed first thing before breakfast. This seems to cut one transition time later and makes our mornings go a lot more smoothly ie we are ready for the park at the drop of a hat!
Splurge on one of those Dyson stick vacuum cleaners! Just do! And wine too!
Shannon from My2Morrows
In the blink of an eye (or in 8 months) my baby turns 18!! Now she can go to the cafe and bring back coffee to help me through the day!!!
Vesna (I think this one means that you should start training your kids to do coffee runs asap.)
I have a motto that I chant in my head….tomorrow is a new day (and cross your fingers that there is chocolate and coffee somewhere close!!) Nothing lasts for ever… Good or bad so just go with it!
I go by the mantra of “whatever works”. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. I have good days and bad days. The bad days certainly suck but the good days balance it all out. Here’s to more good days, strong coffee, lots of cuddles and great wine.
Tash from Gift Grapevine
Be silly (when you can be) and be kind to yourself as often as you can.
Simone from Play With Food
1) They need choices so they don’t feel smothered & so that they own their own decisions. BUT THE KEY is to offer them 3 choices you are already ok with to choose from, and then let them decide from the 3! I might do this with my husband too…
2) Don’t try to be the perfect parent, find your own version of perfect & run with it no matter how colorful or crazy it may be.
It’s okay for your house to be messy. When you take kids places, bring twice as many snacks and diapers as you think you’ll need. And marry someone who will get up early when your kids wake up early (you can train him/her to do this- just lie very still in bed and don’t change up your breathing or move once you are awakened. First one to get up with the child will eventually grow accustomed to it.) Heard this from a friend.
Marcy from usbornestagram
My husband chipped in and contributed a life hack about cooking sausages so they don’t curl. He even included a photo.
You’ll need to go to the Facebook conversation to check it out because I can’t bring myself to post a picture of a frying pan filled with sausages.
I then opened the topic up to my Instagram friends. And they were also a wealth of knowledge.
(Because Marcy is awesome, she also offered another tip…)
When I need to zone out, we sticker. After all is stickered, they peel them off and sticker the [clean] trash can liner, because that’s part 2 of this very fun game! Stickers peel easily off of most things in our house if you take them off relatively soon. Lazy mom win / fine motor skills win / drink your coffee in peace win.
Give yourself breaks, even if for just an hour to go to the grocery store BY YOURSELF
Karina @ Karina.photos
Take a deep breath and try to remember it’s just a moment. It’ll get better. The baby will stop crying eventually, and the little toddler will be back to giving you kisses in no time. And if you can, laugh it off because kids be crazy :).
Get silly! Bringing laughter in can instantly transform a stressful situation.
Get outside or get in some water. Even if it’s just a tub of water for the toddler to splash or a full blown all in trip to the beach, the world will feel better.
Trust your instincts, and never let anyone tell you a baby can be spoiled from too much love
Even a bucket of water in the backyard works a treat. If it’s raining, puddle jumping. Beach tops our list. Swimming, surfing, exploring rock pools, building sandcastles, eating fish and chips, reading a chapter or two under the shade of a pohutukawa while dad swims with the kids. #perfection
Get a nanny ! I jest ….I couldn’t afford one 😁 No, my advice is just exactly what my Nana told me. Patience. Bucket loads of it. And a pact to yourself never to shout at the children. Once that promise is made, you are always in control as you have given the children their parity and understanding. My husband shouts and they look at him and it simply doesn’t work. Also making sure that they know that we are all in the same team. We celebrate their achievements and sooth their disappointments as though they are our own, because they are…… And medication is good too (jesting again!)
E A Bloomer @achildrenswriter
Distract them, be silly, make them laugh. And at the end of the day, snuggle in close and read together. Eventually they will fall asleep!
It’s both the hardest, and the bestest job in the world.
Not one for giving advice but when it all goes a bit wrong, which it often does, I try to slow down! I’m usually trying to rush her or not really listening to want she’s trying to tell me. If I stop and really focus it usually improves. And if that doesn’t work- cake and wine!
Best advice is everything is always changing, nothing stays the same for too long, we have bad days and so do kids, if we’re agitated and anxious then kids feel it and sometimes you just need to remember that we really don’t need to do all those things on our list today and mostly to remember they grow up so fast and chocolate, chocolate always helps.
I usually don’t know what I’m doing, but going out helps me calm down.
My best idea is giving you license to have a mom time out. We need time away to regroup – that can mean taking to a friend or getting coffee by yourself. Hang in there! As you know “the days are long but the years are short.” I used to banish my kids in their own crib/bed for sleep but know I like to sleep with them! Totally reversal!
Here’s mine. It is ridiculously boring.
Or gives me Martha-Stewart level domestic prestige. Not sure which….
When I hang out the washing, I group clothes according to person. All The Toddler’s clothes go on one side of the line, my clothes go on another section etc. So when you wildly pull clothes off the line before the rain comes down, it’s already sorted according to household member. If I’m having a ridiculously (rare) organised day, I fold the laundry as I take it off the line. Then it’s all folded, sorted and ready to be delivered to each household member.
After I shared this hack, my mum questioned whether I was indeed her own child.
What can I say? I love systems.
But I cannot leave you with a tip about laundry.
So here’s my second tip-
If it’s witching hour and everybody is grumpy and you can’t possibly see how you’re all going to get through to bedtime…
Put this song on really loud and make it compulsory that everybody stomps like a brontosaurus.
Please feel free to add your life hacks or words of wisdom in the comments!
And THANK YOU to all my wonderful Facebook and Instagram friends who shared their ideas from all over the world.
You’re like the best online Mother’s Group ever.