What are those things you do in mothering that makes you say, “I’m one smart Mama!”? That little time-saver, space-saver, sanity-saver? Well, today the Mama of FLT (and our friends) are sharing some our tricks with you!
45 combined years of mothering. 28 children between the ages of 13 and 2 months. These are the Mamas of FLT.
- Wipes. Everywhere. Every room. Every vehicle. Every. Where.
- Never underestimate the entertaining and occupying power of a kid with a squirt bottle of water. Let them loose on the kitchen and you’re halfway to a clean floor.
- Too tired to clean those breast pump accessories? Bag them up and stick them in the fridge.
- Want to be able to just reach in the freezer and grab the oldest frozen breast milk? Try this – Lay milk bags flat to freeze. Once frozen, load them into a box with a slot at the bottom. You can pull the bottom bag out from the slot…first in, first out…you’ll be using your oldest stash.
- Be ready for any mess by keeping a wet washcloth in a ziploc bag in your diaper bag.
- Got a stuffy-nosed infant who’s having trouble breastfeeding? Put some vaporizing rub on your breast nearby (but not where their mouths will touch) and it will help clear their sinuses as they feed without applying it directly to their sensitive skin.
- Flash cards are a great way to keep kiddos occupied while waiting for food at the restuarant…cheap (find them at your nearest dollar store), easy to carry (fit nicely into your purse or diaper bag), and can be used for many education & interactive games (one of our favorites is to have the kid pick out 3 cards from the pile and then tell a story that uses all 3 items.)
- Another must have item for eating out with little ones….food scissors! Makes cutting up food so much quicker and even keeps the cheese on the pizza.
- You’ve probably heard it already, but we are here to confirm. Swap out toys. Get a tote. Fill. Pack away for 6 months. When they emerge again, they will be like new!
- Another great way to make a playspace feel new…rearrange the furniture and move the toys around. Pull out what was once in the bottom of the toy box and get it into accessible bins. Put the stuff on upper shelves down low. And watch them spend hours in their once again.
- Staying in the playroom, the next tip. When things are getting chaotic or fighting begins, RESET. This means everyone cleans up. Reward a successful clean up with a quick snack, and when they return to the room, peace will also return.
- Got a boy or a bunch of boys? Make it a competition. Make what a competition? Everything. Eating the most veggies. Getting ready for bed. Picking up the most toys. The neatest job making their beds. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Not only will it get done, but it will get done with some fun.
- Does your grocery store offer free cookies to the kiddos? Well, re-route your way around the store and hit the bakery last. Make them earn those cookies with good behavior (and your bread will be on the top of the cart instead of smooshed on the bottom :-)).
- Get your friends together and host a busy-bag exchange party! Each Mom makes a different activity that fits in a gallon zip lock bags and makes enough to share with all the other guest. When you leave the party, you leave with all sorts of different activity bags! Great for quiet time, car rides, waits at the doctor’s office, etc.
- Moms know laundry. Our tip…get your kids involved early. Put laundry baskets or hampers in their room. Toddlers can put their dirty clothes in a basket. Four and five-year olds can sort by colors. Label a basket with their name and get them started putting their laundry away. You know what kids think is super fun? Moving clothes from the washer into the dryer (easier when it is a front loading washer).
- Keep a small tote or box between your kiddos car seats to provide easy access to toys/books/snacks/wipes and keep all that mess off your car floor.
- Give each kid a reusable zippered snack bag and allow them to pack them with snacks/treats/veggies/fruit while you grab those few last minute items before heading out the door.
- Make any TV show new and educational by having them watch it in Spanish. Start this early and you might just find your kids will be bilingual!
- If you are going anywhere with a crowd…playground, amusement park, community event…do yourself a favor. Dress them alike in bright colored shirts.
- Use a helpful app like “Out of Milk”. Scan items in and it creates a shopping list. The best part? Link it up to Daddy’s phone and when he swings by the store, he can see what else Mama needs :-).
- Two words. Meal. Planning. Saves you money with less emergency dinners out when you are caught unprepared and keeps your grocery shopping intentional. Also saves your sanity when you can post it for all to see. No more interrogation on what is for dinner.
- Got dogs? Then you’ve got poop in your lawn. Get some lawn flags (like what might come with an invisible fence system) and let the kids go on a poop hunt. Find a pile, stick a flag. The kids know the areas to avoid during play, and Daddy knows where to scoop before he runs the lawnmower. Even poop can be fun!
- Whisper instead of yelling. Gets them every time!
What is your best Mom trick? Share with us and with all the Mamas!
Happy Mother’s Day!
© 2013, Aimee. All rights reserved. Love it? Please share, pin, tweet or email but do not use my work without permission.