Kids and babies have four basic needs. Potty, Eat, Entertainment and Sleep. (Oh, That’s an acronym! PEES. Which, considering how much a parent’s life involves the bathroom… seems appropriate.) Keep them PEESed properly (Oh, I’m having such giggles writing that) and your life is a lot easier. So here are some cheats I’ve discovered along the way. Ya know, if you want to parent just like me! (Disclaimer: you should not.)
1. Bulk Buy.
You don’t want to go to the grocery store anymore. Or at least, you don’t want to HAVE to go to the grocery store anymore. Going with kids is terrible. To minimize the trips. Find a Costco or Sam’s Club. Get over the “I don’t want us to be ‘those people’” mentality and embrace it. Buy Formula, diapers and wipes here. It’s worth it and the store brands of these three products aren’t actually bad. In fact, the Sam’s Club wipes are literally my favorite. Huggies wipes tear too easily, Pampers are too wet, Wal-Mart brand are too stiff. While you’re there, get the pre-seasoned meats and a big old box of Moscato. You’re worth it.
2. Bulk Make Baby Foods.
So this is an easily skipped step if you’re not going to make your baby’s food. (Side note: Oh. My. Gawd. How dare you not nurture your child in this way? I just bet you WANT your kid to eat all those pesticides and preservatives. You, obviously, should be home growing your child’s vegetables and watering them with your tears: Mother Nature’s Fertilizer… Hahaha just kidding. Hippies.) If you DO choose to make your kids food, it’s not too difficult, really, but always, always, ALWAYS make this in bulk, too. It takes so much less effort to just make a bunch at a time.
- Freeze and Store Baby Food Correctly. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this. The right way is to freeze in 1-2 ounce blocks in regular freezer for a day (ice cube trays are super cheap and pretty easy), after frozen, get a vacuum sealer and put a week’s worth of food in each bag. Put them in the deep freeze with the date. Pull out about one week’s worth and put it in an ordinary freezer Ziploc. That way you can open and close that bag throughout the week, making a cube or two at a time and not freezer burning a bunch. The wrong way to do this is pretty much any other way.
3. Freezer Meals.
You don’t NEED a vacuum Sealer for this, but it does make it a bit easier for some types of meals. You can also hop to the dollar store and buy some cheap-o single use aluminum pans. They work great for casserole type foods. You may need to also wrap in foil, or saran wrap or something like that to add extra protection from freezer burning but honestly, just cycle through them once every couple months at most and you’ll probably be fine. Another decent freezer burn preventative measure I’ve had success with is to just make sure to fill them up completely and that usually means less exposure anyways. I’ll share some recipes I’ve used regularly periodically on here, and I’ll make a little “Recipes” section or… something. I dunno, I’ll figure it out and come back and put a link or something. Soups, seasoning Meats, casseroles and Slow Cooker Meals work best in my experience. There are two lazy ways to do freezer meals:
- Make it a party. Have three or four friends pick three recipes each. Then each of you make 3 times the recipe and divide and distribute. Then you get three times the freezer foods. Plus you can make the husbands get together with the kids at another house and they can, I don’t know, watch a game or something while the kids tear up another house. And you can drink wine with your girlfriends.
- Just triple every recipe you make for dinner for a week. While you’re eating dinner, the rest of it cools, you freeze it and when you warm it up, it takes less time because you’re basically just thawing it.
4. Prep Formula Bottles to go.
If you don’t do the pre-made. The pre-made is easier. It’s pricier though. And my kids got an upset tummy from the ready to drink stuff. So here’s how you prep bottles for a trip. You do NOT use these. What a waste of time. It’s an extra step! You take an empty, dry bottle. (It has to be completely dry.) Put the scoops of dry formula in the bottle. Put the nipple and lid on. You take a bottle of water. You mix when you need. It’s room temperature, so you don’t even need to warm it, really. It’s literally, pour water, shake, feed. Soooooooo easy.
5. Do dishes while hubby does bath time.
This requires a partner. (As opposed to the rest of these? Which, really just require you be independently wealthy and not need to work OR are a vampire that requires no sleep.) But I mean it requires a kick ass partner that wants to spend time with the kids before they go to bed. (AKA a husband you can guilt into doing bath time by saying “They only see you a couple hours before bed, don’t you want them to know their father?” Or some varying degree of terrible manipulation you would have felt guilty over before kids). This means you (kind of) get a break from the kids and you get something productive done. Plus, honestly bath time is mostly just playing with your phone and watching them splash and play for like a half hour. Once he breaks this code, he’s more likely to be ok with it. Anyways, clean up from dinner and load the dishwasher and run it so the next morning the sink is empty and clear and you can make the kids wash their hands, or whatever. You always need your sink and this is the best way to get it.Try these Mom Hacks to make those hard days a little easier! Click To Tweet
6. Use the TV Crutch Wisely.
DON’T put them to bed with the TV! It’s a trap! It works. Kind of. For a short period of time. Look, I get it all too well. My husband was holding our first child, literally within the first 20 minutes of me having her and he held her up to the TV and said “Here’s your very first babysitter!” I mean, I like watching TV, why shouldn’t my kids? And they do. I mean, bright colored cartoons when they’re babies, teaching shows when they’re older… Wow, yes. I abuse this crutch. But I don’t put the kids to bed with the TV anymore.
Because the girls like TV. So if it’s on… they stay awake to watch it. It’s like turning on TV and surfing channels and you stumble on a Law and Order: SVU Marathon. Suddenly, you’re not tired anymore. Or, logging into a game, wanting to just complete one quest and then get dragged into a raid. If you abuse this, you’ll be going to bed and the kids will still be watching TV. And they’ll wake you up to play another movie and another. And don’t think they’ll sleep in the next day. They’ll wake up at the exact same time as usual. They’ll just be dicks the whole day. So use it during the day; for quiet time, for you to shower, whatever you want. But heed these words: Don’t use it as a bedtime thing.
7. Diapers and Wipes EVERYWHERE.
Do you really want to pick up a kid, carry it upstairs to change it every time it pees or poops? No. You don’t. Plus, having wipes everywhere is just good sense. I think I’m going to have them everywhere even when no one’s in diapers. (But I’ll probably be in diapers by the time all MY kids are out of them, so who knows if there will ever come that day…)
8. OK to wake! An Alarm clock is awesome.
For so many reasons. First when your kid starts school they’re not going to want to wake up. I know. It’s ridiculous that when they HAVE to wake, they won’t want to and when they should be sleeping in to give you some peace, the definitely will NOT. Anyways, let’s not dwell on the injustice of the world. The kid is gonna scream and yell and hate everything around when she wakes up before her own time. (You can relate.) So why on EARTH would you want to be there for it? It’s like throwing a live grenade and running. She’ll learn the snooze button pretty quickly, but at least the initial wake isn’t on you.
This kind of clock in particular is spectacular because it will also help the little ones who get up too early and ruin your mood. Now, this isn’t going to work for anyone still in a crib, obviously. But like, 3 and up, it’s perfect. It has a light that turns green when it’s “Ok to Wake!” (See how clever the name is?) Some days the kid may actually fall back asleep. Most days they will just play in their room relatively quiet. Some days they’re say “Screw the green light, I’m not traffic” and come into your room and sit on your head. It happens. But hey, it may happen less with this little guy. I’ve had some issues with the batteries dying super fast in this particular model, but I bought it at a yard sale so really who knows if it’s the brand or not. But thought I’d mention it so no one was like “Jenny is an idiot for recommending this big dumb dies-a-lot clock.”
9. Art Table or Caddy or Drawer.
Best idea ever. It was born of laziness. I let my daughter color on a little desk in the corner that we didn’t use very often. And then I didn’t put the crayons and coloring books back away. I just kept adding to it. Coloring pencils, a sketch pad, folders to put her artwork in. And I’d find her sneaking off there for like an hour at a time! This is definitely for bigger kids, obviously. And even still giving it to my 4 year old, we had some growing pains where we had to really make sure she wasn’t drawing on the walls or chairs or things. But it’s turned into such a life saver. It lets the kids have some creative alone time away from mommy and it lets me hide in the closet and eat my ice cream in peace.
What about you? What brilliant parenting ideas were born from your laziness? I’m asking because I’m too lazy to Google.