July 13, 2015

My 8 Best Mom Hacks for Smoother Daily Life

Simple life hacks to keep from losing your mommy mind on a daily basis

I am all about ways to make my life a little easier. As I've gotten more practiced as a mom, I've learned some tricks to keep myself from losing my mind on a daily basis.

I've partnered with Munchkin, the creators of tons of brilliant, useful products for parents and children, to share eight of my best tools and tricks for keeping your sanity:

Simple life hacks to keep from losing your mommy mind on a daily basis
  1. A pacifier with a clip. I am a serious pacifier lover. All three of my girls have been mega fans - Ella kept hers until she was three and a half, and Ani still uses her random assortment of pacifiers that all have specific names (the blue paci, the dragon paci and the other one paci). We started using the Munchkin Latch pacifier for Star and I love that it's all one piece so it doesn't get all gross and that it has three different shapes and sizes (the 6+ month size is her favorite). Also, it's clear which means watching your baby suck on it is ridiculously amusing. Bart and I couldn't stop watching her the first time she used it. And for some reason, I didn't buy into the idea of a pacifier clip until Ani was born and then I thought, "WHY didn't I get one of these before?" It makes my life so much easier when I'm not searching for a lost pacifier at nap or bed time and when we're in the car, Ella can find it and give it back to Star easily. 
  2. A sound machine. Have I mentioned a time or fifty how much I love a sound machine? It saved our lives when we lived in a little apartment and had people over or watched movies after she was in bed, and it makes traveling a thousand times easier. Plus, it's a great sign to my girls that it's bedtime or nap time. 
  3. A key clip. There is nothing I find more annoying than digging through my diaper bag for my keys when I'm juggling three little girls in a parking lot (or, frankly when I'm trying to get out the door and I cannot find my keys). Bart bought me a floral clip a couple of years ago and now I just clip my keys to purse strap and they are always right there for when I need them. 
  4. Leave your sunglasses in the car. I cannot drive without my sunglasses because I have very wimpy eyes, so I've found it much easier to just keep my sunglasses in the car. I take them off when I pack in the garage and then they are there when we head out again. (I probably should buy a second pair to keep in my pool bag). 
  5. One toy bin. I have lots of friends with fancy organizational systems for their toys. You know the kind – carefully labeled bins, sorted drawers for every kind of toy. I know myself well enough to know I would NEVER sort them carefully at the end of every day (and I would also be super crabby about the mess). Instead, we have one big bin that I bought at Target and all the toys go in there. I can clean up that playroom in 5 minutes flat, and so can the girls.
  6. Get a car charger for your phone. Have you noticed that the battery on the iPhone 6 is way worse than the old ones? I run through my battery super fast and I hate being on the go without my phone or worrying that the last 6% won't hold through my errands. A car charger means I don't have to stress about it. 
  7. Plan a week of snacks with your weekly menu. I learned this trick from Amy at Sunlit Pages and now instead of scrambling every day to figure out snack time when I'm coming out of my work fog, I just look at the meal plan on the fridge and say "Today it's apples and peanut butter!" (Here are some of our favorite easy snacks
  8. Keep your reusable bags by the carseat. You know how you go to check out at the grocery store and suddenly realize your reusable bags are the trunk and now you're stuck with YET ANOTHER set of plastic bags? Oh, just me? I store them on the floor by the carseat so I'll see them when I get my baby out of the car and then I never forget them.
What are your favorite mom tools or tricks? Please tell me so I can steal all of them. 

Simple life hacks to keep from losing your mommy mind on a daily basis

This post is sponsored by Munchkin + my enormous love of pacifiers + my deep fear of having a baby that won't take one

19 comments:

  1. I haven't seen those pacifiers yet but will check them out! I'm also a big believer in them :). I do a lot of these same things but also keep bandaids in the console of my car, water bottles filled daily stay in the car (thus preventing the inevitable "I'm thirsty" when we are running errands and needing to buy them bottles of water), and I have started buying organic granola bars for the big girls to have when they wake up so that they're able to get started on their breakfast by themselves while I'm nursing the baby upstairs.

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  2. my kids were never snackers but lately they are ALWAYS hungry so I have to remember to pick up granola bars and fruit snacks and yogurt covered raisins and six types of fruit just to keep up with them.

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  3. Keep a diaper bag and pool bag packed at all times. As soon as I come back from the pool, I wash everything, and from the dryer, straight back to the pool bag. That gets us out of the house faster. I also have a box in the car with a change of clothes for everyone, extra wipes, diapers, hand sanitizer, and bathing suits. That's saved me on more than one occasion.

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  4. The iPhone 6 battery life stinks. If I go to bed with my phone at 100%, but don't plug it in, by the morning it's at 80% or so (and that's without touching it during the night).

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  5. Similar to your noise machine, we played Baby Eistein's Baby Mozart to our son every night when we put him to bed. It helped drown out noise at home and create a sense of comfort when traveling or camping. He's 5 and he still listens to it each night at bed time.

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  6. The noise machine is huge for us! My Janni wakea up super early without it! I need to convert to 1 toy bin, because we have a whole toy corner and she never plays withave 95% of them! And snack planning is bomb! Gotta do it!

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  7. I love the snack planning idea! And 2 pairs of sunglasses are essential. My favorite mom hack is making a big batch of pancakes once a week or so, then freezing the extras and reheating for breakfast the rest of the week.

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  8. I love those key clips! I need to order on ASAP because I, too, hate digging for my keys when I am also trying to keep a small child from darting into traffic or rolling away in a shopping cart haha. Something I do to make things easier on myself is store our stroller in our car. Maybe everyone already does that haha. But I cannot tell you the number of times I have arrived at a destination that would most definitely require a stroller and realized it's sitting inside our front door. UGH! So now I just make the effort to go put it back in the trunk, even if we walked somewhere and didn't use the car that day.

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  9. Ordered the key clips after reading #3, then went on to read the rest. Thanks!

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  10. Why have I never thought about keeping my reusable bags by the baby? Genius!

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  11. I've kept my keys on a carabiner for years (not a cute floraly one though, sad panda). I will never go back to anything else. All purses must have a place for keys to clip, keys are either inserted into a lock of some sort (car, house), hanging on my purse, or in the designated key basket by the front door. I have never once lost my keys and do not spend any time searching for them. Ever. This is one of the Adultier things I've done and it makes me incredibly smug. :)

    xox

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  12. I am good with my keys too and have never lost them... Until a couple weeks ago when I was at my moms and they disappeared out of thin air. While attached to a cute cath Kidston floral lanyard and caribeener. I have no idea how to spell that. I'm sure my one year old nephew hid/stole/ate them but for now it remains an unsolved mystery and my perfect key record is ruined.

    I am so grateful for pacifiers.

    My mom hack is to repack my diaper bag as soon as I get home. That way we can leave at a moments notice. I also keep granola bars and applesauce in there, which mostly benefits my hangry high metabolism husband.

    I also keep spare diapers in the car because you never know. I have doled out many diapers at church to much relieved mothers.

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    1. I love the idea of repacking the diaper bag as soon as you get home! Brilliant!

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  13. Ps the cut of this skirt is perfect for you. Love it.

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  14. That reuseable bag tip is awesome! I'm always leaving them on accident and the cabinet under our sink is bursting at the hinges with brown bags from Trader Joes.

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  15. Such a surprise to see my name in this post! Snack planning IS a life saver--I definitely agree!

    P.S. I wish my babies would take pacifiers! But alas, I've tried every trick in the book all four times with no luck. Boo.

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  16. I put my clothes out the night before, which is usually just shorts and a t-shirt (running shorts or regular shorts from LOFT and loving the fun shirts on WOOT this summer). And I bought a "mom" wallet from Whole Foods for $6 that supports the Lifeline Charity. It attaches to my keys and I keep cash, license and amex in it. I never have to search for my keys, and I always have the essentials at my fingertips. This wallet has made my life insanely easier.

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  17. Haha, I really tried to force the pacifier onto my son but he wanted nothing to do with them. I love the white noise machine, though. And I second (or third, whatever) whoever said to repack the diaper bag. I always put into a fresh onesie/new diapers when we get home if I've used those things.

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  18. I think I'm the only mom who loathes pacifiers. I tried with both kids because of all the wonderful raves and how it soothes baby and all that jazz but neither kid loved it and it was more work to keep sticking it in their mouth that it was worth it to me. It drove me bonkers. Maybe a third kid will be willing to take one and maybe that third will actually nap and sleep well... :(

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