I’ve been a mom for nine years.
I had all four of my kids within five years.
I rocked the stay-at-home mom thing for seven years before I started my business from home and added that to the mix.
I always feel weird dishing out advice like I know what I’m doing, but recently I was talking with a mom friend who had her second baby earlier this year. She was describing chaos and figuring things out that I had learned a long time ago. It got me thinking… we mamas of slightly older kids should lend a hand to you moms of tinies!
Motherhood is chaotic no matter which way you slice it. We could ALL use a helping hand from someone a few steps ahead of us!
So if you’re a mom of little ones, I'm about to share a few things I figured out in the throes of tiny humans.
I'd say this was probably the biggest frustration for me in daily mom life. One kid is whining while another is pooping and another is crying for a snack and yet another is lost somewhere in the store. Serenity now!
Bring lollipops. Seriously, I don't care how health-conscious you are, how bad they are for their teeth, when you have to get everything on your Target or Costco list and you've got a herd of cave-people to bring with you, lollipops are Godsends.
Be a crazy person about who stands where. Bella always walked right by my side, Leland held onto the left side of the cart and walks, Hudson sat in the seat part, and Emmett was in the Ergo on me. And the rule was: nobody moves from their assigned locations. It just had to be that way or I wouldn’t have gotten a thing done. The kids knew if they moved from where they're supposed to be, they lose their sucker. Don't mess with the shopping cart locations, people!
Go fast, mama. I organize my shopping lists beforehand, that way I've got my list in order of the store's layout, and can move like a breeze down the aisle, grabbing what I need and reaching checkout before the lollipops are gone. It doesn't always work out this way, but when I plan ahead and am organized, it usually does.
Go first thing in the morning. This is the time of day that my kids are their best selves. I grab an extra large cup of coffee and we head out as early as I can get everyone dressed, fed, and out of the house.
Save technology for the checkout line. My kids always start to get antsy at the end of the shopping trip, and I've found that when I hold off on letting them watch videos on my phone until we're checking out, it's a lot easier. Unloading a cart full of crap while wearing a baby isn't easy, but knowing the other three kids are happily crowded together at the front of the cart watching funny cat videos allows me to do what I need to do quickly, without interruption.
Park near the cart corral. I have to. Leland hyper-focuses and will walk into an oncoming van, Hudson wanders...I need to be able to just get everyone straight out of their car seats and into the cart.
Clear dishes, wipe the table, and sweep underneath it after every meal. No exceptions, just do it.
Teach your kids to pick up after everything they do. After a little while it'll be a habit for them and less work for you. Win-win.
Start the day on a productive note and it'll keep you going that way. Right when you wake up, make your bed, then start a load of laundry, then have your coffee. I promise you'll feel like you've got it all together and it really only takes up a few extra minutes.
It takes twenty-seven days to form a habit, so form a good one.
Choose one thing that you wish you had a habit of doing every day. Maybe it's making your bed in the morning or running the dishwasher every night. Whatever you choose, make it something that would make your life a little bit easier, write yourself a reminder or set one in your phone- make sure it will get your attention at one point every single day- do it for a month and it will become a habit.
Keep the kitchen sink clean and the house will feel clean. When I keep the sink free of dishes and food, I normally end up treating the rest of the house the same way and having less to clean up at the end of the day. Clean as you go, keep your sink clear, and you will feel great about your house and be ready for company at the drop of a hat.
How do you feel? Any lightbulb moments?
Maybe not, but I know when I was in the thick of it and someone broke down the simple, day-to-day stuff like this for me, it was life changing sometimes! ESPECIALLY the really obvious stuff. You’re just not thinking super clearly in that season!
Keep an eye out for part two of "Life Hacks for Moms of Littles"!
Are you a mama of littles? What are some life hacks you've discovered to help you make your life a bit more manageable with those tiny feet running all over the place?