I’m a proud believer in the parenting hacks. I live them, I love them, I can’t survive without them. With two little ones and running a business, I need these sorts of tricks to keep our days running and to keep my sanity from running OUT before dinner time. We’re not on point every single day of course, there are definitely some days I’m just plain worn out and we order pizza and skip bath time and go right to bed. But for the most part, parenting hacks help to give us a sense of structure, routine and breathing space that is vital for our family.
A little disclaimer… I realize how lucky we are to have extra help at home like having a nanny and be able to spend money on some of the “convenience investments”. I truly couldn’t run my business without them. I’ve switched my mindset from focusing on the money that goes out for all of these extra conveniences, and instead think of the time we gain back in our lives. When I am able to outsource, I am able to accomplish more at work, which in turn, brings in more money for the business, and I can come home and be more present.
Some of these may seem simple, but simple is what I want. Simple is what I can do day in, day out, and simple is what WORKS.
All in all, these are hacks that allow me to spend as much of my free time with the people I most want to spend my time with. I don’t want to be occupied doing the things I don’t want to do if it takes too much time away from my friends and family.
Take a look and let me know what tricks you have up your sleeve because I’m always looking to refine the ways we do things around our home!
Services that save me time, energy, and annoyance:
- Google: I may rely on a variety of tools and apps to run my business , but that doesn’t mean I’m tech-less when it comes to my personal life. My family’s schedule is all on Google Calendar and it’s no exaggeration when I say I check it multiple times a day (seriously, thank God for Google).
- HelloFresh and Freshly: these meal delivery services save me on the nights when I’m just plain ol’ out of dinner ideas. They provide quick, easy, healthy, and delicious meals for Cody and I to enjoy…instead of just slapping together some PB&Js.
- Laundry Boston: Here’s the thing, I don’t hate laundry… I’d prefer to do laundry vs. cook, but with two working parents and two little (messy) kids, there is just.SO.MUCH.OF.IT! On busy weeks (which has been most weeks as of late) we will outsource our laundry to this pick up and delivery service. The sense of relief I immediately feel seeing that freshly washed and folded pile of laundry? Completely worth the (reasonable!) price.
- Amazon Fresh: Who has time for grocery shopping? I really don’t know! And grocery shopping with two little kids is just not how I want to spend my weekends. So we use Amazon Fresh for grocery delivery and it’s been a lifesaver. I love that they have the 365 Whole Foods brand and it’s not crazy expensive. I also like Instacart!
- Subscription services like Quip, Billie, and of course Honest Co. for the baby basics: diapers/wipes/formula. These subscriptions don’t add to my to-do list and take up mental space; instead they arrive perfectly in time to refill/change out those items and it’s just fantastic.
- We also have a cleaning service that come 2x/month because I just don’t have time, and there are few things that bring me more happiness than walking into a spotless home. Worth every penny! Don’t get me wrong, I still tidy up daily but deep cleaning? That’s where I rely on the cleaning service to help us out, until the kids are a bit holder and can actually take on chores. But who knows; I also believe it’s OK to re-evaluate depending on the season of life that we are in.
Tips and tricks I swear by:
- Making lunch the night before. This simple task makes our mornings a million times easier. We are working on also packing our lunches as well, but haven’t made it that far! 🙂
- We clean the kitchen before bed, always. When I go into the kitchen for my morning coffee, I personally need to see a clean slate to start the day. Piles of dirty dishes at 6AM are my nemesis.
- Bring on the alarms! No lie, I set reminders on my iPhone for everything and anything, from phone meetings to leaving to pick up Evie from school to picking up something at the store and everything in between. This helps keep me focused on each task I’m working on and I don’t have to keep checking the time.
- Baskets are a big part of keeping our home picked up. We have a basket at the bottom of our stairs that are for items that need to go up the stairs. This is such a small, but mighty detail that makes it easy to take up when we put the kids to bed. We also have baskets for the toys our kiddos are playing with currently in the living room. Our kitchen and living room are one space, so I can cook (for instance) while they play.
- We keep a diaper bag packed so that we only have to add snacks and bottles. It’s super helpful for when we are trying to get out the door fast. No risk for forgetting any essentials (aka diapers and wipes)!
- We installed hooks in the entry closet that Evie can reach so she can easily hang up her jacket. I love how something so simple can be such a game-changer!
- Everyone’s bed gets made in the morning starting with ours. If our bed isn’t made, it truly sets the tone for the rest of the day. It’s a small, but mighty task and I highly recommend you do it if you don’t already.
- Treat yo’self! Honestly since having kiddos, I have made it a point to take a day to treat myself . Whether it’s bookking a spa appointment or indulging in a latte a couple of mornings of the week…it’s so important to take the time to do things that bring you happiness sans kids.
Oh, and let’s not forget the two best tips of all: coffee and wine. These two drinks get me going and slow me down, respectively. Am I right, mamas? 😉
What do you all do to keep your days running smoothly and as stress free as possible!? Please do share your intel!