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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.