Motherhood is the most beautiful and awesome experience you can have in life. The flip side to that, however, is that it is also the most chaotic and exhausting experience you can have in life! Moms often get asked, “How do you do it all?” with most of us knowing that we in fact, do not do it all. We juggle things constantly, our nimble brains continually re-prioritizing and shuffling tasks to do the most we can in the precious time and energy we are running on.
The saying is true that “It takes a village,” and part of that village is having a network of moms and caregivers who can let you know tips and tricks that have helped them during all the messy and beautiful stages of parenthood.
After speaking with many moms, and going off of my own journey of parenting a 10-month old, I’ve rounded up some tips I’ve learned below that will save you some time in the future, or help you be a little more prepared.
Keep a tote bag in your car (or stroller, if you are big-city living) with things like diapers, wipes, and an extra change of clothes. First aid essentials like bandaids and Neosporin are good additional measures.
Use your iPhone as a portable white noise machine by toggling on Background Sounds (you can find this option under Settings -> Accessibility -> Audio/Visual).
Pumping bras are pretty expensive. Make your own using an old sports bra by cutting holes where you attach your flanges, so you can pump hands-free.
When baby is ready to eat purees, bypass the baby food aisle at the grocery store and invest in some single serving jars. With a couple of different fruits and vegetables, you can make your own purees and freeze them in ice trays. Take one cube out in the morning, place in a jar and it will be thawed by the time baby is ready to eat lunch. This hack works for older kids as well – you can make cooked oatmeal or sandwiches ahead of time and freeze for the week.
When baby has moved on to finger foods, use an egg slicer to quickly cut up foods into small pieces.
Store bibs on the back of your baby’s highchair using a command strip.
Make meal prep easier on yourself and sign up for a grocery delivery service. On that front, ordering essentials like diapers and wipes on a recurring basis may save you money in the long run, and keep you well stocked to avoid a late night trip to the store when you run out. As a bonus, baby will love playing with your delivery boxes.
If your baby is pretty squirmy during diaper changes (like mine), keep an interesting toy on hand at your diapering stations to keep them busy. As they get older, the standing diaper change is truly a life saver!
Look for and utilize furniture that has multiple purposes (like a coffee table that can store baby toys in it, to keep your living room clean and de-cluttered).
As baby gets older, dedicate a low drawer for them where they can keep a sippy cup, plates and utensils for meals. This will help in setting baby up for independence down the road.
While not necessarily a hack, some advice of notable mention is to always carry snacks on you – for baby, and yourself! – to prevent hanger. Puffs and a granola bar can be truly life saving in an emergency.
What are the best mom hacks you’ve used, or plan to use? We would love to hear about them. Happy hacking, mama!