This post is sponsored by Mott's
While I had always imagined that I would NEVER, ever cut corners when it came to taking care of my kids, I have to confess the truth of the matter is that I could not parent my kids without relying on a few shortcuts- or as I like to call them- “parenting hacks”. Of course in an ideal world, I would never serve my kids take-out dinners, I would make sure we played board games every night, I would ensure that the only screen in our house was attached to a window (and not to a tech gadget of some kind) and that I never raised my voice above a mere whisper.
But folks, having been in the trenches of this journey called parenthood I can say with all certainty that I could not have survived these past 16 years being perfect and quickly realized after several explosive diaper disasters (where I had to fashion paper towels into makeshift temporary ones) a son with a gag reflex that just wouldn’t quit and the heart-wrenching drama of teenagers that something had to give- namely my sanity. I figured my kids needed a mom who was present and pleasant rather than perfect and miserably insane aka so tightly wound that a spilled glass of milk would have sent me spiraling into a full-on nervous breakdown. The stuff no one tells you about being a parent is that you will be encountering many a glass of spilled something – even though you have warned your child repeatedly to not drink while playing with their iPad- spilled liquids are a well documented on-the-job parenting hazard. But I digress.
So in order to survive parenthood, I’ve collected a few parenting shortcuts along the way- which while they PROBABLY won’t garner me the title of ‘Mother of the Year,’ that is okay –parenting is a fluid, lifelong commitment and I am more than happy to do it imperfectly. Keep reading for a few of my parenting hacks:
#1 Cold cereal for breakfast on the weekdays. Yes it is true, my kids would love nothing more than fluffy flapjacks and omelets but school day mornings are a mad dash at best- so as long as their cold cereal is not sugared and has a fair amount of fiber- I tell them breakfast is served. And to make it super easy- I set up the table the night before with everything but the milk (yes I even fill the bowls with cereal!). I also try and get everything ready the night before—coats and bags by the door, coffee made and all devices charged!
#2 I am the queen of lists (and my kids know it). I have lists all over the house – in the bathroom to make sure my kids remember what to do and where to do it (and the truth is it has saved me a boatload of money on lozenges as I am no longer yelling!). We also have a big family calendar and my kids know they need to fill it in with stuff that needs to get done: permission slips that need to be signed, sleepover parties, etc.
#3 I'm not above sneaking in veggies and getting my kids their daily fruit allotments in any way I possibly can. Yes I have been known to puree spinach into a baked ziti (my son hates spinach but LOVES ziti) and am always looking for ways to get healthy on-the-go snacks into their hands. This is just one of the reasons why I love Mott’s® Original Snack & Go as it is not only super convenient but an excellent source of vitamin C. We actually keep them in the car and usually they’re the first snacks both of my kids ask for at school pickup! Check out this video below!
#4 We reduce, reuse and recycle everything. My son is the lucky recipient of pretty much everything my daughter outgrows- including her bicycle. And being that it was pink I bought my some cool stickers and told him to go crazy and decorate it and make it his own- which including some sharpie marker drawings as well. And their old, neglected stuffed animals become perfect playmates for our two dogs (I just cut out any sharp beads, sew them back up and voila they are the perfect doggie toys!)
#5 We have a communal Junk drawer/Lost and Found. Instead of me constantly putting stuff away whenever I find an errant action figure, barrette, lip-gloss or book I put it in the junk drawer. And my kids know when they find something out of place to chuck it in the drawer too. Then once a week we unload the drawer and spend time sorting through all the stuff and putting it away. I call it quality bonding clean-up time!
So what are some of your parenting shortcuts and confessions?
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