Mom Hacks For Big Families
Today I am sharing all my best MOM HACKS that I have been figuring out for the last 11 years. No, it’s not “use Amazon Prime” or “drink more wine”. Lol.
I really thought hard when I came up with this list because I wanted all of them to brilliant, but also some are just helpful ideas that could be new to someone! Either way, I love reading little lists like this, and I hope it has some helpful takeaways!
First one little note about something that is too obvious to be a “hack”- but from one mom to another, if you are not getting your groceries delivered, this is game changing for Moms! They say money doesn’t buy happiness but the $50 I spent to get my groceries delivered all year long sure brings a big ol smile to my RBF. We use Shipt- here’s my link to get it cheaper. Not sponsored or anything. Grocery shopping is just so last year. That’s all I’m saying!
Shipt will deliver freaking TARGET among other stores within hours to our door, and the sweet ladies even bring the bags in and put them on my island for me. I look at my previous order and tend to just reorder most items - it takes me 10 minutes to grocery shop now! Yesterday I let my oldest do it for me. Risky but… he did a great job!
Ok, on to my list, of my own hacks that will be helpful for other big families, and slacker moms like me, or just moms who have low patience levels and no longer have the ability to form complete sentences because you are always interrupted.
1. No More Missing Socks
Stop trying to “match” socks with the pair that went missing, you over achiever. Instead, buy them all the same color so they all match! In big families that means you buy each kid one color. Someone gets white, someone gets gray, and so on. You won’t even know when socks go missing. They will always have a pair.
2. Code Words With Your Partner
Both Jose and I hate when one of us is getting frustrated with a child, and the other (calmer-than-you-are) parent butts in with “Hey, stop yelling at him!” Even if they are overreacting, it totally discredits the validity of the parent in the child’s eyes. So when one of us is freaking out because we are convinced our kid is going to kill us and perhaps we went overboard with our booming voice, the other parent uses the code phrase “The ovens on.” That just means, chill out with your tone, bro. Take it down a notch with your loud/rude/angry voice at the kid and take a breath. For some reason it’s much easier to hear this dumb little phrase when you’re losing your sh*t on a kid, then the other parent all “woah, woah, woah. You are way too worked up!”
3. Shoot Flies, Don’t Swat Them
Nobody in my house ever gets excited to use a fly swatter. But one of my husband’s bar fly friends (see what I did there) bought this silly gun that shoots flies (off Amazon!) and was raving about it one day. This gun kills flies with salt pellets. Like regular old table salt. My husband and my 11 year old are obsessed with this thing! When a fly or a bug is buzzing around the house they get so excited to kill it, and I love that it’s immediately gone. Bonus: the gun doesn’t hurt people.
4. Share one water bottle
My mom tells me this is gross. I tell her I’m not carrying 5 freaking water bottles around town everywhere. I have my giant one that I take out on our trips out and about, and they share it with me.
5. Frozen PB&J
If your kids eat peanut butter and jelly in their lunches, this is for you. Also works with sun butter and almond butter. So I started making an ENTIRE loaf of bread into PB&J sandwiches on Sundays. The whole loaf makes about 12 sandwiches. Wrap them up individually in foil, and freeze them. Each morning during the week you take out a frozen wrapped up sandwich, pop it in their lunchbox (doubles as an ice pack if you’re really on your slacker game!) and it fully defrosts in their lunchbox by lunch time. It miraculously doesn’t effect the taste. (I know they sell those Smuckers frozen sandwiches too but if you look at the ingredients they are not clean at all, so we try not to buy those).
6. Use a Job Jar
I stopped sending my kids to their rooms in the summer when they misbehave. It doesn’t help me. Instead we have a Job Jar. Now I get help around the house. Unless they pull out the darn “no jobs today" slip! Read more about the idea here.
7. Facebook Mommy Groups.
Join them. I know what you’re thinking… but these groups have been SO helpful to me. I’m in a local group where I find out about all the good kid stuff happening in my town, and I’m a lurker in one a few towns over because the women are always sharing the BEST tips! Just stuff they buy they love, cute clothes, ideas for Father’s day gifts, interesting stories, drama, mom advice… it’s just good reading from people in the same stage of life as you!
8. Multiple Hair Stations Around the House, With One Main Station.
This is for your daughters- not so much you. The Grand Central of hair stations is in our kitchen, and I have a smaller one in my bathroom and the girls bathroom. The one in the kitchen works the hardest of course, because that’s where we’re running out the door and I’m seeing hair that needs fixing. The hair station could be as simple as a basket or a kitchen drawer filled with several wet brushes and hair ties or whatever. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this one out!
9. Washable Art Supplies ONLY
Ever since I declared this rule and enforced it, kid drawings on the wall/furniture/floor are a non issue. All you artsy peeps might roll your eyes at this one, but: I don’t bring any single kind of art supplies into my home that doesn’t say “washable”. Every crayon, marker or paint has to say washable on the label, or its getting donated.
10. Stop Folding Clothes
When I do laundry, I’m just sorting into people’s piles of clothes. Then I call the kids to come and grab their piles - if they are in school I set the piles on their beds for them to tackle when they get home. The 2 younger ones are free to stuff their clothes into their dresser as messy as they want, as long as it’s going in the correct drawers. You can call me a slacker mom all day for that, but when toddlers look for outfits to wear they just mess everything all up anyways!
My older kids (8 and 11) have to fold their own pile of clothes and put them away. So that means when I fold laundry, I’m just sorting everything into piles, and then just folding my own clothes and Jose’s. I do like to hang up the girls’ dresses for them, so I do that too.
11. Shop The Floor Samples Even When You Aren’t Furniture Shopping
I have been able to fill my home with quality furniture this way, and I really don’t think enough people do this! Whenever I am at the mall for something, even a quick trip, I try to pop in Crate and Barrel, West Elm, and sometimes Pottery Barn Kids, and head straight to their floor sample corner and quickly glance around. This is where they put heavily discounted furniture that is only marked down because they don’t have room for it anymore- not necessarily because it’s damaged (although that happens too).
For some reason at my Pottery Barn their floor sample area is pretty small, but I have found Crate and Barrel to have the BEST floor samples! They will move all kinds of furniture over that is in perfect condition and slash the price majorly. Shopping the floor samples is how I got my son’s dresser seen here, and this hunky media cabinet too! It was about 40% off and in perfect condition.
12. Mosquito Joe
Ya know what else is so last year, besides doing your own grocery shopping? Bugs. Pesky bugs in your yard is so 2018. Although I was against this idea at first, Jose convinced me that we should spray our yard (naturally!) for our own sanity and for the sake of our children’s skin, which was being eaten alive. I was hesitant to agree because I didn’t want to hurt the other bees/frogs etc in our yard. But Mosquito Joe has a natural mosquito repellent for the yard (heavy concentrated oregano mostly… I think?). The company comes out and sprays our entire property twice a month and y’all, it is not a gimmick. We don’t have mosquitos anywhere on our property anymore. Life changing! We can actually all hang outside in the evening and nobody gets bit!
Mosquito Joe is who we use and the only one I can vouch for. They are a franchise so they might be in your area too- but there are lots of these companies.
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