Mom Hacks for Moms with small kids, helping the day go smoother

6 Mom Life Hacks for a Smoother Day with the Little Ones

What are Mom life hacks? Well its basically any idea or thing that helps solve a problem or simplifies a task.  Ultimately, the goal is to help reduce a mama’s frustration. 

Let’s talk about every day mom life. Establishing good daily routines take time and can be difficult when you are dealing with children who are in different stages and have different personalities. I have 2 children, 2 years apart. 

When you have a baby and a toddler, they tend to have different needs that are typically demanded at the exact same time! Its the same when they grow into the phase of toddler and pre-schooler.  It can be very chaotic and a little overwhelming.

Here are a few mom life hacks that can hopefully help daily life with kids go a little smoother. These mom hacks can also ultimately save time and money as you spend time with your baby and toddler.

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Mom Life Hack #1 – Plan Your Day

I am a planner, more than a scheduler.

Let me explain. I like to plan out meals, outings, activities, snacks and naps. But in terms of timings, I decided I would have to let that slide a little.  For example, in ‘usual’ times, we were big on going to play groups. This helped keep my older child entertained while I tended to the younger one until she could actually participate in some activities.

Often times, on the ride back from playgroup, one, or both would fall asleep in the car.  On these days, nap times changed and so did lunch time. But it was an outing I desperately needed some days, even just to have some other moms to chat with.

So I would accomplish what I had planned, but my schedule had to be adjusted. So I guess that’s not even called a schedule!

Planning what I wanted to do in the week in general and then specifically each day has always helped me.  Yes, as my Dad used to say, “Man proposed, God disposes!” Plans can change, but I usually have a backup plan for that! Ok, now you know how serious I am about this!

Mom Hacks for Moms with small kids, helping the day go smoother

Things to Consider when Making a Plan:

  • What is the weather forecast for the day? In fact check for the week and plan accordingly because you need to know when to plan for more indoor activities if its going to rain some days.  
  • What kind of meals should you plan for? If you go out for an extended period of time, think of meals that are quick and easy since you may be short on time after being out for a while. When we are short on time, we are more likely to spend money on take-out.
  • What extra items do you need to pack? If its a playdate consider packing some items in your bag the night before.
  • What community programs, play groups or recreational activities are happening? (basically everything that was typical pre pandemic of course).
  • What quick snacks can you pack? Consider cutting up fruits and veggies and putting them in small containers in the fridge the night before.

It seems like planning will take more time – but its more an upfront cost rather than spending time every day trying to figure things out. Ultimately planning will save you time throughout the week. With proper meal and snack planning, less money can be spent getting take-out.

Mom Life Hack #2 – Start the Day with a Good Breakfast

Try to start the day on a positive note and avoid such things as ‘breakfast battles’.  This time can be challenging for fussy eaters.  It also can set the tone for the morning.  Its easy to please kids and give them sugary foods they love just to give them some nourishment and appease them. 

The good news is, there are plenty of quick and easy options available now to almost trick kids into believing they are eating a treat instead of a healthier breakfast. To give you an idea, check out our One Bowl Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies. This is a healthier and protein rich cookie that will keep a child happy and satiated for longer so they won’t constantly be asking for snacks.

There are many other quick and simple breakfast options such as muffins and pancake mixes that can be quickly made in the blender.

Mom Hacks for Moms with small kids, helping the day go smoother

Mom Life Hack #3 – Think of Activities that Provide Multiple Benefits

There are activities that can lead to follow-up activities that can help pass the afternoon nicely. 

For example – if you take a nature walk, you can collect things from nature like leaves, twigs, pinecones etc.  These can then be used to do an art project together.

Boom – this one activity of going on a nature walk allowed everyone to get exercise and fresh air, explore and do an art project!

Other Activity Ideas:

  • Draw pictures together and then turn it into a playdough mat
  • Play match the socks game – match the clean socks looking at colors and designs from the laundry basket and get some laundry folded.
  • Chalk on the driveway or sidewalk – play numbers and math games and picture guessing games.  The kids are learning and doing some art work at the same time while outdoors.
Mom Hacks for Moms with small kids, helping the day go smoother

Mom Life Hack #4 – Play Music

Music can be naturally uplifting to both adults and children.  Music can be fun to sing and dance to and music can be soothing if tensions are running high at that moment. It can be used during playful times (hello freeze dance anyone?!) and it can be used for moments needing calm.

In addition to this, according to a 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute, music in childhood can accelerate brain development in the areas of language and reading skills. 

Mom Hacks for Moms with small kids, helping the day go smoother

Mom Life Hack #5 – Try to Contain the Mess

If activities can be done outside, its usually the most ideal place to get messy!  With weather and seasonal changes, that’s unlikely to always be an option.  I like to keep plastic drop sheets from the dollar store and extra newspapers on hand for messier activities like painting.  Even with playdough and coloring, you can save having to clean scribbles off the table and catch small pieces of playdough that end up getting dried up all over the floor.

Most importantly, designate the play area to one room and don’t leave it until its mostly tidied up together.  I find getting kids to help tidy up to be a chore in itself!  I am also very guilty of just cleaning up the mess myself after asking many, many times.  But they have learned over time and now I treat it as a non-negotiable as they have gotten older. 

Mom Life Hack #6 – Look for Things that can Make Mom Life Easier

Planning Tools and Organizers

Personally, I will scribble things down just to quickly plan things out or make some notes on my phone.  More organized and stationary-loving people can look for formal planners and reminder boards.  They are so handy!  I even once made a water chart.  Seriously, I realized my child was having stomach issues because they weren’t drinking enough water! Keeping track of the number of cups in a day really helped.

There are so many different types of organizers and checklists that can be helpful for planning. They can be purchased or you can customize them yourself for free using software like Canva. Canva is such a great tool, I absolutely love it.

Look For Easy Recipes to Help Plan Meals

Meal planning with quick and easy recipes is really important for busy days. Baby food, dinner, snacks!  Moms end up having to spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen.  Planning meals and snacks ahead of time and getting the right grocery items is really key to helping the day go better for everyone. This also helps plan for healthier meals which means less takeout and less expenses.

I love looking at any recipes that say one-bowl, one-pot, sheet pan meals or anything that can be thrown in a blender.

Convenient Cleaning Items

There are affordable portable vacuums and dust busters available still.  I have one and I think its great for quick clean ups.  Great for all the granola and cereal that ends up under the table!

Sanitizing wipes are perfect for quickly wiping down bathrooms.  I also use baby wipes for cleaning up the kids still and I no longer have any infants! They are so convenient to have, I might be carrying them around when the kids are in high school. Ha.

Anything else that makes clean up faster – appliance wipes, long handle washable dusters etc. are all great products to have.

Free Activity Sheets and Printables

Having coloring pages with different loved characters and simple activity sheets on hand help keep the kids occupied so you can do other things. 

I made a bunch of free recipe themed printable activity sheets for school aged kids, available here after you subscribe.

But there is a lot out there for toddler age as well. Creating busy books for them by getting toddlers to match colors and shapes is very popular these days.

There are many sites that have these activity sheets available for free or a very low cost. It’s a good idea to find a few and have them bookmarked.

We hope some of these mom hacks and ideas will help your days with your little ones go a little smoother!

For more tips, take a look at this article 15 Moms Share Their Best Work-Life Balance Tips.

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