Advice from a veteran mom
Let's face it...
I have been a mom for 8 years now and along the way I have added some tricks of the trade to my arsenal. They are simple and can get you through just about any stressful mom vs child moment. I am also going to throw in a few everyday tips to help keep your house a sanctuary and not a sanitarium.
Around the house
In a nutshell, here are 'tricks' I've learned
1. The BEST way by far to clean a window is with Windex and newspaper. Trust me on this....no streaks! Its also a great way to get more use out of that crossword section that you couldn't figure out.
2. Birthday gifts...Instead of buying expensive gift bags, buy $1 canvas, grocery bags and put the gift in it. It's cheaper and encourages people to cut down on plastic bags.
3. Have you ever moved furniture and had those indentions in your carpet? Easy fix...put ice cubes in the dents and let melt. Then vacuum away...ugly eyesore gone.
4. Too many stuffed animals? If your kids have a beanbag, dump out all the filler and store all their lovable teddy bears inside. The animals get to stay and you don't have to constantly be arranging them on the bed or in a corner.
5. Save all those ketchup packets that McDonalds gives you and let the kids use them at home. They won't make a mess with the huge ketchup bottle and they can't get too much.
6. Missing pieces to puzzles...let the kids glue the rest to a piece of posterboard and have an original piece of artwork by your future artist.
7. Keep those ugly plastic grocery bags in an empty Kleenex box.
8. Did you child drop a glass? Cut a potato in half and use it to pick up the little slivers off the floor. This is also a good way to remove a broken light bulb from a lamp. **Warning** PLEASE use your common sense and make sure the lamp is UNPLUGGED first.
9. To save space, whenever your child, or you for that matter, get a new outfit, give an old one to the Salvation Army or to a family in need. It's a tax deduction and it teaches your children about giving and selflessness.
10. If you get a deep scratch in your hardwood floor, run to the kids Crayola box and find the closest shade of brown to your floor and fill it in. I know it's not a permanent fix but no one will notice the scratch in passing. Yes, I have done this...it works.
11. Do you waste too much time looking for matching hair barrettes? Get an icetray to store them. Each set has it's own little cubby. It may take you time to organize but it will be worth the frustration later.
Mom! We're bored.
Things to do on a cold or rainy day.1. Get out different sizes of your food storage containers and fill half full of water. Add a different color of food coloring to each container. Give the little ones your measuring spoons or cups and let them practice measuring. This is a good way to teach smaller kids their colors and you can mix them to show kids how red and blue make purple and so on. Not to mention...it's just fun for them.
2. Pour juice in your ice trays and cover with foil. Insert toothpicks through the foil into the center of each cube. The foil holds the toothpicks in place and your kids get a treat that they can say they made themselves.
3. Keep a bag of balloons on hand. On days that you can't go to Chuck E Cheese (too bad) blow them up and make your own balloon pit at home.
4. Save your 20oz water bottles and take off the labels. Now you can get creative. In one you can add colored water and glitter. In another you can add half water and half cooking oil. Let the kids shake them up and watch them separate. You can take another one and fill it half full with sand (or sugar) and put small, random objects in the sand....mismatched Barbie shoes, pennies, whatever you find. Make sure that you glue the lids on when you are done or you could have a big mess on your hands. Have fun!
5. Don't throw out your old clothes that are too small or out of style. Put them a dress-up box for your kids. Dresses, purses, hats, whatever; the kids will love being mommy (or daddy) for the day.
6. Go get all those mismatched socks that you have been holding on to. Their mates are NOT coming back. Glue buttons and string on them and make sock puppets.
I still have more...
Randon tidbits that can help you in a pinch.1. If you are tight on cash, check out the free hot spots around town. My local mall has a completely gated off play area for smaller children. I can go and read a book while the kids play.
2. Dreading going to the doctor with the kids? Its not a problem if you are prepared. Put your child's favorite book, a small snack, juicebox, or small toy in either the diaper bag or your purse and you have got the waiting room covered. Now by the time you are in the office, the kids are already to go so here is my solution. I bring a few crayons with me and let the kids write on that paper that covers the doctor table. It keeps them busy and not worried about the check up to come.
3. Keep a plastic storage tub filled with sand and small sandbox toys in your trunk. That way when you visit with a friend or relative that doesn't have kids, you have a ready made toy that keeps them from being bored.
4. If you have to take the kids to the store and you know you are going to be there a while, remember to bring a small toy and a snack with you. When the kids beg for something from the shelves, give them their snack and it should quiet them for a while. Also, let your older toddlers help put stuff in the buggy. It helps to not get bored.
5. Be Patient. This is my #1 tip of all time. If you are calm, your kids will be calm. This goes for newborns up to whatever age. Kids go at their own pace and they remind us to slow down every once and a while.
6. Put a marshmallow in the bottom of those waffle cones to prevent melting icevream to leak out of the bottom. It's a nice treat for the kids.
7. Use puff paint and put a pattern on the bottom of your new walker's socks to prevent them from slipping on hardwood floors.