When I joined club mom over 16 years ago as a 23 year old recent college grad and newly minted middle school teacher, I didn’t have any idea what I was doing.
I knew about writing 15 page papers, lesson plans, cute shoes and when Erika Badu was coming to town (don’t judge, this was the early 2000s, she was still a thing!).
I knew nothing about dealing with diaper rash, sleep training, breastfeeding, swaddling, potty training, or picking a preschool. I didn’t know I needed mom hacks in my life. In fact, I didn’t know mom hacks were even a thing anyone needed in their lives.
I had a huge copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting which I promptly replaced with a copy of What to Expect the First Year when he made his debut, a bunch of unsolicited, highly questionable parenting advice from random strangers, Google, and my mother (thanks, Mom!).
I’d like to think that 16 years and two kids later I’ve got this mom jam all figured out, but even I’m not that delusional.
I’m not an expert, but I am better.
I’m more confident and less neurotic. I am hard to surprise and less fearful. I trust my instincts over Google and we’ve got sleeping and peeing down pact. But, from time to time, I still need parenting advice as much as the next mom.
There are countless scenarios I struggle with still –moments of uncertainty and weakness. Times of insanity and chaos. In fact, I probably spend more time in the insanity/chaos realm than I care to admit.
There are days that things still get away from me so I am constantly looking for solutions to help us streamline our lives. I need to eliminate the distractions caused by small, life management type tasks and to allow more time to be in the big, meaningful moments.
So, I ask.
And, when I get good answers, I share!
Pro Parenting Advice: 15 Mom Hacks Real Moms Swear By
Get a handle on your laundry.
Simple but put a laundry basket in each person’s room. No more laundry sorting. –Michelle Brown
I let the laundry pile up so that I have massive loads of darks, whites, and in-betweens. I fold laundry into stacks by person and within each person’s pile I stack pants, shorts, shirts, underwear, and socks. –Jill Berry
Buy all the same socks. Sort of. Each dude in this family has their own sock game –Dude 1 wears ankle socks, black or white, Hanes brand, Dude 2 wears crew socks, Nike or Under Armor, black or white, and Dude 3 wears a mod podge of colorful socks. That is all. No mixing it up. I buy them bags of the same thing each time. It means come laundry day, I wash their socks and throw them, unmated into their sock bins in their room. When it’s time to dress, they just go in and pull two out. If they care about matching, it’s not an issue because all them are basically the same. I haven’t folded socks in years! –DudeMom
Go grocery shopping less.
I have a”stock pile” of things we go through frequently, cereal, pasta, fruit cups, etc… that I stock in bulk, so grocery store runs are for mostly fresh items. –Stacey Morrissey
Order your groceries online. I save at least a $100 a week by using Weis online shopping. –Tanya Piccolomini
Take advantage of technology
I have 3 life changing apps.
1) Our Home for kids chores. Let’s you assign chores and then kids use their devices to see what’s due.
2) Todoist. This is the best task list app I have found and I’ve tried all of them. The free version is robust and the paid version is kick a@@
3) Out of Milk – grocery list app that lets you share the list with others. You can type in what you want or you can scan bar codes.
These apps do more to make my life as a mom easier than anything else. – Lori Hudson
Don’t neglect the backpacks
Check them as soon as they come home from school, even on Fridays. Otherwise, come Monday morning, you find things like moldy sandwiches and unfinished projects they “forgot” to tell you about. –Dude Mom
Use a family calendar
I have a mini binder that has a calendar for the entire year, chore charts, kids school schedules, and papers that need attention like bills, or school info pages for upcoming events or big assignments. We go over the calendar every Sunday night so we all know what is going on each day and can make sure we have easy dinners on busy nights. We keep it on the bottom shelf of the coffee table so it’s easily accessible should anyone question what their jobs are that day. –Briton Alo
Three of my four boys prefer to wear the comfy sports-type pants, so after they bathe, instead of pajamas, they wear their outfits for the next day to bed. Greatly simplifies getting dressed in the morning! –Rita Templeton
Putting outfits together when I do laundry. In the morning, the kids have a couple of outfits to pick from. Also makes it easier for Dad to get them ready if he has to… –Meredith Gill
Plan your meals
Weekly menu planning with a specific category for each night. It makes menu planning much more simple because it’s just plugging things into slots instead of starting from scratch and recreating the wheel each week so to speak. Mon is always a Crock Pot or Instant Pot recipe, Tue is always some sort if tacos, Wed is pasta, Thu is Breakfast for dinner, Fri is pizza night, Sat is grilling and Sun is comfort food. Menu planning takes so much less time doing this instead of when I used to stare at the week like a blank slate and try to plan with no guide rails in place. –Catherine Moss
Outsource what you can
Paying someone to clean biweekly because I need at least two weekends a month that I’m NOT cleaning. –Kirby Quiles-Brown
Organize your car
For me, it’s not about being organized, but about being prepared. I got one of those massive back of the SUV trunk organizers for our car and I keep all of our “essentials” in it so we are never stuck out without. Sweatshirts for each of the dudes, a rain jacket for me, a pair of basketball shorts for each of my kids, fresh socks for each, an umbrella, a throw blanket (for chilly nights on the soccer or football field), a few bottles of water, Bandaids, and a bag of snacks I change every three months or so if not eaten. Basically, we could survive in there for about three days, no problem. –DudeMom
Our family doesn’t allow devices at meal times so that’s not an issue but, as the kids have gotten older, monitoring their usage has become more important for me. We have Verizon and the Verizon Family Base is the best thing ever. I can cap their data usage, set up time limits, monitor who they call and when, control what kinds of things they’re allowed to send and receive, and so much more. Highly recommend you get to know this product if you have Verizon and kids with phones. –DudeMom
Start early with consistent rules and routines
My 5yr old doesn’t need to be told, he knows when we get in where his shoes and coat go and to wash his hands. Something that simple, instilled since toddlerhood makes my life easier when I’m shoveling in groceries for example. –Elizabeth LaPan
Have some life changing mom hacks to share? Add it to our discussion here: Best Mom Hacks Ever