Blog post from Little Renegade Company: 20 Mum Hacks Tried and Tested by Nat!
20 Mum Hacks Tried and Tested by Natalie Faulkner from Strawberry Fundaes Parties
Ok so there are literally thousands of Mum hacks and Mum advice blogs out there.
So I am well aware I am not reinventing the wheel here…
But since returning to part time work as a marketing manager, two kids in tow, running a business, being a multi-passionate person and juggling different hats (mostly my choice by the way).
I constantly get messages about how do I actually fit it all in? How do I cope?
Well the honest answer is… I don’t. I am not a unicorn…
But I have found ways to simplify things and sometimes trick myself into thinking I am nailing life.
I thought I would share these tips in case there are some things you didn’t know that could actually help you (because kids are stressful) and feel more organised and happy…
I wish I knew these tips earlier in parenthood, because they really do help Blake and I to ‘get shit done’ and still remain vaguely sane.
So here are my tried and true hacks (or in other words advice) for busy mums, new parents, or just anyone looking for inspiration to make some short cuts to busy life.
Feel free to comment or message me your added tips and I will update and credit you.
1 – Shop online
Shopping with kids can be stressful. Doing groceries with a newborn baby is not for everyone either. Add in all the other things on your to do list and well… pour me a Gin stat.
I highly recommend online grocery orders.
I do our groceries online with Coles and I either choose delivery or pick up. You can save your shopping lists too so that cuts down even more time for your next order.
2 – Meal Delivery – Adults, toddler and baby
I am super lucky to work for one of the best meal delivery services available, Nourish’d. It is fresh, gluten free, clean wholesome food. So when I have a busy work week ahead or know I won’t have time to prep lunches, I do a Nourish’d order so the fridge is stocked with ready to go meals. I also ordered this for 2 weeks after we had bub too, so that I was fuelling my tired, breastfeeding soul, with something that was jam packed with goodness and no preservatives. (This is SUCH a good gift to give a friend or family member having a baby).
Now that Lola has started solids, I have also started ordering Bib and Spoon. They make toddler meals and baby purees and have no preservatives or crap. The baby food actually tastes good!!! (And trust me I try it.) It is way more delicious than any of the supermarket offerings and it is so nice to just grab it and run, because Lola comes with me to work. I highly recommend! Bib and Spoon deliver it to your door!!! (Winning because I am not a fan of making purees!)
3- Everyone in the shower
When I get home from work it’s all systems go.
Hubby is often home late so I pile us all into the shower and get everyone clean in one go! (I just don’t have time for separate baths).
The kids actually love it and we all get in our pjs and sit down for dinner after.
When Lola was a newborn I still took her into the shower but because I would get worried about dropping her (because they are so little and slippery) this is my hot tip…. a giant hand towel or cloth nappy wrapped around them so they are less slippery!
4 – Lay out clothes the night before
Even if I am not going anywhere the next day, I still lay out something to throw on in the morning. Otherwise I end up in my pjs all day. If I know I have to go somewhere, I also lay out the kids clothes too.
5 – Pack things the night before
Just like with the clothes, if I know I have to be somewhere, or my aim is to get out of the house, I pack the car, the baby bag, the bottles and snacks etc all the night before. Mornings are so unpredictable with little ones. I never rely on the fact I could just ‘get up 30 minutes earlier than them’. Some days it would be bloody 4.30am if I stuck to that rule!
6 – Emergency bag in the car
Call me over prepared, but I have always had a bag in the car that has the following- Nappies, wipes, spare kids outfits, a set of swimmers, a towel, sunscreen and an easy throw on dress. This is in case of spew & poo incidents, or spontaneous adventures.
7- Pay at the pump or BP me app
Getting petrol with a newborn or small children is no fun. And legally, you cannot leave them in the car to go and pay. So when Jude was born I made sure I knew where my local pay at the pump servo was.
If I was getting low on petrol I would try to get Blake to do a petrol dash, but that wasn’t always possible. Pay at the pump is awesome! Most Caltex stations do this. Otherwise BP have an app you can download and pay from the comfort of your car!
8 – Get a slow cooker
Seriously slow cooker dinners are awesome. They save time and can be cheap too. Especially for big families or diner parties.
I love either an easy beef or chicken. I like this lemon chicken one by Rachael Finch .
9 – In and Out tray for bills
This helps to keep track of what needs to be paid and what is yet to be paid.
10 – Automatic direct debits
Most of our bills automatically just come out the same time each month so we can budget more easily and are less likely to fall behind on payments. For mums going on maternity leave for the first time, I found paying a small amount each week towards power bills etc helped eliminate big scary bills. This was super handy for being on one wage during that leave.
11- Drop sheet for kids meals
No one can keep up with that mess when they eat. I put an old sheet down or a tarp because I can shake them off into the back yard after (our dogs favourite moment) and then I can either hose the tarp in the shower and it dryie fast ready for the next day or throw the old sheet in the wash. I find some ‘drop sheets’ are flimsy and crap so I don’t bother spending the money on them anymore.
12 – Lunch box every day
I try to make a lunch box for Jude even when I am not going anywhere.
This just eliminates the amount of time I am being a snack slave. Some days I forget and I feel like I am preparing food all day. I prepare it the night before or early morning and then it’s ready to offer when he says he’s hungry! I get my lunch box inspo from Krissy at Her Nourished Kids. Her lunches are easy and healthy.
13 – Meal Plan
I like to plan what meals we are having for the week in advance. This makes grocery shopping easier (and cheaper) too. Planning food helps eliminate waste.
14- Wear a dressing gown over clothes until you leave the house
Trust me! This one eliminates the sticky fingers and baby spew dilemmas!
15 – Read and Feed
My dilemma when I had Lola was how do I still get to read Jude his book before bed without it being too late (because they were both going to bed at similar times). So all three of us sit in Jude’s bed and read a book before bed and at the same time I feed Lola. Then it’s everyone off to sleep straight after… (Lol! That’s what I wish still happened. These days Jude takes 4500000 hours to actually go to sleep.)
16 – Cleaning Schedule
Ok this might sound weird but I just started using a cleaning schedule.
It has been super helpful to help me to not get so overwhelmed with every job all at once. I used to try clean the whole house on a Thursday with Jude at home and this just DOES NOT work. Toddlers are cyclones of mess.
I downloaded this cleaning schedule from Just Another Mummy Blog and it is awesome. I feel like I only need do the few things on the list each day and that feels productive!
It’s a great way to keep on track of what has been cleaned (because we often get caught up with just tidying up)
Kids are messy, so when my house is untidy I at least know now its hygienic because those jobs are done bit by bit each day and I can keep track. (Usually after the kids go to bed or nap time.)
17 – Pre-made breakfast or smoothie bags
I am usually in a rush to eat breakfast but I definitely NEVER skip it.
So I make up zip lock bags with smoothie ingredients that I just tip in the magic bullet and its done or I do overnight oats.
18 - Schedule in Me Time
Sounds weird, but I literally forget to actually make time for myself. So Blake makes me schedule in time for myself so we both have it in our diaries. I’m talking full days to myself. They really help me to reset and unwind and it’s important.
19 – Busy Bags
Whenever we go places I take a bag for Jude that has stickers, pencils, colouring in, bubbles and a few match box cars or some plastic Kmart dinosaurs. This is great for keeping him busy when we are travelling or out to dinner etc.
If we travel far I pack other things like play dough, blocks etc to keep him amused. One of my favourite things to distract him when we travel on planes is a special treat wrapped lots of times (a bit like pass the parcel). He spends time unwrapping different layers and I get him to count the layers as he takes them off.
You can also purchase ready made Busy Bags here
20 – Make the bed twice
Yep that’s right! Make the baby or kids beds like this-
*Layer 1 – Protector
*Layer 2 – Sheet
*Layer 3 – Protector
*Layer 4 – Sheet
That way, if they wake in the middle of the night with a wet bed, you quickly strip off the top two layers and they can have a fast change and back to sleep (sometimes you can do it in the dark!) It illuminates the full house lights on and sheets change (because then the kids/baby is fully awake and it will take longer to get them back to sleep.)
I hope these hacks have either helped you, reminded you or inspired you.
Remember to message with your tips too and I can add and credit you too.
Thanks for reading!!
For more tips and tricks on parties and parenting, make sure you check out Nat's Instagram pages @nattyfaulks and @strawberryfundaesparties