Parenting Hacks For Every Day

– In this video I share nearly 50 time and energy saving everyday parenting hacks for single parents, working parents, parents with big families, and just plain everyday super busy parents who have far too much work and too little time to do it in (xylophone zings) Welcome back to my cozy little corner of YouTube where I share information about different ways to build your family and then how to manage your children once you have them

Hi, I'm Amy if we haven't met already I have five children of my own I did have 20 foster children over seven years before my first set of twins was born, and I was a working mother, working, studying full-time as well back in the day, and I had absolutely no relatives whatsoever to help me so I was obsessed with time & energy saving tips long before I ever developed a chronic illness I'm going to talk fast because this is such a long list, but luckily you don't need to be able to listen fast because you have a pause button and you can rewind if you need to Hack category number one is learn to share generously and let karma take care of you

For example if there does happen to be an excellent grandparent in your children's lives then let poor Grandma have some regular time with the grandchildren while you're working, or studying, or just recharging, or cleaning up the house Or help a pregnant friend out and offer to let her practice on your baby Or even if you just have random childless friends who have little interest in having kids of their own, but they're sober and they're sensible, and they might be enthused enough to play parent for a day so they can create themselves some social media shots and have some fun Be kind and visit people who offer to make dinner for you and your children Of course, common sense says don't go anywhere that expects you to wash up afterwards because you don't have the time and energy to clean up your own house much less go around cleaning up other people's

And number five is let your children have some domestic responsibilities We'll do another video another day where we talk about what sort of tasks you can reasonably assign to children at different ages Hack category number two is making it easy for other people to help you For example, I know a complete genius who kept her vacuum cleaner at her front door and every single time her mother or mother-in-law came over to visit, she would claim she was just about to start vacuuming, knowing that they would volunteer to do it for her Next is having some breast milk or formula stashed in bottles ready to hand over to a partner, visitor, neighbor, whoever, so that you can get some sleep

Although I'm saying that as mother of a child who was never again able to breast feed after having his first bottle at four or five weeks of age, so don't let anybody pressure you into doing that if you're concerned that it might backfire Hack category number three is erasing the time suckers Losing all of the non-essential chores For example, choose a child care center that provides pick-ups and drop-offs These do exist

Like imagine your life if you could get up, get your child or children organized, hand them over, and then eat, get ready for work and leave And vice versa in the afternoons, imagine you could walk through the door, step in, have a shower, get dinner ready, and then have baby delivered to you Also, don't create jobs that could be avoided like washing up Have a picnic, better yet, start a regular tradition of having a picnic day or a picnic meal Also ditch ironing

Like I'm so committed to owning non-iron clothes like these that even if I was a multi-bazillionaire tomorrow, I would still send my children to public schools because there is no chance I would waste any resource I have on ironing a private school uniform If wearing makeup makes you feel fabulous, then keep doing it But if it doesn't, just ditch it It gets in the way of baby smooching anyway, and honestly, as somebody who's almost never got the energy to wear makeup, the truth is you either bring value to people's lives around you or you don't The superficial really doesn't add a lot

And if you're one of those strange people who still has an answering machine or service, get rid of it You don't have time to be retrieving people's messages If somebody wants to contact you, they will text you like a normal person Hack category number four, embrace the freebies For example, it is completely insane how many hours' worth of joy children can get out of playing with completely empty boxes

Also, cultivate some mutual buddies that you can swap favors with in a mutual sort of a way Next, seek help from family, not relatives, lest the payment never end I mention frequently there is a vast difference between family and relatives, and you know exactly who they are Also please use whatever services are available in your area, like Mothercraft hospitals that teach things like sleeping and settling They are there to help you, not to judge you

In all seriousness, whatever your screen-time policy is, make all of those electrical babysitters work for you when you have mentally draining tasks to do So for example, for me that involves anything to do with paying bills, or budgeting, or money Hack category number five is choose the time-saving option Guess what? You do not have to get dressed every day I'm living proof of this

Declare pajama day And the best thing about having a pajama day Sunday is it actually serves to limit the sorts of things you can do that day When people tell you that breast feeding will save you a lot of time, they really are telling you the truth, eventually You just have to survive that first few weeks where every single hour it feels like of every single day and night, you're feeding around the clock, but eventually you really will come to that point where your baby is efficiently feeding, and you are no longer constantly making up bottles, and washing, and sterilizing Either embrace the commuting option, I personally have always found trains are fantastic for multi-tasking because it's a time and space where you really can get so much done

Not just things like study, but nowadays you can even get shopping done and all manner of things done while you're commuting to work But on the alternative, do look into whether or not you can work from home or do some sort of work from home even if it's only saving you a couple of days travel per week 'cause that'll save you a huge amount of time I actually did my entire university degree by correspondence minus a few weeks here and there every year of doing residential schools When your children are really small you really do have to think seriously about your budget options, so look at whether or not it will actually save you a huge amount of money to cut working down to part-time or even stop working altogether for a time I personally decided to continue working part-time even when my babies were very small because I was afraid of the consequences if I had too large a gap in my working history, and it goes without saying that if you feel you're a happier and better parent for working you should continue doing that anyway, but at least have the conversation with yourself

My next tip is to always have frozen and tinned versions of food on hand You do not have to make everything from scratch to show your love, although that tends to be a really common new mommy habit When you're having a really tough day, don't be snobbish about things like sandwiches and cereal for dinner because your children would probably consider it a treat Also, depending on your circumstances, you might really want to consider the pros and cons of co-sleeping You might save more time and sleep more, co-sleeping if you can find a way to do it safely with your children, than in enforcing separate bedtimes

It can be really different with different children Hack category number six is to pay for help, and by the time you get to this option, make sure you're paying for things that you really don't want to do There is no point in paying somebody to look after your baby so that you can do all of the cleaning if you would prefer to be spending time with your child while somebody else cleans your house for you I personally am a real fan of doing my grocery shopping online I personally tend to still do the fruit and veg shopping in person to choose what I want, but the reality is I don't just save a lot of time, I also tend to save a lot of money because there's not that temptation to do impulse purchasing while you're shopping

As the mother of two sets of twins who were born within 2 1/2 years of each other, I promise you, the best thing ever invented, was a battery-operated baby swing If you have babies, it is the potentially best investment of your life to have something that you can plug an unsettled baby into while you're dealing with other babies or children through bath times and all of those sort of really busy, dinner making moments, nappy changing moments I'm hoping that the next time I need a washer and a dryer, I'll be able to combine the two It just seems like common sense to me You know those sort of pre-packaged meals that save you time in the preparation? Don't forget they also save you a ton of time in the cleaning up afterwards

Now the eco-warriors amongst you are going to despise me for this one, but a strategy I frequently used when I had four babies, was plastic knives and forks, and plates, and bowls And in fact, I still keep a stash of them now for days when I'm just really sick or just not coping with life When you are sick, or you have sick children, it is a better life if you call out the sort of general practitioner that comes to you at your house rather than one who expects you to go in to see them E Pierce wanted to know how I got all of my children to all of their different sports and activities when I was a single mother So here's my secret

I used to pay other mothers cash to deliver my children So for example, until Gypsy physically made the switch to gymnastics school, one of the moms at the other children's school used to drive her to gymnastics while I was still at work and the others were in after-school care Hack category number seven, have an emergency toy box For those phone calls, those times you're sick, stuff it with things that the children adore, but don't get to use very often Give yourself a regular break by declaring a regular quiet time in your house where absolutely nobody is allowed to do any unnecessary talking

Better yet, make it during your favorite TV time I went for a good year or three I'm sure where nobody was allowed to talk while Oprah was on Mind you, so far as sports and activities are concerned, do try to give your children the opportunity to like the same sport or musical instrument or whatever it is, and limit their opportunities if practicality demands it Next tip is batch cooking where it's practical for you to do it, so for example every time I make spaghetti bolognese, I make at least three meals' worth and I freeze the rest Plan ahead and try to always be on the lookout for bargains that you can put aside for birthdays and Christmases, but bear in mind it only works until a certain age when kids start getting too particular and fickle in their interests for that to work anymore

If you're breast feeding, you're almost certainly aware that your supply tends to be really high after you've had a sleep or a nap, so it tends to be in the morning you're quite full, and your supply will dwindle throughout the day, so for that and many other reasons, a lot of babies and young children will be really irritable towards the end of the day If you're having that, you need to plan for that witching hour And is there like a regular routine that can be done like bathing? Do you have a neighbor who might really love to pop over for dessert to nurse the baby while you're getting all of the toddlers and other children through their bath, and shower, and bed time tuck in routines I strongly recommend that you steer your children really firmly towards compatible sleep routines, and that means having not just a really firm bed time, but also a really firm wake up time before which children are not welcome to be up and about Absolutely authentic, free-range parenting can't possibly work if you have two or more children because you need to sleep at some point don't you? This next tip comes from my video about how you can cope alone looking after your children when you're really sick

There'll be a link somewhere up there and in the description below, and it's about having an emergency plan Develop that now, work on it now, including things like pre-registering for things like a call at home, home doctor service that comes to you I'm personally a really giant fan of vaccines, even the really costly optional ones, even the annual flu shot ones, even when you have a really healthy family Everyday life is just so much easier to cope with when everybody in your family and your household are well Similarly, keep your medicine cupboard well-stocked with the obvious fever and allergy remedies, puffers, anything for known conditions that your children have

You're never gonna want to run out And keep your first aid kit really well stocked And while you're in this really fabulously organized ahead mood, consider do you need to supply anybody in particular with a spare car seat or two so that they could help look after your children in an emergency And even if you're certain that you're always going to be committed to breast feeding, keep a tin of formula in the cupboard just in the event that you're unconscious somewhere, there really does need to be an alternative option, at least the one that is least offensive to you will be readily available More than anything else, invest in sleep, prioritize sleep, prioritize naps

Everybody's health, and wellness, and well being, and sanity depends on it Sleep deprivation is a type of torture for reasons Please vote in today's poll to let me know what sort of videos you're most hoping I'll make on this channel in the future And please share in the comments below if you have any hacks or tips to share with other parents that can make parenting and life in general easier Make sure you watch this video about coping alone with parenting while you're sick if you haven't already seen it because I share stories about how I coped alone through the birth of my second set of twins, plus I managed a bunch of medical emergencies alone as a single parent

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