The birthday party is in an hour! Your project is due in the morning! You need a special snack for class today! Has your school-aged child ever come to you with a last-minute request that sent you into a spiral of panic? Or have you forgotten to get it on the calendar, and therefore it doesn’t exist in your mental to-do list? Are you stuck on how to entertain your pre-schooler on another cold day? Not to worry there are plenty of mom hacks to get you by.
Be prepared with some simple mom hacks that have helped me out of some tight situations. Mommy meltdown avoided!
1. Blank happy birthday and thank you cards.
This is my number one mom hack because it has saved me so many times. Two years ago, I managed to have a birthday party for my son and then never sent out thank you cards (note: I am a teacher and I was writing end of the year report cards. I was totally overwhelmed and forgot!). By the time I remembered, it was too late, and I was mortified. From that time on, I have kept blank thank you cards at the house. I also keep blank birthday cards for all of the birthday parties, friends and family. One less thing on my list of things to get at the store!
2. Wrapping paper ordered in bulk and kept in a bag.
Again with the last minute order. This tip is to keep you sane and not running out to the store at 9 p.m. Or, if you’re me, right before the birthday party and then wrapping the present in the back of your car right before you walk into the party! Buy a few rolls ahead of time and store them in a bag like this, so you have paper year-round for gifts and holidays.
3. Plain paper gift bags.
I can’t say enough good things about plain gift bags. You can put almost anything in them and write the person’s name on the front. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add stickers or a nice drawing. Throw some tissue paper in there, and it’s a beautiful gift for any occasion.
4. Milk boxes.
These babies are a great help for last-minute breakfast in the car (anyone else besides me has to feed their children on the way to school instead of before?). They’re obviously also great for lunch boxes and play dates when you don’t want to have many cups to wash. Find them at any grocery store.
5. Travel games.
Games that are small and fit in a purse are a lifesaver in waiting rooms and at restaurants. Spot It, Hidden Pictures books, and Magnetic Tangoes have all kept my guys busy and off screens whenever they get antsy.
6. Medkit in the car.
Last summer, when we were in Cape Cod, my seven-year-old son slammed his finger in the car door. Cue the, “Where is the medkit in the rental house?” Pure confusion and panic. Thankfully, I remembered that I had this bad boy in my car. It has saved us in a pinch (pun intended) many times!
7. Car garbage can.
Speaking of the car… mine tends to get disgusting very quickly. I recently got a mini trash can that clips on to the back of the seat (it can also be free-standing), and it has been a big help in getting the wrappers, snacks, and general yuck off of the seats and floor. For around $10, it’s a great buy.
8. Art supplies.
For those last-minute school projects or the kid who likes to create and needs something to do on a rainy (or cold winter) day, I keep many cheap art supplies around the house. Sidewalk chalk, sheets of felt, kid scissors, school glue, googly eyes, stickers, masking tape, etc., are usually found on the cheap at Michaels, Target, Stop & Shop, or Amazon.
9. Glow necklaces and glow sticks.
A night game of tag in the yard, anyone? You can get this year-round on the cheap, and they make a great add-on to a game of tag or hide-and-seek in the dark.
10. Baby wipes.
We all know that baby wipes aren’t just for their intended purpose! Moms use them for everything. I keep a stash in the car and my kids’ playroom, and they have both been out of diapers for years!