Parenting is super hard, and moms and dads everywhere deserve a break. There are teeny tiny things you can do in your everyday life to make things easier. Anything is worth it if it results in less bending down, fewer trips to the kitchen for paper towels, and fewer messes to begin with, right?
We'll kick this off with a genius dad who'd just worked a long shift and came up with the best idea to entertain his kids while he fell fast asleep.
Life drawing nap
It's like a Renaissance tableau. Monica Weber recently posted this picture of her husband and kids on Facebook, where it went totally viral. "He has them doing 'realism art' while he 'poses' AKA naps. The winner gets a chocolate, but let's be honest, [he] is the one winning lmao."
Seriously, this dad has nailed it. And he really does look like he's posing for a painting while asleep. As long as he doesn't snore or twitch in his sleep, his kids will never be the wiser. Of course, Monica got some backlash for this picture, but she clarified that her husband had just come off a 12-hour shift as an OR nurse, and he was there and easy to wake up if there had been a problem. This is the case of a dad finding a creative solution to keeping his kids engaged while he gets some shuteye, and I am here for it.
Speaking of creative solutions, little kids are... not smart. And if you give them a bucket of water and a paint brush and go tell them to paint the fence, they will do it. It's flawless. No mess, kid's entertained, fence gets moisturized (although I don't think fences need to be moisturized).
If you're at the highchair stage, for the love of all that is convenient, stick one of those Command hooks on the back of the highchair and use it to keep your bibs within arm's reach. Your life will be transformed if there's always a bib available when you need it.
How many times have you run down the aisles of the grocery store racing after a sippy cup that has been dropped on the ground? If you use the strap in the seat of the shopping cart to hold it in place, your frustration levels will dip immediately.
While it's a particularly good idea to put baby socks in an intimates bag to keep track of them, honestly, I should probably do this for myself. My little no-show socks get all staticky and cling to the insides of my clothes, and then I lose track of them. So this is a great hack for parents... and everyone else, too.
If you're reaching your breaking point with noisy toys, take some Scotch tape and stick it over the speakers. It will still make noise, but it won't pierce your ears quite as much. You will sleep more soundly.
If you have a little one who's sick and taking medicine, that can be a totally stressful thing that takes over your whole world. On the first day of your child's medicine regimen, write out every dose on the bottle itself and cross them out when they're complete. It's the most efficient way to keep track.
You've probably seen this super simple hack everywhere, but that's because it works. Keep your kid's hands — and clothes and shoes and everything — from getting sticky from frozen treats by using a cupcake wrapper.
Cutting a baby's nails is not easy. They squirm, cry, and scream... unless they're asleep. One parent suggests waiting until your baby has been asleep for 20 minutes, then choose that moment to cut their fingernails and toenails. They'll likely sleep right through it, and you'll avoid getting scratched in the face!
If you have a little kid (or a grown adult) in your household who's struggling to make it into the toilet, don't be afraid to actually put a target in the toilet. It's not as fun for people who sit to pee, but they generally have less trouble hitting the pot.
When you've got little kids in the house, they constantly knock stuff over. If it's glitter, sequins, play sand, whatever? Use tape (or even a lint roller if you have one!) to pick it all up. This is an especially good trick for things that you might want to use later rather than vacuum up and throw out.
The best way to keep candy hidden from nosy kids is to disguise it in containers for healthy food. You know those kids aren't going to go snooping in a bag of edamame. It's the perfect place to keep your chocolate. You know that if your kids are aware of the candy, they will ask you about it nonstop until it's gone.
When you take a little one on vacation, separate their outfits ahead of time so you don't have to go scrounging around in the bottoms of several suitcases to get clothes together. Maybe find a more environmentally friendly solution than large Ziploc bags, though (like the intimates bags you use for your socks).
Until your kid knows left from right, the ripped sticker trick is a life saver. Seriously, this will save you many many hours of switching shoes onto the correct foot.
OK, this one might be a little out there, but I promise you will consider it the next time your kid screams from their room at 3 in the morning, waking you up because they want some water. The rodent cage water dispenser won't seem so out there then...