Jump to content

What little things make your life easier?


  • Please log in to reply
34 replies to this topic

#1 *lightning

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:32 AM

I love being a parent but my life has become much more stressful and extremely busy. I was doing good and used to just go with the flow but now its starting to get to me.

I have SO much to do and the unknown about what this year will bring makes me nervous. I have one child who is acting out because he needs more attention (I wish it was easy because he is a wonderful boy), I have a child who isn't acting out but I miss the time we use to spend together. She's a great helper and helps if she sees we need a hand. I have a baby who is just so damn cute! Like all babies he requires a fair bit of attention. I have an autistic toddler and this makes the simple tasks such as shopping or bath time difficult.

This is the most challenging time so far for me as a parent. My house isn't organized, my beautiful toddler has to pull and throw EVERYTHING onto the floor and we have given up trying to clean it up. The washing is never ending! My house isn't organized and we need to do a massive clean out. I don't have the energy to constantly tidy and clean this house. Thank god all kids sleep 8-9 hours because some days just getting through the day can feel like a marathon.

We are getting a cleaner! This is going to be a massive help and I'm sooo excited.

What things make your busy life just that bit easier?

#2 cantstayaway

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:41 AM

chocolate

#3 poppypenny

Posted 03 February 2013 - 12:45 AM

My roomba.
It has made so much difference to the amount of time I spend cleaning.
A quick 5 minute mop around the kitchen and dining table every night after roomba has done his thing.
The floors are clean all day every day not just a couple of times a week.
Love him!

#4 LittleMissPink

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:39 AM

A decent veggie peeler and can opener!

Oh, and my cleaner....bless her!

Most importantly, my respite carer...I wish I could marry her!

#5 Snot stew

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:03 AM

Honestly... I have lowered my cleaning standards.



#6 Lady Lovely Locks

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:03 AM

Sliced mushrooms,grated cheese and if I had a Roomba my life would be complete Tounge1.gif

#7 bluecardigans

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:20 AM

Getting up an hour before the kids where possible to get organised.
Cooking on the weekend and freezing for weekdays.
Bathing all the kids at one time.
Supervising meal times to maintain the mess rather than eating with the kids.
Make a rule that you can't play with a new toy/game until you pack away the previous one.

#8 coolbreeze

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:39 AM

-big plastic bins from big w with labels on it to chuck toys in in at the end of the day. Declutter toys every couple of months and rotate toys.
-spending an hour in the evening getting everything laid out for the next day, clothes for each child, bags packed with snacks and water bottle at front door with my bag AND keys.
-Cook in bulk and freeze in smaller portions for later meals.
-Eat outside and in minimal clothing in warm weather. I think I feed my two in the nude for about a year...saves heaps of washing and getting food stains out!!
-quick whip around in the evening doing dishes and wiping benches down.
-washing is a hard one and my downfall, I try to fold in the evening and I try not to wash too much...sometimes I throw clean clothes in just to get rid of clutter.
-cleaner is good but not much use if they are trying to clean around mess. For me a cleaner makes me pack away the night before she comes which is good as she makes me regroup in the house. I cant tell you the pleasure of walking into a tidy house after the cleaner has been there...even if it last for about an hour!!!
CB


#9 JRA

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:48 AM

Dishwasher - always empty first thing in the morning (DS's job), so dirty dishes go in there to put dishes out of sight, until it goes on at night

Tidy bench every night. Nothing like starting the day clear

#10 Blingy

Posted 03 February 2013 - 07:53 AM

My el cheapo robot floor cleaner and the storage cube system from Bunnings ... I'm tempted to get another storage cube system to throw DS clothes in and elimate folding  original.gif

#11 amabanana

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:31 AM

I have a daily routine that consists of:

morning:
empty dishwasher
open all curtains and windows, make the beds
quick tidy
hang washing
prep for dinner

evening:
put on a load of washing on delayed start
clean kitchen
get out clothes for the next day, do lunchboxes and school bags

I do one BIG shop every 6-8 weeks where I buy all staples then shop once a week for fresh milk, fruit and veg.  I shop in the evenings so that I can go alone.
I have a meal plan, often cook in bulk and freeze for later.  When I am exhausted and want to get take away I get out a bag of cooked rice and a bag of curry from the freezer and nuke it.  Cheaper and better for us!
It's hard to find the time, but I also do a big clean out at the start of every school term.  I throw out/recycle/give away clothes that are old or don't fit, toys that are broken or not played with etc etc.  Each time I do it I get more and more ruthless as I have realised that the less there is in my house the less there is to clean up or for the kids to make a mess with!  I got a heap of plastic buckets and large zip locks back and put all the toys in there.  Then I rotate the buckets so there is a limited amount of toys out at any one time.  The kids play better and there is less mess to deal with.

I'm not a huge fan, but what has been a huge help for us is having a routine.  DD has a chart that shows her what we are doing each day and we follow the chart.  We used to use pictograms but it's easier now she can read!

I also used child care 3 hours a week to give me some alone time where I could be in the house in the peace and quiet.  I joined a gym and go in the evenings.  Having some time for myself has made it easier to cope with everything else.  

Seeing DDs psychologist has also been awesome in all kinds of ways.  I needed help!  she's made life easier for us in ways that nothing else could.

Good luck!


#12 Ice Queen

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:38 AM

A cleaner.
Setting aside a day dedicated to the house.  On Monday I wash, the cleaner comes, I shop and sometimes I collapse in a heap at 8pm after having only just got the clothes put away.  But it is done and I might do one or 2 catch up loads on Thursday.

My DD has just started kindy on Mondays so it will be even easier now.

I just hate feeling like everyday is groundhog day with housework so by working my backside off on a Monday I can enjoy Tuesday and Wednesday with my kids.  I do no housework on these days except to tidy toys and maybe sweep the kitchen flr.

I cook dinner at lunchtime when bubs is asleep is DD is watching TV.

#13 nezy_ezy

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:47 AM

i love "lowering my cleaning standards" lol

I must be the only one who doesnt like her Roomba - maybe i should take it & give it a go again.

Another to say Dishwasher - emptied in the mornings & loaded properly throughout the day.

Dryer - during wet & colder days.

Hanging my large items on the stair case rail & over the doors.

a 5 minute tidy after each meal -

meal planner - im hoping to restart it once i get back into a routine.

spraying Mr Muscle & soaking overnight in the oven , pans, stove or anything that has stains that I can remove .
Soaking the kettle just before bed on Friday nights with water & lemon so all these utensils are ready to be washed without the effort.

The kids! - they all have to help somehow or another - especially with the shoes, their rooms & tidying the yard.

#14 lafonda

Posted 03 February 2013 - 08:48 AM

An afternoon nap makes my life a little easier

#15 EsmeLennox

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

Ordering staple groceries online every couple of weeks, getting meat delivered from an online butcher in bulk. Using my local market for F&V, bread and milk.

Making my children empty the dishwasher.
Paying someone to clean my oven.

#16 B.feral3

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

My Thermomix. I can't imagine going back to an existence without it.

#17 Flaxen

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

My Laptop,
Its my contact with the outside world when i get a break for 5 mins.
I'd be lost without it.

I do spend too much time on it, but im always researching useful things, rarely shopping.

I used to do a coles online shop once a week and loved the convienience, but now we moved to the country, delivery is not available here, which it should be! Its MORE important in the country I say!

#18 *LucyE*

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

My tip is to really think about how your family functions and to develop systems to suit.  Every family is different so they need different solutions.

For us, the dishwasher is set on a delay start to go after I leave for school drop off.  That way I can squeeze in the breakfast dishes and unload it mid morning when all is calm and quiet around the house.  Early morning is not a good time for us to do an extra job.

Washing clothes daily.  I like to have our weekends free for spontaneous jaunts.  Even if I don't fold and put the washing away, at least the clothes are clean.  I also hang shirts directly onto hangers so they dry with minimal creasing which also makes ironing easier if it requires it.  Socks get hang up in pairs on those little sock hanger thingies so they are less likely to get lost.  It also means if I don't get around to putting them away, it is still easy to find a pair.

I try to do a quick tidy up each night so I get to start each day fresh.  I find it depressing to wake up to a mess.

I will make components of lunch boxes the night before.  Then all I need to do in the morning is to stuff them into the lunch box.

Set up systems in your house to minimize the workload for you.  I tried to get everyone (including DH) to put shoes and hats in the bedrooms for ages.  I eventually gave up and set up a shelf with individual baskets for each person at the top of our stairs (main entry point to the house from garage).  It's now easier to keep shoes and paraphernalia tidy even though it is in the same spot.

There are no dirty laundry baskets in the kids' rooms.  They mostly take off clothes in the bathroom so if they do change in their bedroom, they are told to take it straight to the laundry.  In the laundry, I have baskets labelled so everyone can sort laundry as they dump which minimizes work for me.  

In the kids' wardrobes, I have a daily 'slot' for uniforms and extra curricular uniforms.  I try to have uniforms ironed and sorted at the start of each week, so every morning, they can just get everything they need from that slot without having to think or rummage around for bits and pieces.  I scoffed at this idea when I first read about it on EB years ago, but with school aged kids it really has helped.

In the bathroom, I have towels colour coded.  Each child has their own colour so I can easily tell who didn't hang up their towel and there's no fighting over not having a towel or 'X is using my towel' fights.  It meant buying more towels as each child was born (they have 3 each on rotation), but has been a sanity saver.  I also have colour coded melamine cups set up on the vanity with their toothbrushes and toothpaste.  It sits in a little tray so looks neat and tidy.  Again, it minimizes fights and makes it very easy for the children to use themselves.

I try to get the kids involved in cooking.  I set them up with a chopping board and appropriate knife and allow them to help prep.  It means an extra handful of veg needs to be purchased but it's a small cost for the sanity saving.  Usually the kids will eat the veg as they are chopping which is a bonus.  We have chooks so I don't feel any guilt about wastage.  And it keeps my toddler from pulling everything out of the cupboards.

We also have a great cleaner.  I went through quite a few to find the right one for our family.  She's a mother of similar aged children and uses her common sense.  I've mostly got her doing the chores I hate or just don't get around to in my daily clean.  With young kids, I end up vacuuming and mopping most days anyway.  The washing is never ending and so are the constant dishes.  So I don't waste the cleaner's time doing those jobs I'd do anyway.  I get her to do things like cleaning windows, shutters, skirting boards, walls, deep vacuuming of carpets and under beds, bathrooms etc.  She also does a tidy up of toys that have been spread around the house.  There are days when she sees me overwhelmed with Mt Foldmore that she will help with that.  Or when we are on holidays, she will clean the fridge etc.  She's just great.

QUOTE
I must be the only one who doesnt like her Roomba - maybe i should take it & give it a go again.

I love my Roomba but currently am not using it much.  It works best in houses with minimal clutter and open spaces.  Right now, with so much of our toddler's toys spread around, Roomba would have a conniption trying to clean.  It worked great before we had #3, and I would set it to run in the morning when I did the school drop off.  The floors would be clear from the night before and there would be limited play in the morning because the kids were getting ready.  I would then run Scooba in the afternoons before I left for school pick up.  My toddler is so energetic that if I tried clearing toys to run Roomba, he would be pulling stuff out elsewhere causing more havoc.  Just not worth the stress right now, but I will get Roomba working again in the future.

#19 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:02 AM

Disposable nappies and wipes.  I usually use cloth but every now and then give myself a break with sposies.

having the house decluttered and very minimal, I cannot stand moving stuff from one spot to another and double handling everything, I just get rid of it.  So much less to deal with.

The playground, it's my escape/sanity place when things get crazy at home.

#20 ~THE~MAGICIAN~

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:03 AM

Great lists!

I'm with JRA - I would be seriously lost without my dishwasher.



#21 EssentialBludger

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

Dishwasher, seriously can't imagine not having one now.

Barstools, we all eat at the bench now, so no clearing and wiping down dining table.

Roomba, mines half dead sad.gif but it was a godsend when it worked properly.

#22 Fr0g

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:48 AM

Meal planning and a weekly 'big shop'.  Nothing irritates me more than 5pm food indecision and not having 1 or 2 ingredients.  

Having some sliced cake/ pikelets/ muffins in the freezer to pop in a lunch box.  

I am about to bite the bullet and have a fortnightly cleaner come in - I don't know what difference it will make, but I'm willing to try!?

#23 Frightbat

Posted 03 February 2013 - 10:54 AM

Duct tape.  ph34r.gif

#24 *lightning

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:02 AM

I'm getting some great ideas. Keep them coming!

Edited by *lightning, 03 February 2013 - 11:03 AM.


#25 Sif

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:06 AM

It doesn't work for everyone, and I think, OP, it wouldn't be your thing...

Every six months I have a huge clean out of the house. That is I go through everything and purge whatever we don't need. Yes, I have been known to just get a skip and CHUCK stuff. I don't keep every painting or creation from the kids.

I get bills emailed to me rather sent as paper wherever I can - paper is the absolute BANE of my existence!

Then I have routines (which change whenever they stop working), mostly to prepare stuff for times when I'm just too tired to care.

So, I shop fortnight and have a list of meals, but don't schedule them for particular days, and they always include a few really quick to make options.

I make the kids get into pjs and have showers at 5pm, so that by bed time - when I'm shattered, it's a matter for sending them off. I also get the table set when they get home from school so that it doesn't have to be done with arguments right before dinner time.

With lots of kids, it's pretty much impossible to avoid mess - especially with toddlers/preschoolers. So, I aim for a tidy each evening before bed.

I have been known to have several toddler gates to minimise the areas the toddler can get to and destroy...






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How a baby can survive alone for days on end

The baby found abandoned in a Sydney drain may have been alone for up to six days without being fed, leaving many asking how he could have survived.

When it begins to look a lot like Christmas

A child's excitement at Christmas time is a beautiful thing, but one dad ponders whether his toddler daughter is getting into the festive mood a bit too soon.

Hospital lets dads the experience some of the pain of childbirth

A new experience is radically altering men's views of childbirth.

Italian doctors questioned over formula bribes

Italian police have placed 12 doctors under house arrest on suspicion of promoting baby milk formula over breastfeeding.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Those special moments of sibling bonding

Every now and then your child does or says something that is truly memorable.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Baby monitor footage posted online

Footage of Australian babies and children sleeping in their bedrooms are among the images on a Russian site showing live feeds from thousands of homes and businesses around the world.

Did this new dad really hit on his wife's midwife?

Was there really a man who was actually there by his wife’s side as she laboured and gave birth to his child, all while he was making what he perceived to be meaningful eye contact with a midwife?

Keep calm and ignore the Tantrum Trolls

Tantrum Trolls are a small but growing species of predatory bottom-feeders who delight in picking on parents at their most vulnerable.

It's okay to never 'get over' the death of a loved one

The death of children, siblings, and parents has long term impacts on the rest of our lives.

What Mark Latham needs to know about depression and motherhood

In a bizarre bid for relevancy, Former Opposition leader Mark Latham has deduced that because one female journalist had this week light-heartedly thanked antidepressants and caffeine for getting her through a medical degree while raising two small children, that ergo, all 'inner-city feminists' are selfish harridans who despise their offspring.

'We're just trying to keep our child alive': life with FPIES

We have a beautiful seven-month-old son, and his allergy rules our life.

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia?s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

What it's like to go through early menopause

In a cruel twist, Carla had been breastfeeding and perimenopausal at the same time. But she's far from the only one to go through menopause early.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Restaurant served alcohol to two-year-old

Busy restaurants can be forgiven for getting food and drink orders mixed up from time to time, but not when the confusion leads to a two-year-old being served an alcoholic cocktail instead of the child-friendly beverage they ordered.

Julia Morris tells of miscarriage on a flight

Julia Morris has spoken about the devastation of suffering a miscarriage while on an international flight.

Woman's survival after birth 'a story of two miracles'

A US mother is home and tending to her new baby less than a month after surviving without a pulse for 45 minutes.

Best maternity swimwear and beach cover-ups

Thinking about a tropical babymoon but have nothing to wear? Here are some great swimwear and beach cover-up options for mums-to-be.

Duchess's letter to grieving mum

The Duchess of Cambridge has written to a grieving mum on a "very difficult" day.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.