by Morgan Carver Richards
As the mother of three young children, and the wife of a pilot (who leaves for 3-5 days at a time, then returns for 2-3 days before leaving again), I have had to find ways to keep my sanity intact. Here are a few of my “Mom Hacks” that I have picked up over the years to simplify my routine. Some are kid related, others are mom related; and some are just random… but all of these things have helped me keep it together when all I want is a beer and to listen to explicit rap. All of these are tried and tested, so it isn’t like that BS Listerine foot soak that just turns your feet smurf-blue (haven’t heard of it? Click here).
1. At Home Exfoliation/Moisturizer
This is my savior when my crow’s feet and my forehead wrinkles get out of control. When my husband calls and says he just went to the pool at the five-star resort he is staying at, and I haven’t showered in three days, much less had time to slap a little moisturizer on.
What you need:
1 cup of sugar
¼ cup of coconut oil
air tight container
Step One: Mix the two together. If the sugar is still dry, add a little more coconut oil. If it looks like too liquidy, add more sugar.
Step Two: All you do is use it as a scrub in the shower. I use it all over my body and it makes my skin ultra smooth. The best part is when I use it on my face. Not only does my skin feel like it did when I was sixteen, it is moisturized without having to add any expensive products. It is amazing for exfoliation, and I have noticed that my little hormonal brown spots that I get on my upper lip and forehead are less noticeable.
2. Dinner Board
Not including myself, there are three small people who I feed three times a day, every damn day. My husband is an occasional person to feed, as he comes and goes with his job. It is shocking how long the list of “I don’t like that” has gotten, and I was tired of watching half of the people at my dinner table refuse to eat the food that I busted my a$$ making. So I made a dinner board. It says:
What are we having for dinner?
(Insert whatever the hell I feel
*You don’t have to like it
*You don’t have to eat it
*But this is what I am making
It hasn’t necessarily started the eating revolution that I anticipated, but at least they see it in the morning, and when they whine about what they don’t like, it is still early enough in the day that I don’t go on a rampage and refuse to feed anyone.
3. Glow Bath
This one is my favorite when my husband has been away for three days, and isn’t coming home for another two. Imagine the scene: dinner is over, and the kids are tired as hell. Screaming, fighting, meltdowns, the works! And I still have to make sure that they all get properly bathed so that they don’t smell at school the next day. Enter the “glow bath.” It took me some time to find glow sticks in Dubai (see my bio for more info), but I eventually found them for 7 dirhams ($1.91) at a store called Daiso. For people living in the free world, hit Target, Wal-Mart, or any craft store and you will find them. They come in a pack of 4, and have various colors. All you have to do is fill the tub, crack the glow sticks (to activate them, do NOT release the liquid from the tube), throw them in the water, and turn out the lights. I do not suggest this for small children who still put random things in their mouth, but my youngest is finally past that point so I deemed it safe. I couldn’t get a suitable picture to share since my kids were naked, but imagine a G-rated version of the rave you went to in college. It entertains my children long enough for me to take a shower alone without anyone interrupting and it usually refuels me long enough to get through tucking in three kids, reading stories, and handling any last-minute requests for water or the toilet.
4. Laundry Basket Toy Swap
This genius idea was first introduced to me by my friend Katie, who has one-upped me in parenting by having a 4th child. The concept is simple. Only use this when your children have lost all interest in the over-priced toys you bought for them.
Step 1: Find a friend who has children close to the ages of your children (that you can tolerate enough to see at least once a week).
Step 2: Find an empty laundry basket (or dump the dirty laundry that you have put off for two days, because wine and “Game of Thrones” sounds more interesting than washing another load of clothes that smell like BO) and fill it with various toys from your house. Keep in mind that you don’t want to put anything in the basket that you need to have back, if something gets lost or breaks. Have your friend do the same.
Step 3: Swap baskets, and watch your children play with the same intensity that they do on their birthday or Christmas.
Step 4: After a week, return the basket and get your basket back. If you lose or break something, replace it. Do this every week with different toys to keep from having to buy new crap. If you have a large group of friends, get everyone together with the baskets and just swap with a different friend each week. If you are really into keeping up with what you put in the basket, make a quick list of what is in it so that you can be the a$$hole who tells your friend that they lost something.
5. Look Nice For Date Night
This doesn’t necessarily have to be used for date night, you can save it for girls night and use your polished look to score free drinks all night! This is a simple up do that you can do in ten minutes or less, and it requires minimal knowledge of hair. The only thing you need to know is how to do a simple braid, and your hair should be shoulder length. This one is presented in pictures to give you a visual of what you need to do. It is really simple. Just put your hair in three equal braids, then twist them and pin them. Boom! You just brought sexy back. Go get some free drinks.
Five simple mom hacks, to make even just one thing in your life more manageable. What are your hacks?