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20 mom hacks to make your life easier now

14. Keep an "oops" kit in the car, even if—especially if—you no longer use a diaper bag. It contains an extra set of clothes for everyone in the family, some diapers, $20, a few snacks, an umbrella, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.

20 mom hacks to make your life easier now

“Wow, that was easy," said no mom ever.

We love the ride of motherhood, but let's face it: Sometimes it can get a little bumpy. We here at Team Motherly are very familiar with these bumps, so we decided to share the tricks we've learned over the years to help things run a little more smoothly...

Here are 20 ways to make your life easier:

1. Bulk-buy kids' presents when they go on sale, and keep a stash hidden away—maybe even wrapped and labeled with a post-it note. Neighbor surprises your kid with an unexpected holiday present? No sweat, you (just so happen to) have one for her too.

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2. Prepare lunches the night before.

3. Bulk cook on Sundays.

4. Teach your kid to do for themselves—when my daughter started picking out her own clothes, it was a game changer.

(Pro-tip: Reorganize their drawers so they can reach all of their clothes on their own).

And while we're on clothing—

5. Pick out outfits for the week on Sundays.

6. Buy kids clothes with a specific color scheme, so more tops match more bottoms.

7. When you cook, make double the recipe and then freeze for easy meals when things get hectic.

8. For babies, pre-make batches of baby food and freeze in ice-cube trays so you can pop out/defrost as needed.

This also works for toddler food if you ever need to feed them separately from the rest of the family—freeze tiny burger patties, zip-locks of meat sauce, etc.

9. Schedule out your day by the hour—but make sure you schedule in time for relaxing too.

10. Wake up an hour earlier than your kid, to get a few things done, or simply for a little quite me time.

11. Stick to a nap schedule and a set bedtime (within reason). It helps to plan out your day.

12. DECLUTTER! Less stuff = less cleanup!

(Pro-tip: check out Motherly's Simplified Home Class!)

13. Place a selection of (safe, healthy) snacks where your kids can get them by themselves.

14. Keep an "oops" kit in the car, even if—especially if—you no longer use a diaper bag. It contains an extra set of clothes for everyone in the family, some diapers, $20, a few snacks, an umbrella, a flashlight, and a first aid kit.

15. Only go through mail once a week to avoid the constant weeding through bills and junk.

16. Keep a basket of "going out to dinner things" by the door—baggies of crayons, small books, coloring books, stickers, toy cars, etc. If you have last minute plans, you can just grab them and go.

17. Keep a potty in the car (and a bag of paper towels and plastic bags and wipes)...comes in handy!

18. Prepare the coffee machine the night before.

19. If you child has a favorite toy or lovey, buy a second one and stash it—it will save a lot of tears when “Bunny" gets destroyed by the dog.

20. Embrace the chaos. Easier said than done, we know, but when you can find joy in the imperfect and beauty in the mess, it all seems to be a little easier.

In This Article

    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

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    Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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    One out of six.

    To make these numbers even more sickening, mistreatment was more common among women of color, women with partners of color, women with lower socioeconomic status, and women under the age of 30.

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