Motherhood really can be a sh*tshow, can’t it? For every item you cross off your to-do list, you add two more, and no matter how much you try to stay on top of things, your kids continue to wake up each day and choose chaos (love that for you).
A few mum fails are bound to happen here and there, but before you surrender the day, have a read of this epic list of quick and easy mum wins that will make you feel like you have your sh*t together, at least enough to keep it from falling apart.
We’ve even sorted them into useful collections (very Mumli of us) so you can skip ahead when you need a quick win. You’re welcome.
Skip ahead, we don’t mind:
1. Stick to zippies: When you’re changing your baby’s nappy at 3am, those tiny adorable buttons can quickly become infuriating. Buy double zip suits so you can quickly unzip the bottom half without taking the whole suit off.
Bonus tip: make sure all their bodysuits have the envelope folds at the shoulder so you can shimmy them down instead of going over their head in the event of a poonami.
2. Strap that baby in: Babywearing is a great way to give your baby the close contact they crave, help them sleep, and give you two free hands. Whether that allows you to wrangle your other kid, get chores done, or simply sit and enjoy a proper meal in peace, it’s a win.
3. Pack a few extra outfits in ziplock bags and keep them in your nappy bag: Then when your baby has a blowout, you can quickly access a full change of clothes on the go. Bonus tip: keep an extra shirt in there for you, in case you also end up wearing their mess.
4. Keep a nappy caddy in the car: Pack spare nappies, rash cream, and wipes, so that if you’re even in a rush and forget something in your baby bag, you have a backup. Who’s organized AF? You are!
5. Fill an old wallet with random (toddler-safe) crap: Then give it to your toddler when you’re out and about getting sh*t done and need a quick distraction.
6. Stop a streaker: Got a toddler determined to get naked at every opportunity? Put their onesie on back to front so that they can’t reach the zip, and then have fun watching them try.
7. Stick scotch tape over toy speakers: You’ll lower the volume and save yourself from slowly going insane. If you want to go next level, take the batteries out altogether. Savage.
8. Start the show halfway through: If your toddler is demanding to watch their favourite show but you need them to have a bath / go to bed / one of a million other things. Sneaky!
9. Always have a spare: If your kid has a favourite toy or comforter, save them some heartache and yourself a headache and buy a second one, in case it gets damaged or lost.
10. Don’t be the mum on the intercom: When you’re out and about, particularly where there are crowds, attach a key finder to your kid. That way if they ever get lost, you can find them quickly via your phone.
11. Batch cook purees: Then freeze them into giant ice cube moulds, and just defrost them when it’s time to eat.
Bonus tip: You can also do this with a bunch of veggies and then just defrost and stir them into toddler meals to sneak in some extra nutrition.
12. Measure out formula ahead of time for overnight feeds: That way you won’t have to fumble around in the dark. Keep the pre-measured formula and water in two separate bottles and then just mix them together when it’s time for a feed – you don’t actually have to warm them. Your tired brain will thank you later.
13. Have enough spare bottles to get you through a full day’s worth of feeds: Then chuck them all in the dishwasher at the end of the day. Then in the morning, sterilize them all ready for the next day of feeds. This will save you washing constantly throughout the day which not only takes up time, but slowly eats at your sanity.
14. Reduce time spent washing: Rather than washing and sterilizing your pump parts after each pump, keep them in a clean container or ziplock bag in the fridge, and reuse them throughout the day. Then just wash and sterilize them once at the end of each day.
15. Help your bub sleep in the pram: This device was a game-changer – it made my son feel like we were still rolling along even though we had stopped. While the vibration soothes them to sleep, you can soothe yourself with a hot coffee. It’s a win-win.
16. Use a white noise machine in your baby’s room while they sleep: White noise is calming for babies, hides background noise, and may help them sleep better.
Bonus tip: Create a white noise playlist on Spotify and play it on your phone if your baby needs to nap while you’re away from home. You can download and play on aeroplane mode if you’re worried about WiFi.
17. Invest in some black-out blinds: (ones with suction cups are great to use while travelling) to keep your baby’s room dark during day naps and help them sleep longer.
18. Layer a few cot sheets: Then if there’s an accident at 2am, you can just whip the top layer off and put your bub (and yourself) straight back to bed.
19. Store toys with hundreds of annoying little pieces out of reach: This way they can’t be repeatedly tipped out (a toddler’s favourite pass time). Then you can get them out when you want and control a small part of the chaos.
20. Sanitize plastic toys in the dishwasher: Literally just chuck them all in and turn the dishwasher on (on delicate cycle).
21. Keep less toys out, and rotate them regularly: Then give away or store toys away once your kids have outgrown them to reduce clutter. More stuff = more mess = less sanity.
22. Have a designated ‘crap basket’: In the living room or any other room that accumulates random crap – throughout the day, toss everything that gets left lying around into the crap basket, and then put things in their rightful place each night.
23. Plan your kid’s outfits for the week in advance: Buy a hanging closet organizer and put each day’s outfit onto a different shelf. Then you don’t have to spend time in the morning trying to pull an outfit together.
24. Prepack the daycare bag: Do it the night before and have it ready at the door.
25. Save yourself from stains: After you’ve gotten dressed in the morning, put your robe back on so you don’t risk any spills/accidents/spit-up stains and need to do a last-minute outfit change.
26. Stick a ‘don’t forget’ list to the back of the door: This will make sure you do a last-minute check and have everything you need. You’ll be surprised at how many times this saves your arse.
27. Dress your kids in their daycare clothes the night before: They’re not going to dirty them, and it will save you the stress of trying to wrangle an octopus for ten minutes in the morning.
Saving your sanity
28. How to survive grocery shopping with the kids: Don’t do it. Order online and get it delivered. You can do it any time of the day (even at 3am while your little guy is sucking the life out of your boobs) and won’t have to buy the 30 extra snacks that always mysteriously end up in the shopping cart.
29. Unload your mum brain before bed: Write down any lingering thoughts from the day and organize your to-do’s for tomorrow. It will make you feel organized AF, reduce stress and help you sleep better.
30. Time batch your life admin: Set aside a block of time twice a week for things like emails, opening mail, budgeting, scheduling appointments and planning, rather than dealing with things as they come through and having them eat away at your mental space.