I have long been a fan of Asha Dornfest's Parent Hacks site for its stupid-easy, "why didn't I think of that" tips for living more easily with small humans.
And guess what? Now she's compiled the best of those tips into a book!
I want to give it to all of the new mamas as a baby shower gift. To demonstrate its goodness, I'm just going to open to a few random pages....
"Tip #81: Put the ketchup under the hot dog. When your kid graduates to eating whole hot dogs, squeeze the ketchup onto the empty bun before adding the hot dog. Less mess on hands and clothes."
"Tip #89: Use a training potty as a vomit catcher. Post-barf cleanup is so much easier if you keep the training potty nearby. The stable base will keep it from tipping and the removable insert is easy to empty and wash."
"Tip #53: Clip your baby's fingernails while she's in the front carrier. . . . She'll stay calm and relatively immobile, and you'll have two hands available to snip with precision."
Seriously, it's, like, five years of learned-on-the-job wisdom.
Flipping through the book got me thinking about compiling a list of my own favorite "hacks". While I'm not sure they're as creative (and certainly not as comprehensive!) as Asha's, here are a few recent solutions to some of our household problems.
Put your grubby towels in a stuffable dog bed to keep them useful and handy.
We have a ton of old towels. I don't want to throw them away--because little kids with no vomit-aim + flu season--but we don't have linen closet space to store them.
Solution? I stuffed them in Maggie's dog bed. Her's is specially made to be a "duvet", but any dog bed with a zipper will work. Just pull out the stuffing and shove in those old towels. Then they're right on hand and clean enough when gross things strike.
Store extra shoes under the couch.
This idea was inspired by Marisa McClellan, of Food in Jars fame, who once wrote that she keeps excess canned goods under her couch. We have a basement for those, but the couch idea came to mind when--after we switched rooms with the kids--Sweet Husband and I no longer had room for all of our shoes.
Now all our shoes are close at hand, but we're not tripping on them in a pile by the door.
The shared to-do list.
We just started doing this earlier this week, and I can already tell it's going to lead to a happier marriage. Because one of our main points of conflict is that I'm often the keeper of the to-do list, and it stresses me out.
Then, Sweet Husband sent me a shared "House Tasks" list on Google Keep. We can both add stuff, wherever we are. We can both check stuff off as it gets done. And, best of all, we're both aware of what needs to be done, without me having to keep a running tally in my head or text (naggy) reminders. (And we're both doing the squat challenge, too!)
What are some of your favorite parenting or even just "life" hacks?
[I received a copy of Parent Hacks as part of the book launch team, but my opinions are my own.]