Life hacks are at least twenty percent of my Twitter news feed. These little tips on how to repurpose old bottles and empty diaper boxes into cheeky storage or retirement 401k’s. Don’t blow smoke up my butt. Who has time for that?
However, I do appreciate the intent and I also hope to make life easier for other people so I have decided to throw my hat in the ring and give up my insider secrets. Here are some areas where being truly great is over-rated and I will show you how to take it down a notch from excellent to mediocre. All without the help of medicinal marijuana.
1) How To Do Mornings – The problem with mornings is that children can feel them. I have tried blacking out their windows and it makes no difference. My kids feel the gravitational shift of the rising sun and pop out of bed. They want things like food and to talk to me. Ugh. It’s seven am on a Saturday. I don’t want to talk to me. Solution? Poptarts.
Just like I prep for Santa, I lay out four Poptarts and set the TV remote beside them.
If I don’t lay them out then they will find the box and eat all of them in one sitting. If I put more or less than four then one of the children will feel unfairly treated and feel the need to wake me up. Four pre-packaged breakfast treats will get you a solid extra hour and maybe two if Ninjago is on Cartoon network.
2) How To Do Laundry – Are you overwhelmed by constant piles of laundry?
Congratulations don’t change a thing. You are already using my method and don’t even know it. This is what I call the laundry filter. The clothes that you use the most will be searched for and found at all costs. The clothes that you don’t really use will settle to the bottom over time. About once a month just send the bottom part of the pile to Goodwill and go to the $3 sale at Old Navy. See, problem solved.
You could take this a step further and just let them run around in their underwear. We live in a world of climate controlled houses. Turn it up a degree or two and let the kids be free.
3) How To Handle Cleaning – This activity goes in the same file as mowing the grass. Stop it immediately. You should maintain a minimum of one clean area near the back of the house. This will be your designated “Cram” room. If company decides to drop by just cram everything you own in the Cram Room and shut the door. Dragging the massive piles of laundry will dust and sweep automatically. You might want to flush and wipe down the toilets but otherwise the plan works.
Cleaning the everyday messes constantly will only drive you insane when it could be to your benefit.
Those spilled Froot Loops… Leave them alone and later in the day the kids will have a tasty snack and they will feel accomplished for finding them on their own. We have little hunter gatherers inside of us that need to feel needed. Plus, no one is asking you for mid-afternoon snacks.
4) What’s for Lunch – At this point in the day all of the pre-packaged breakfast foods and avoiding cleaning is exhausting. Who has the energy to fix anything close to an acceptable lunch? Not me. This brings up my next life saver tip; Lunchables. It is exactly what you would put on a plate for them to not eat so why not give them less in a package? They open it themselves and it gives them ownership.
Mine eat all the cookies and sometimes even a few bites of the meat and crackers. You might say,”That is all well and good but I still have to prepare those pain-in-the-ass juice cups.” I say, “Capri Sun.” BOOM.
5) Eliminate Constant Whining– After eating all these trans fats and high fructose corn syrups you might notice the kids get a little irritable. This is normal. I know, with blaring TV, crying and fighting children, and the occasional dishwasher running at the same time, that headaches become a real concern for the parent. Never fear I have that covered too.
Kids choke and cry hundreds of times a day. How often is it really worth paying attention? After all, it is hard to get into that romance novel with all the background noise and damn near impossible to Facebook. Earplugs cut out the unnecessary and if something is really wrong one of the children will tell you.
6) How to Not Do Dishes – If you have been following my easy rules up to this point then dirty dishes shouldn’t be a problem. Prepackaged and disposal things are the way to go. If you insist on cooking real food and worrying about “health” stuff then at least try using paper plates. Before you get all green on me consider this; harvesting sustainable trees for paper products encourages people to properly manage forests. Making dirty dishes and washing in the dishwasher just adds to the load at the sewer plant and uses harsh chemicals that make baby bunnies cry. Do you want to make bunnies cry? Exactly. Use paper plates.
7) One Step to Bedtime – With four kids and animals in the house we are constantly changing bed sheets, washing blankets, and fighting over who had the hearts and who had the zebra print. Enough already. Life hack for bedtime = Sleeping Bags.
It is everything in one and portable. You can zip your kid up in the bag and carry them anywhere. Go on a road trip with them if you want to. It is so amazingly simple and it makes them feel secure. Heck, if I find a couple of army cot frames I might not have to move into a bigger house!
8) How to Fix Anything – Use Duct Tape. Duh.
“Don’t spend your time looking around,
For something you want that can’t be found,
When you find out you can live without it,
And go along not thinking about it…” – Baloo the Bear – The Jungle Book
If you find avoidance helps your sanity, this post is for you. If I tried to be an excellent parent I would lose my ever loving mind. It is okay to not get things done sometime. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.