Bring Some Zen Into Your Life With These Clever Parenting Hacks

I used to question some of my mom’s parenting choices. Now I realize that she was simply in survival mode. Balancing kids, home, work, marriage, and other responsibilities is a pretty impossible task sometimes! But day after day, parents amazingly make it work.

One of the biggest boosts us modern parents have is crowd sourcing. In decades past, parents had only local friends and family for guidance. Nowadays, we have millions of parents across the world sharing ideas, fails and discoveries.

Mom-and-son-capitol-parking-structure-downtown-Lansing

Here is our mega crowd sourced parenting gem: a roundup of all the parenting hacks we’ve gathered over the past year.

These aren’t the funny hacks that you see that you know really won’t work. Or ideas that aren’t really much of a short cut. These are the tricks that real-life parents have shared with us are proven!

Jump to find…
Camping Hacks
Summer Vacation Hacks
Beach Hacks
Hacks for Life After Vacation
Back to School Hacks
Lunch Packing Hacks
Meal Planning Hacks
Holiday Hacks
Road Trip Hacks
School Birthday Treat Hacks
Hacks for Helping a Sick Kid
Hacks for Surviving Michigan Winter

Ace Summer With These Parenting Shortcuts

With summer on the way I’m thinking of ways to make time for all the adventures without turning me into a stress ball. (No one has any fun when mom is stressed!)

Thankfully, I’m super planner, with lists and spreadsheets everywhere. Not a planner? You can grab some shortcuts from our summer vacation hacks, complete with daily schedule ideas and a printable Summer Bucket List.

My husband dreams of taking the kids camping so I’ve passed along our Camping With Kids Hacks post along to him, while I dream of the beach instead.

I’ve been a Great Lakes girl my whole life but I learned a few new tricks from our Beach Hacks ideas. The fitted sheet tip is genius!

We can Help you Master the Back to School Grind

It’s true – most parents need a vacation from their vacation. Usually there’s little time for that, but these post-vacation tips can help. Remember, give yourself some grace when the fun wraps up – you don’t need to be super mom every day!

We used to take our big family vacation to the Upper Peninsula every August. Now with school starting in mid-August (or earlier!), we’ve had to adjust our tradition.

There’s no way we can be ready for back-to-school if we don’t give ourselves enough time to prepare, though these back-to-school hacks help.

We also have incorporated shopping for school supplies into our vacation. We pick one day to drive into the “city” and fill our cart with everything on their class lists. (My kids love office supplies as much as I do!)

School supplies are also helpful for the big drive home. I pulled the idea for road trip games and activity sets from these 10 Road Trip Hacks and added my own twist: new markers, washi tape and notebooks.

Hacks to Master the Back to School Grind

School supplies are probably the least of your worries for back-to-school though. The thing we parents collectively dread is school lunch ideas. Lord have mercy! Nothing can bring a parent to their knees faster than the prospect of packing school lunches 180 days in a row.

That’s why I make my kids pack their own lunches. (That’s #10 on our school lunch hacks – you’re welcome.) Even my kindergarteners do it. It’s a life skill!

Besides, I’m too busy agonizing over what’s for dinner and I like to spread the misery equally among the family. Just kidding!

But seriously, meal planning is a lonely road, isn’t it? My husband came up with a meal plan for us a couple of weeks ago (unprompted) and I told him that was one of the sexiest things he could have ever done. (Hey, that’s a bonus hack idea for you – outsource!)

For more ideas, our meal planning shortcuts can bring a little joy back to feeding the family. Especially when you get your cute kids involved.

Another way I like to get my kids involved in the kitchen is when it’s birthday treat time. There are so many clever ways you can deliver an exciting birthday treat to your child’s classmates – these are our 11 favorite school treats that aren’t cupcakes.

Tis the Season to Rock the Holidays and Long Winters

I love the fall and winter holiday season! Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are magical times in our house, and I bet they are for you, too.

Until like December 23 and you haven’t completed all the things and are ready to collapse from overload! (Don’t tell me I’m the only one who’s stayed up past midnight on Christmas Eve making and wrapping gifts.)

Save some sanity and retain the wonder of the season with these 14 Holiday Hacks. #13 is my personal favorite – I have no shame buying store-made food for parties and dressing them up this way.

Because sometimes, I’m just too busy to make something. And sometimes, I’ve got a sick kid at home and have no desire to bring that to my office Christmas party via homemade spinach dip.

When sickness calls at your house, you need to employ some of these Sick Kid Hacks for Parents. Read that one now, friends, because when someone is throwing up in your face at 3 AM, you’ll want to draw on that knowledge immediately.

My favorite parenting hacks, though? I’ve used ideas from all of these lists, but the one I return to is our Cold Weather Hacks. We live in Michigan. Winter is like 8 months out of the year and shortcuts are the key to enjoying our icy tundra.

Winter can be such a snowy blast, if you know how to prepare. So take it from us Michiganders – here are  20 ways you can make your life easier this winter!

Parenting should be more fun than it is work, and we hope these hacks can help you enjoy those sweet kids a little more.

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