5 Essential Mom Hacks That Will Save Your Sanity En Route
When I was in the fourth grade, one of the teachers at my school came to our class to share her personal experience of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake with us. After this I went through a phase that I was petrified of not being prepared for every natural disaster out there. I would make lists of things I would definitely need to carry with me all the time: flashlight, matches, preferably an inflatable boat… Obviously I was shaken by the Mexico city story. Wait a minute, leaving the house with kids is nothing like preparing for a disastrous earthquake right? Well then, either I’m doing something terribly wrong or it’s just my kids but I’ve learned to go on outside adventures well prepared.
Diaper bag essentials
We all know that the day you forget wet wipes, diapers and an outfit change you will experience the diaper blow-out of your life! So make sure you have those with you. Don’t forget to restock you bag when you come home after a day out. Our bag is always ready to grab on the way out to the car. I’ll throw in some food and drinks and bingo.
I like to pack dry crackers or raisins for the little ones because it keeps them busy but doesn’t really fill them up. Their actual lunches or bottles I often heat up right before we leave and keep in the insulated side pocket. That way I don’t have to look for a microwave oven when were out and about. Don’t forget something to snack on for yourself too, being a mommy takes up lots of energy! I have some little toys in our bag that we only use when we’re out of the house. That way the kids haven’t grown tired of them yet. My favorite is a foldable map in colorful fabric with some little cars inside by Tiny Magic (http://www.tinymagic.be). Unfold it when you're at the restaurant and your kids will love it.
Give into the mom ride
A few months ago I ditched my cute car for a big and boring mom ride and… it was the best decision ever. It’s higher so I don’t break my back getting the two little ones in their car seats and has a spacious back seat and trunk. I’ve installed a car seat net on the back seats with some children’s books and toys in to entertain the kids when we’re on a longer drive. It also helps getting them in the car as they look forward to reading precisely those books. Just yesterday I let my old self go completely and installed ... Finding Dory sunshades!
In a separate container I keep some tissues, wet wipes and an emergency diaper. Even my husband carries an extra diaper in the door pocket. You can totally go overboard with this and have an extra outfit for each kid as well. I also always have some perfume (testers) for myself and the kids in the car with me and a concealer to touch up my make up. I have freakishly dry hands from washing my hands ten thousand times a day after each runny nose, throw up, spil, diaper,... so I also can’t do without my hand lotion.
Get a bin in the car
You can simply use a plastic bag but a plastic cereal box will keep everything in place thanks to its lid. Or your could even install a sticky hook on your dashboard and hang a bag from it. Either way, it’s easy to be able to collect those wipes from runny noses and wrappers from cookies in one place.
Keep a carrier in the trunk
I am a great fan of babywearing and even when the kids get a little bigger I like not having to take out the stroller for every little trip. When I pick Elliot from school by car for example, I’ll throw Amelia in the carrier and run out quickly to get Elliot. Or in the supermarket, Elliot will sit in the cart and Amelia in the carrier. For these instances I prefer to use our Manduca carrier as it works like a back pack and needs no tying or wrapping. Over the years we’ve collected five carriers and have them lyings in different places around the house, in the car, in the bike bags,…
Being prepared doesn’t always take up much time and really pays off en route. I would love to hear about your favorite hacks in the comments.