5 Tips for Hassle-Free Parenting

If I have learnt one thing since becoming a parent it is that I am great at handing out advice. This surprises me as I am exceptionally bad at asking for advice and even worse at receiving unsolicited advice (ask my husband). I suppose that I am just a repressed (“Not that repressed!” I can hear my husband snort) know-it-all!

And yet, I just want to help, I want to take the struggle out of your life, remove the hurdles and make you wonder, hey that works why didn’t I try that sooner.

So really I am the worst of two worlds a know-it-all-do-gooder.

Well, whatever. If blogging is good for anything it is good for getting things off your chest and if I don’t unburden myself of these tips I will start prowling the local parks to offer my unwanted guidance to poor unsuspecting parents.

Believe me, it’s better this way.

Tip 1: Get a massive scarf

Bear with me here, I am not dishing out fashion tips, but a huge scarf has been a saviour on more than one occasion. Make sure it is garishily patterned and colourful so any stains will go unnoticed.

Said neck apparel has many basic functions:

Sun shade to cover a buggy
Blanket
Wipe for damp slides, swings or any manner of play park equipment
Spare clothes (simply wrap child/yourself)
Picnic rug
Towel for wet/mucky hands
Make shift nappy (in extreme circumstances only)
Table cloth
Headgear
Seat protecter

It can also be used to keep your neck warm on chilly days!

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Tip 2: Make the fruit bowl your friend

If I had a penny for the number fo times my children whine ask me ‘Mummy what can I have to eat?’ then I would be typing this on a beach in the Maldives. My kids are veritable snack-aholics. And as any mum knows snacks should be quick to prepare, mess-free and easy to eat.

To stop my children from bothering me …ahem, to encourage my children to be independent I have put a gargantuan fruit platter on the kitchen table in easy reach of small hands. Then when they are feeling peckish (and it’s almost tea-time) I can point them in the direction of the fruit bowl.

Obviously this doesn’t work every time and you may still need to see to your children’s demands provide other snacks. But at the very least you can feel smug in the knowledge that you have offered an apple or a banana nine hundred times and at the very worst you will end up with a fruit bowl full of half eaten pears and a sofa covered with apple cores.

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Tip 3: Only attempt to tidy when the kids are not around

This tip has saved my sanity. When the twins were tiny it was easy to clear up around their little immobile beings. Now they are rumbling, tumbing three-year olds it is a whole different ball game (metaphorically and literally). From hard experience of feeling like that Greek guy pushing a rock up a hill* I have learnt that once you get to the top of the tidying mountain you’re back at the bottom staring at a room full of half-done jigsaws, lego, naked Barbies etc etc.

My answer – never attempt any form of tidying while the kids are still playing (here I am not counting washing up, changing the beds or dusting). Seriously, no one is as concerned about the state of your house as you are. It does help if you declutter and you can follow some more of my smug know-it-all advice for thatΒ here.

Practise (and it does take some practise if you are used to have a neat ordered house) turning a blind eye and ignoring the chaos. If you are refilling the toy box or sorting the train track from the Duplo at midday then more fool you. You will be repeating that very same chore at 7.15 and you know it.

Tip 4: Pick your Battles

I suppose the next two tips are all about being easy on yourself as a parent. If you have read any of my previous posts (please do!) you will know that I strongly believe that we have over-complicated parenting but the simple truth is that to be a good parent every minute of every hour of every day takes a considerable effort.

You simply can not be a the top of your game all the time. So I would suggest that you let somethings slide. Of course I am not saying that you should not discipline your child or that you shouldn’t be vigilant over their safety but constantly trying to keep up this parenting lark is hard going. So don’t beat yourself up if you ignore a minor fight (it’s character building in the long run) or using bribes and threats to get results. In fact I whole-heartedly endorse a two-pronged attack of threats and treats. Keep the kids of balance and you will ultimately be triumphant in this game of moans.

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Turning a blind eye

Tip 5: There’s nothing wrong with taking the easy option

There seems to be a modern-day myth (well, at least for my children’s sake I hope it is a myth) that there is such a thing as lazy parenting…haha I was woken up at 5 o’clock this morning and had to watch 4 episodes ofΒ  Numberjacks** through my eyelids. Some days lazy parenting is the only option. Sometimes surviving the day seems like an insurmountable task.

Every parent has lazy days/guilty days/days which are a struggle and a grind. And on these days (and on all other days in between) there is no harm in taking the easy option. As far as I am aware no child has been traumatized by occasionally having Macdonald’s for lunch, watching 4 hours of TV (remember I woke up at 5am people, that only takes us up to Bing at 9.15!) or for being told off a little to harshly by a parent at the end of their tether.

If your child refuses to eat homemade lentil burgers then I suggest you stop serving them to him. You are simply setting yourself up for disappointment and failure, probably dished up with a side order of guilt. Why? Take it easy on yourself and your child and take the less demanding route. Which is probably fish fingers.

And if it helps alleviate the guilt remember that you did offer him an apple two minutes ago.

by Kim

Can you add anymore tips to our list? Please let us know below.

*Sisyphus.
**Never heard of Numberjacks. I suggest you either google it or wake up at 4.45 and turn on the Tiny Pop channel. It’ll mess with your head.

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

Mummascribbles</div

ethannevelyn
A Cornish Mum

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40 thoughts on “5 Tips for Hassle-Free Parenting

  1. haha – this is great! SO many items of clothing were used as extra blankets when my girls were little.. and I must admit it took me a long time to not bother tidying up when they were still in the house.. it used to annoy me so much! “No, you can’t play with your puzzle I just put back in the box” at 10.30am lol – was never going to work! #fartglitter

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  2. Just yes! Yes to them all! I was nodding along avidly with point 3 (I mean seriously – why do we bother!?) and then I read point 4, and them point 5!! Excellent advice – and thank you! I too often get to Bing and think “oops” πŸ˜‰ Loved this post x
    Thanks for linking with #fartglitter

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  3. Fab advice! Totally agree with you on all the above tips, gosh we really beat ourselves up for such silly stuff, somedays we do need the easy parents options just to save our sanity. My girls are brilliant with fruit but my 6 year old son is a nightmare, I can not find a fruit he likes, and really I have tried so many fruits. Lucky he eats his vegetables or he would be suffering malnutrition. This si the first time I have come across your blog, love it! #twinklyTuesday linked after you xx

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    1. Ah my son is just the same (he likes apples but not the skin and point blank refuses any soft fruit other than strawberries. Odd!). Thank you so much for your comment and so glad you like our blog – yours is pretty cool too (love the way it tells me how long it’ll take to read a post, soooo copying that idea). xxxx

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  4. Great post and its all so true πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing. yesterday i choose not to do ant housework or toy tidying whilst my daughter had an afternoon nap, I sunbathed in my garden and did nothing else!!! Boom πŸ™‚ #TwinklyTuesday

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  5. Haha, love this advice. I have used items of clothing as towels/slide dyers and extra blankets before. I NEVER tidy up when my boy is awake, I learnt pretty early on that is a pointless task. I think we just need to be easy on ourselves and do what we can to keep our kids happy and make it through the day, if that means 4 hours of kids tv in the mornings them so be it πŸ™‚ xx #picknmix

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  6. Nice post and advice. Yes the fruit bowl is a great snack focal point, plus the price of fruit from markets and fruit and veg shops makes it far more affordable than most other child snacks. And you’re definitely right, having lazy or down days isn’t a bad thing. I can certainly relate to the 5am wake up calls! #FabFridayPost

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  7. This is amazing! I thought I was the only one that is adamant a large scarf is a must have for any parent! With you on the not being too hard on yourself as well, some days it’s okay to just take the easy option. #PicknMix

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  8. This is a fab list, and I found myself nodding and agreeing with everyone of your points! I am certainly well rehearsed at the pick your battles one, and like you said, trying to get better at the not tidying up until after they have finished playing, or gone to bed! Great to find you through #PicknMix from a fellow South Devon blogger πŸ‘‹πŸΌ

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  9. Be as smug as you want, this is excellent advice. LOVE the fruit bowl idea, it’s definitely something I’m going to keep in mind as my little one grows. Because, at 14-months-old, I can already tell he’s going to be a mammoth snacker.
    My son has this weird obsession with our DVD shelf-he LOVES pulling them all down, and then just leaving them there. I’ll usually wait until he’s in another room to put them all back up, but it’s like he hears me-and comes straight for me from wherever he is to pull them all back down! #FabFridayPost

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    1. Ha ha – how do kids tune their hearing into things like DVDs being restacked and yet can’t hear you when you are shouting at them to not put dirt in their mouth or to stop pulling their brother’s hair??? Thanks for your lovely comment. x

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  10. Awesome advice, couldn’t agree more πŸ˜€ I’m a big fan of the lazy parenting – our parents didn’t pack every second of our day with activities, right? And we’re fine (mostly!). Thanks for sharing x #picknmix

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