Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Parenting cheats

(89 Posts)
ForTheSakeOfFuck Tue 04-Apr-17 20:10:22

Help. I have a fairly typical three-year-old DS - boisterous, argumentative, energetic, all the usual - and twins on the way. As I get more tired and enormous, I am looking at any possible way that I can make life easier for myself. I am basically begging for those really simple quick-and-dirty parenting cheats that you've discovered by chance or learned from others that cut down stress, time, and tantrums, even if they mean a compromise in our otherwise impeccable hahahaaa yeah not in this house standards.

For instance, DS is very active and he has no interest in food for its own sake, so he's a skinny rake and getting him to sit and eat a half-decent meal is torture for everyone involved. I just let breakfast and lunch play out however, but I discovered that if he watches his iPad at the dinner table I can hear the gasps of horror already he may eat incredibly slowly, but he eats way more, and I can sneak veggies and all sorts down him. This is about the only life-changing thing I have discovered in the last three years but oh my god it has brought my daily stress levels down and turned meals into something enjoyable again.

Anyway, anyone got any other cheats that they're willing to confess to, to help me save my sanity?

Note: this is meant to be light-hearted but will no doubt horrify the Performance/Competitive Parenting Brigades so if the notion of parental cheating gives you the vapours then this thread may not be for you.

KP86 Tue 04-Apr-17 21:13:24

Bribes of sweeties get DS to go to the toilet when we know he needs to but he insists he's fine (and then five minutes later unleashes a waterfall all over the sofa).

Lower your standards!

Keep all nursery-friendly clothes (joggers, cheap shirts) in one box or drawer together so you can grab and go in the mornings without digging through different drawers looking for stuff you don't mind gets wrecked.

Get DS to 'help' with chores. Mine loves emptying the dishwasher and 'vacuuming'. Can't quite get him to dust the skirting boards yet but we'll get there.

Start culling toys and old clothes now before you get too big and definitely before you have twins to care for.

Cbeebies is perfectly acceptable as a babysitter for a few hours while each day.

Batch cook saucy meals like curries, spag bol so you've got something ready for when you can't be bothered.

ForTheSakeOfFuck Tue 04-Apr-17 23:14:11

I am going to start a Little Black Book of Parenting Witchcraft and note these things in it. Ta KP! grin

KP86 Wed 05-Apr-17 06:27:19

Another one: showers are faster than baths if you're in a hurry of an evening.

Orangedaisy Wed 05-Apr-17 06:32:47

CBeebies is a great babysitter - but, if it's not too late, don't just leave it on as background. If you make a deal over watching something and then turning it off at the end your DS is probably more likely to sit and watch it as he knows it's limited. Gives you more reliable time to get something done/stealth eat chocolate.

luckylucky24 Wed 05-Apr-17 06:58:27

At the weekend DS is allowed to sleep on the couch one night. It means we just have to carry him up when he is asleep. Obviously only do this if your partner is around to carry.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Wed 05-Apr-17 07:33:57

CBeebies was invaluable when I was heavily pregnant and on crutches with SPD. When I finally felt human a couple of months after the birth and needed to reduce his TV consumption, I put a timer on the TV so it clicked off at the same time each day. I was strategically not in the room so he couldn't blame me (he was 2) and he launched into a tantrum. After a couple of weeks he'd accepted that the TV turns itself off and there was no bother any more.

Impatientwino Wed 05-Apr-17 07:42:47

When my DS was that age and really didn't want to eat or I was shattered I used to make banana pancakes for dinner.

Mash up a banana, add an egg and mix in 2 tbsp flour and it makes two American style pancakes.

It's not going to win any awards but there are worse dinners than an egg and a banana and it takes seconds. Sometimes I'd add raisins or cinnamon.

Sometimes I'd put a few carrot sticks on his plate too to make me feel better smile He eats really well now so it didn't ruin him!

Impatientwino Wed 05-Apr-17 07:44:58

I'd also batch cook spag Bol/meatballs and freeze in portions complete with the pasta so I'd have complete meals I could just nuke and serve

soupmaker Wed 05-Apr-17 07:52:52

Bath or shower only when necessary. Kids survive all manner of muck in this house. A quick face and hands wipe is sufficient before bedtime when everyone is tired.

Always have your bag organised before you go to bed so it's just children you need to organise before leaving the house.

Make lunch the main meal of the day.

SafeBet Wed 05-Apr-17 08:01:57

I found it exhausting to keep running up and down stairs all day, so piled stuff on the stairs to take up each time I just so happen to go up there, and I got a decent sized bag of spare clothes to keep downstairs (my two seem to need to change socks and pants quite regularly, and they always seem to be upstairs rather than handily washed and dried downstairs!).

SafeBet Wed 05-Apr-17 08:05:31

There's something about getting everything laid out and ready the night before - it seems to magically take half the time compared to doing it on the day itself.

So I lay out the breakfast table as well as clothes in each room. School bags and lunch boxes are also made up and ready.

DelurkingAJ Wed 05-Apr-17 08:06:47

I second lunch as the main meal so when the wheels fall off in the evening and they're too tired to eat properly it's not a big deal.

Forget tidy.

Can you afford a cleaner? Mine keeps us all clean enough for casual visitors (even DM smile)

itsacatastrophe Wed 05-Apr-17 08:11:05

At the weekends they kids get to have a "sleepover". They share a bedroom anyway but this magic term means they get to watch a DVD instead of having a bedtime story. Also means I can get away with putting them to bed an hour early and not having to ready the same book for the 5th time that week. It's a win for everyone.

Stripyhoglets Wed 05-Apr-17 08:26:07

Bath as an afternoon activity - keeps everyone happy and entertained and then they are clean for bedtime

ForTheSakeOfFuck Wed 05-Apr-17 09:03:55

Oh god this is gold. Why didn't I think of half this stuff??

Maltie Wed 05-Apr-17 09:06:08

Make things like matching socks or sorting clothes into individual persons pile a game. Your little one can join in and it helps you get a job done!!

DellaPorter Wed 05-Apr-17 09:14:24

I also had a toddler when pg with twins
I used to make dinner a picnic style thing, and prepare it early in the day and pop it in the fridge with cling film over - small sandwich, hummous, cheese cubes, veg sticks etc.

Have a bath together (while you can still get in and out) or pop toddler in while you sit down and watch

Join a twins club - best place to take babies and other parents will offer a hand

If toddler does activities, buy nylon drawstring bags in different colours for drum stuff, various outfits (later on, beavers etc) and hang up near washing machine so you can pop stuff in right away, before bits get spread all round the house and lost

DellaPorter Wed 05-Apr-17 09:15:27

Swim stuff, not drum stuff
That would be madness

DellaPorter Wed 05-Apr-17 09:16:21

But second hand battery swing and a rocking chair you can rock with your foot, to pop babies in while you juggle the others

DellaPorter Wed 05-Apr-17 09:17:03

A futon mattress you can lie down on/nap on with the toddler

marthastew Wed 05-Apr-17 09:20:52

Get some good activities for your garden and a sturdy comfy outdoor chair for you. Get little one playing with the sand/cars/chalk/make a mini washing line etc and then have a good sit down. Gets him outside without you having to schlep any where.

marthastew Wed 05-Apr-17 09:23:29

Don't have all the toys available all the time. Put some away and rotate them to keep them engaging.

Have a cupboard of bribes little surprises for when you need them. Balloons, bubbles, little cars, colouring books, cheap DVDs, etc.

neonrainbow Wed 05-Apr-17 09:26:05

Aah twins are lovely. I dont have an older child but a dab of infacol on a dummy is brilliant for keeping my twins quiet for 10 minutes if i have to get on with feeding the other twin.

ShesAStar Wed 05-Apr-17 09:27:38

If it's late and the DC (and me) are exhausted I make French toast for supper. I always make it sound like a massive treat but really it's just so easy and because it's sweet they eat it quickly!

If they are boisterous I take them out - staying in is so bad, once they're out it seems to reduce the craziness.

A trampoline in the garden, we had ours lowered into the ground so no one needs to worry about getting in and out (very lazy).

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: