24 cheats for winning at life

Mumsnetters share the little things they do that make their lives a lot easier...


1. "I have led people to believe we have 27 dogs, 12 ducks, 76 gerbils, a selection of reptiles and many fish. This means I can pay no attention at all to my appearance as they all think I am always busy doing animal stuff."

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2. "Say people's names in conversation with them. Ask them questions about themselves. If you can't think what to ask, ask them what they've been up to today. You will be universally liked by applying the above."


3. "General sanity saver: say 'no'. Often."

ron no


4. "I get up half an hour before everyone else in the house, have coffee and look at my control file and my week-to-page diary - then I write my lists for the day. My list has three sections - 'absolute musts', 'would be nice to get done', and 'dream on'."

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5. "Make up the name for an imaginary friend, who lives a way away and is very busy. This way you can get out of anything, or change your mind and moan 'Anastasia let me down! I can't come to the fund raising knit-a-thon, after all'. You could even pre-enter the name on calendars for anyone nosy who looks at your calendar, sees you have an evening free and wants you to do something that doesn't appeal..."

Image source: Mostlyaveragejoe


6. "One of the best things for me was having twins. From the off, I discarded any hope of achieving Sunday Supplement family life. And that was incredibly freeing."


7. "On mornings you don't have the time/energy to get dressed nicely before the school run, instead of pulling on scruffy jeans and fleece, stick on your gym kit - people won't expect you to have make-up on or hair done if you are off to the gym."

miranda hart
Image source: Imgur.com


8. "I don't watch any TV that isn't 30 minutes an episode. I'm sure those big American TV shows are great but I don't really need to devote days at a time to watching eight seasons of 25 one-hour episodes. I don't want to spend more time watching Breaking Bad than I spent bringing my two sons into the world!"


9. "Just occasionally, it is useful to be able to fake an orgasm. Just a low-grade one, mind."

meg ryan
Image source: Dose.ca


10. "Try and fall for someone who has lived independently and sees cleaning as a joint responsibility, not yours to organise or allocate."


11. "Confidence comes from knowing a lot of stuff and being well-read. So I have news alerts set up on my phone - Huff Post is good. And I always listen to audio books in the car or on train journeys (unless I'm MNing)."

Image source: Thereadingdate.com


12. "Twitter. It's made a huge difference. Follow the right combo of accounts and a five-minute check in the morning will give you a round-up of news headlines, travel, things happening locally etc - with a side order of cats and memes."

Image source: junibie.tumblr.com


13. "If you've forgotten someone's name - ask them what their name is and when they, mildly affronted, tell you their first name, you say 'nooo! I know you're Brian, durrr - I meant, what's your surname? It's just I know so many Brians.'"

not my name
Image source: theotherjuliette.blogspot.co.uk/


14. "Pay it forward with play dates etc. Get in first and have a few kids over for tea etc, then when you need a favour you will feel more able to ask."


15. "I read the letters being sent to the year above at school (published on the school website). That way I know what is likely to happen next year before it happens."

reading letters
Image source: zoeyrph.tumblr.com


16. "We know more than we think, so go with your first thought. More info doesn't make for better decisions in lots of cases."


17. "I've given myself permission to just stop holding myself up to imaginary standards."

Image source: www.autostraddle.com


18. "The Brownies were right - be prepared. Some cash, a charged phone and a kick-ass attitude can get you out of 99% of unexpected shit situations."


19. "If a book is crap, stop reading it. (Not if a book is hard work, mind you)."

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20. "Better to have one true friend, than half a dozen flakey individuals who just don't care about you. You don't need to fall out with them, even - just smile, disengage and don't be available to them."

Image source: theshawnsee.wordpress.com


21. "If all your friends and workmates watch Strictly and X Factor, stay in the loop without giving up five hours of your weekend by watching clips online. You can see the dance/song and not watch all the cack in between."


22. "Don't gossip. Develop a reputation as a person who is really trustworthy and does not pass on information or speculate about others. This reputation is gold compared with the cheap thrill of having a bit of gossip to pass on."

Image source: wifflegif.com


23. "I am eternally grateful that I taught the kids to cook when they were little, even though it was a pain in the arse at the time. It is paying off now. Big time."


Actually, ignore all of that...


24. "Surely the only sure way to stay ahead of the pack is to not reveal your secret life hacks to the rest of the pack?"

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Last updated: about 3 years ago