A MUM-OF-TWO has revealed how her sons sleep in tomorrow’s clothes to save time in the morning, and says it’s no different to using PJs.
Writer Vicki Broadbent, 39, also does regular ‘carpet picnics’ for Oliver and Xander, aged 10 and seven, so she only has to cook once-a-day.
Vicki, who lives in Windsor with husband Peter, tells Fabulous her top mum hacks, which have been a saviour while the kids are off school…
Key workers aside, we parents have been lumbered with one of the toughest jobs during lockdown haven’t we?
I feel like I’ve aged 20 years homeschooling the kids, all while cooking, cleaning, ironing and staying up until 2am writing for my blog Honest Mum.
It’s been a whirlwind of weight gain, moody kids and sandwich making, but along the way I’ve accidentally discovered some great mum hacks.
They’re simple, quirky, time-saving and bang on the money. You’re welcome.
It sounds bonkers but after bathtime my kids, Oliver and Xander, aged 10 and seven, put on their clean shorts and T-shirts on to sleep in, rather than PJs.
It means they’re ready and dressed in the morning, saving time and stress.
Now I can take a few Zoom meetings first thing or just eat my breakfast in peace before homeschool begins.
Oliver and Xander wake up dressed in the morning, meaning I can eat my breakfast in peace
This quick hack (frankly, how different are PJs from actual clothes, anyway) cuts request and complaint times by half.
All the kids have to moan about now is washing their face and brushing their hair and teeth.
2. Sweat it off
I bought my husband a treadmill for his 40th birthday in May (which was really for me, wife of year award pending) and my kids run on it several times a week for 15 minutes at a time.
It helps burn off the extra 2857938760597865 calories they’re consuming daily in snacks, blow off some steam and also to help make them feel more independent to boot.
They first tried a treadmill at a hotel gym pre lockdown and after using it with ease, I thought they should give this new one a whirl.
They don’t go crazily fast on it and trusting them to use it has given them a real confidence-boost.
It’s also useful when the rain pours down and we can’t hit the park.
Don’t have a treadmill or feel uncomfortable letting your kids on one? Consider an exercise bike the whole family can use or even some ‘heavy lifting’ of baked bean tins.
I reckon Joe Wicks is quaking in his trainers at this! There are also apps to help encourage fitness too. We love BT’s Digital Dash app.
3. Cut back on cooking
Who wants to be cooking 24/7? Not me. I only cook once a day and ideally in bulk, so I’ve got leftovers for the freezer that I can spread across the week.
For their other meals, the kids have a carpet picnic. They make their own sandwiches, then they will peel a carrot, carefully chop a cucumber and add some healthy crisps, a piece of fruit and pour some water.
We lay out a blanket on the lounge floor, open a window (get us), switch on YouTube Kids, et voila!
If we shut our eyes, we could be eating al fresco by the River Thames, but with far less hassle.
I only cook once a day. For their other meals, the kids have a carpet picnic – and I simply scoop up the mess afterwards
The blanket makes tidying effortless too as I simply scoop up the mess and inevitable crumbs, brushing them into the bin with one fell swoop. Easy peasy.
No floors are hurt during this meal and even more EXCITINGLY, there’s no table to wipe.
For more ‘formal’ dinner times (shudder), I bought transparent plastic chair covers from Amazon (not sure these will be finding themselves on my Pinterest account any time soon) that tie onto the chair legs that are wipe-clean, protecting from spills and mess.
I think I might be turning into my mother!
4. Bottoms up
Lastly, if you’re cracking open a bottle of bubbly and want the fizz to last for longer, simply add a raisin to the bottle to reignite the bubbles.
It doesn’t work if you happened to fall asleep on the sofa from exhaustion and the bottle’s almost flat now, but it’s a nifty trick if you do it early enough.
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How does it work? Well, here comes the science bit: the carbon dioxide already in the drink (aka the bubbles) sticks to the sides of the raisin releasing the bubbles back into the bottle.
It works with the less thrilling soda water too. Cheers!
Vicki Broadbent is the author of MUMBOSS – How to Survive and Thrive at Work and at Home. You can also buy her Insta bundle to learn how to monetise your Instagram account.