Things that Make it a Little Easier
Every parent has a few go-to tricks and tools that they rely on. Here are a couple of mine. The following list includes some of the things that make my day-to-day easier, happier, and more enjoyable:
UberEATS. We all know and love Uber, but until recently, I had no idea of the convenient little wonder that is UberEATS. They offer food delivery from lots of local restaurants and it is just plain awesome. The timing of this discovery was fortuitous for our foursome given that our microwave has been broken for the past month and its replacement is on backorder. It’s positively medieval over here. UberEATS just rolled out their family style program that offers larger portions for two or four. Just type “family style” in the search bar and choose what looks good. ((When you order, use the promo code EATSFAMJH and it will get YOU 50% off your first order, up to $15. Three cheers for delicious discounted food delivered hot to your door.)) Pro tip: order in secret, plate on your own china, and dispose of the evidence. Take all the credit knowing full well you didn’t have to dirty a single dish. Check out the deliciousness delivered to our house Monday night served alongside The Bachelorette:
Amazon Prime. For $99 a year you get two-day or even two-hour delivery on all orders, access to an online on-demand media library, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Diapers, books, and miscellaneous baby paraphernalia magically appear at our door mere hours after they’re ordered. Good luck convincing me that there aren’t little elves living under my house anticipating my every need. Last year, one of those little elves delivered a Fire TV Stick that makes watching all sorts of streamed content (Netflix, Prime, HBO, etc.) a breeze. Prime’s streaming picks are also pretty great too. They have a decent library of movies, a better selection of shows, and some stellar original content for your viewing pleasure, (The show Catastrophe is a solid choices for your evening entertainment)
Common Sense Media. A list about awesome stuff that helps this mom survive and thrive would be incomplete without some mention of television. This summer, when your children take a break from their sensory boxes, wooden toys, and mom-made Spanish scavenger hunts, you want them to watch something with at least a tad bit of redeeming value. The good news is that there are so many great shows and movies out there for kids these days—shows with serious educational value and moral lessons. Bad news? There is also some total garbage. How is a parent to tell the difference without having to personally vet every episode of every show? I’ll leave that to CommonSenseMedia.org. It is my go-to tool to decide what shows and movies are appropriate and edifying for the young audience in our home. Type in any movie or show in their search bar and you will see a great rundown of what to expect. The write-ups start with “parents need to know that…” and each program or movie has a recommended age and is rated on criteria including Educational Value, Violence & Scariness, Positive Messages, and Positive Role Models. You know your child and your standards, and this will help you determine the right watch for your family. See also: My love song to Daniel Tiger.
Instacart. Do you want to schlep cranky children across town in the cold, rain, heat or snow to buy in bulk? Me neither. Enter Instacart. You simply choose your store (Publix, Whole Foods, Costco, Kroger, etc.), put items in your online cart, and schedule delivery. Just today I had a Costco order delivered to my door. Magic. There is a small fee for delivery and some stores markup items a tad in exchange for the service, but there are days when it is most definitely worth it. And I figure we actually come out ahead financially because the possibility of impulse purchases is virtually eliminated. The only person who is sad about the invention of Instacart is my 4-year-old, whose first word was literally “sample.”
The YMCA. I have to include something on this list that requires leaving the house so here it is. The wondrous haven that is the YMCA has been a godsend to me since I became a mother. Some days I go for the exercise. Other (most) days I go for the childcare. Every mother needs the occasional break from her children shelovessomuch, and this is much needed me-time disguised as something virtuous. Whether I am taking a calorie torching class like Turbo Kick or reading mags and watching Bravo while “exercising” on the elliptical, I know my children are in the loving hands of trained YMCA professionals. The best part is so many of my friends are members that we get to enjoy some quality time together while our kids play with their little friends in the play center. Everyone wins.
I’ll leave you with a pic I snapped at Harper’s YMCA swim lesson a few weeks ago. We are hoping that her actual swimming ability will soon catch up with her off-the-charts confidence.
So what tools and tips and tricks and services and solutions have you been loving lately that I need to know about? Wonderful websites? Awesome aps? Favorite products? Other things that can be delivered to my door? Enlighten me!