Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Top 5 Must Have Products For Moms of Big Families! #MomLife #MomHacks #StepMom #Blended #MomOf4 #BoyMom #Parenting



Okay guys, I thought it was high time that I write a new post for y'all and share with you some of my newfound wisdom. As many of you know, it was only a few short years ago, that I was a single mama of two little boys. Fast forward to now, and I am suddenly a soon to be married mama/stepmama to FOUR, count them all FOUR kiddos, who are now suddenly 8, 12, 13, and 16. Not only did my boys grow incredibly freaking fast and incredibly freaking big, but I also have been blessed enough to gain two more kiddos! 
Must Have #1: Extra Large Griddle 

Okay, my big family mamas, if you don't already have one of these, you need to get one ASAP. These extra large griddles make cooking SO much easier. I use mine to make grilled cheese (Seriously you guys, I can make NINE grilled cheese at once!) It's also great for pancakes and bacon too, and really helps to cut down on that horrible time when they are all sitting around waiting on dinner, and you can only make one pancake or one grilled cheese at a time. Seriously, this has been a game changer in our house, and I love mine! They are also pretty inexpensive, so they are a pretty good investment! 

Must Have #2: Post Its

I know, I know, you guys already know about post its, but let me tell you how they have really changed things for us. Now, I am not a "Martha Stewart" mama, and I have tried multiple times to incorporate some kind of chore chart or system, to no avail. They just don't work for us, no matter what different kind of Pinterest Fail I come up with. However, tiny little post its have become the best possible thing for us when it comes to chores. I have the really small, square Post Its, and during the day, I look around the house for things that need to be done when the kids get home from school. It's usually only a couple of small things, but just enough so that the house doesn't get messy and that they can have a little bit of responsibility. 

I stick the Post Its to the front of the fridge, and the kids come in from school, grab a snack, and grab their Post Its, and do their chores right away. It has become a habit now, and they know to expect their Post It. Get this: THEY EVEN ASK ME WHEN THEY AREN'T THERE!!! I am not kidding. So, yeah, simple is better. Write some stuff on a Post It. Make the kids do it, and they will do it. Life is good. Note: My kids are big kids, so this is much easier for me than it would be for a mom of small kiddies. 

Must Have #3: Cool Soap
Yes, it sounds stupid. But I am telling you the truth. Once upon a time. Nobody here washed their hands. I kept regular old white Dial squirty hand soap in both the bathrooms and the kitchen. Bottles of hand soap would last MONTHS, since nobody was washing their hands. Well, if you are as paranoid of a mom about germs as I am, you understand that this just can't be a thing. Enter the lifesaver: Cool Hand Soap. 

Really, I don't know why it matters, but once I replaced the plain, white, boring soap with fun soaps, like bright colored ones, foam soaps, or delicious smelly ones from BBW, miraculously, the kids want to wash their hands. Now, a bottle of hand soap lasts about 2 weeks, and somebody is always washing hands. Now, are they wasting soap? Probably. Are they wasting water? Also probably, but I don't care as long as they are at least making it look like they are washing their hands, and it makes me feel better. So, do a soap upgrade, and see if you notice a change. 

Must Have #4: Water Dispenser 

Yep, I am talking about a full on water cooler, like the one you have in your office. When it got to the point that the kids were tearing through an entire case of bottled waters in two days, I knew we had to figure out something different. Of course I am never going to tell the kiddies that they can't have water, since I WANT them to drink more water. Enter the water dispenser. Now, we got a really nice one at Walmart, and I think the initial expense was about $179. We got two of the big five gallon water jugs, so we can swap them out whenever we need to, and to fill it up is about $1.50 each time. 

So far, this is working great for us! The kids all got their very own water bottles, and they fill them up all the time, whenever they want. They are drinking MORE water, we aren't having so much wasted plastic water bottles. It might seem a little bit weird that we do this, but for our big family, it's actually been perfect. Not to mention the fact that we got a water dispenser that has hot water as well, so the kids can also make their own hot chocolate, oatmeal and ramen noodles, so it's a great thing in our household! 

Must Have #5: Charts, Charts, and Charts! 

I can NOT tell you how much CHARTS have changed my parenting life. Being a mom is not easy, and being a step mom is even harder. Multiply that by FOUR kids and trust me, being organized and writing things down is a MUST DO. In our house, charts rule! There are charts on the side of the fridge, for everything! Some of the things that charts have helped with in our home: whose day it is to sit in the front seat of the car on the way to school, whose day it is to help with dinner, whose laundry day it is, who gets to make dessert, who has to do what chores, and who gets to have a sleepover in whose room. It sounds a little bit crazy, but really, it is the ONLY way to keep things straight and keep from fighting about really crazy and stupid things! 

Okay y'all, there you have my first top five tips for managing your big families. I am by NO means an expert on this, but just hoping to pass along some really great tips for things that have helped our family! 

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