As much as I am a photographer, I am first and foremost a mom. My kids are still fairly young (although growing WAY too fast) and so I completely get what it is like to try to balance all of the different aspects of your life while still managing the lives of your littles. So, I wanted to share my 5 favorite things that I use on a daily basis to help me keep my sanity!
#1 The Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum
No joke, I use this at least 3-5 times daily. My kids have what I lovingly refer to as a "splash zone" around each of their dinner chairs. You know, like the seats around Shamu's tank that were guaranteed to get soaked? Well that same concept applies to my kids eating. Different foods (like toast and saltines) have MUCH larger splash zones than others. It never ceases to amaze me just how much of a mess our floors become after a simple snack!
There is nothing that makes me feel like pulling my hair out like stepping on crumbs. We have a TON of tile on our main floor and this beauty saves me. It has the coolest angle to the head that allows me to go straight up to corners and table legs. And it has suction until the very tip. I love this thing!
#2 A Reward System that Works for MY Kids
We use tokens in our house. I have a list hanging in my pantry of ways to earn various amounts of tokens. Next to it, I have a list of various ways to spend the tokens. They can earn tokens by doing anything from brushing their teeth in the mornings, emptying the dishwasher, practicing piano, reading or playing independently for 1 hour.
My girls know how to earn the tokens and LOVE the control they have over the rewards. Some of our rewards include a tea party lunch with friends, sprinkler party with popsicles, playing with play doh, trading straight across for cash and buying a new movie.
I love that I have a way to reward good behavior and that they have motivation to do extra around the house. For us, this has been SUCH a good thing.
#3 Norwex Kitchen Cloth
Apparently I might be a clean freak. But really it is more than that. I am naturally an anxious person and having a clean house reduces anxiety for me. Not everyone is as quirky as me, but for those who might be I highly recommend this brand of rag.
I have never been to a Norwex party. The products I have were given to me as gifts, but I LOVE them. I love the way this cleans my granite and I love that it cleans my stainless steel appliances without leaving streaks. I have been told that it disinfects... and hey! that sounds great as well!
You can find them on Amazon if you don't really want to do that whole party scene :) Either way, I love these!
#4 Quiet Time
This is my family's version of TV time. My kids aren't allowed to watch TV or have screen time outside of our "quiet time." This is my time mid afternoon to get things done, have a complete thought or even take a nap depending on the day. My kids are allowed to watch about an hour of TV. TV might not be the answer for everyone, but honestly I feel like my kids need time to unwind and be still. We both need it and no matter how hard a day might be, I can always count on a little bit of me time.
#5 Crap Basket
Great name right? When I first started doing this sanity saver this is just what I called it in my head. To my kids I just call it "the basket" but somehow in my head it will always be my "crap basket."
This is a basket that I have sitting next to my front door at the base of our stair case going upstairs to the girls' bedrooms. I use it throughout the day to put anything and everything that ends up on the main floor but belongs upstairs at the end of the day. Picture books, hair bows, jammies that were left in the middle of the kitchen floor. Anything. I love this because it allows me to clean up and pick up without feeling obligated to go upstairs to put every. little. thing. away ALL DAY long.
Come bath time, I carry this beauty upstairs and put everything away at the same time. Then I fill it with things that made their way upstairs but belong downstairs and carry it back down after the girls are in bed. I just love my basket!
So there they are. I have even more, but these are my 5 favorite things that just help me not to lose it in my everyday life raising three REMARKABLE little girls.